Homeland Makes All the Decade Lists
Political Comedy, Drama Defined the Decade
by Hal Boedeker | Boston Herald | December 31, 2019
It was the decade of Game of Thrones, peak drama, political comedy and superhero films. Here are a few works that defined 2010-19. Showtime’s Homeland started explosively with a twisty story of treason that still resonates in the culture. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis were exceptional. The final season begins February 9, 2020. The way that films and TV series are shown may change, but first-rate storytelling cannot be replaced. On that score, the decade offered reasons to hope.
Decade Disruptors: The 10 Most Influential International TV Shows Of The 2010s, From Hyper-Local Thrillers To Euro Entertainment
by Peter White | Deadline | December 31, 2019
The 2010s was the decade that foreign-language television broke through the global ceiling and got Hollywood to notice the quality of content coming from all corners of the world. While Danish drama The Killing (Forbrydelsen) and French thrillers Braquo and Spiral began inching the door open in the “aughties,” hyper local titles and the booming streaming market means that Netflix subscribers are just as likely to binge Spanish drama La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) or German supernatural thriller Dark as they are the new season of The Crown.
Netflix’s VP International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl recently told a London conference that “Hollywood is not the be-all and end-all of storytelling,” and “this is really just the beginning.” Georgia Brown, European content chief at Amazon, agreed that “language is kind of irrelevant now.” It’s not just the SVODs that are helping this boom; linear broadcasters around the world have realized that specifically local titles stand more chance of becoming hits than global puddings. Many broadcasters, such as European public stations France Televisions, Italy’s Rai and Germany’s ZDF, are also teaming up to match the budgets of the streamers.
Continue reading Homeland Over the Decade – Dec 31, 2019
The Most Shocking Character Deaths and Actor Exits of the 2010’s
by Jean Bentley | Hollywood Reporter | December 19, 2019
In the age of social media, it’s even more impressive that these major developments were kept under wraps.
Surprising savvy TV viewers is increasingly more difficult now that there are 500-plus scripted series airing each year — and that’s not even taking into account the ways in which social media makes it nearly impossible for a production to preserve a meaningful secret for viewers across time zones.
But somehow, plenty of series throughout the exploding age of Peak TV managed to shock audiences with major cast shake-ups. Whether it was Game of Thrones ruthlessly informing its non book-reader viewers that no one was safe; a major contract dispute ending poorly for an actor; a real-life tragedy; or a popular performer deciding to move on, there were many reasons why shows shook up their core casts by killing off beloved (and occasionally reviled) characters.
Here are some of the most notable examples of the biggest actor exits and character deaths of the 2010s. (Spoilers ahead, obviously.) Continue reading Decade in Review, Nick Brody – Dec 19, 2019
Damian Makes His First Documentary Spy Wars With His Brother
by Lisa Campbell | iNews | October 4, 2019
Few British actors have set foot inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but as the star of the American spy thriller, Homeland, Damian Lewis was granted unprecedented access as part of his research.
While he jokes that his meeting with the director of the CIA, John Brennan, is “classified”, the story demonstrates his ability to get under the skin of characters through keen observation of the tiniest details. He describes the “incredibly poker-faced field operatives who had revealed only the smallest increments of expression and emotion, until Brennan walked in and the temperature in the room rose instantaneously.”
It’s an experience that stood him in good stead for his latest project, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, which also marks his first foray into factual television.
The eight-part series – the first to come out of Lewis’ newly-launched Rookery Productions – airs on History from Monday in the UK and showcases the true stories and remarkable characters behind some of the most important international spy operations of recent years.
“I’ve done a lot of research over my career for Homeland and a movie I made, Our Kind of Traitor, and have read my John le Carre like everyone else. I enjoy the genre and thought it was an opportunity to look behind these popular stories and find out something a bit more intimate and personal about the people themselves, their decisions and the ramifications on global politics,” he says.
Continue reading Boarding School Creates a Mild Sociopathy That’s Helpful to the Life of Espionage – Oct 4, 2019
Could the Next James Bond Be Ginger? The Famous Redhead Rules Himself Out
by Kristy Lang | Radio Times Magazine | Issue: October 5-11, 2019
In a five-star hotel suite high above the City of London, Damian Lewis and I have a ginger bonding moment. As a fellow redhead, I’ve long admired his rise through the acting world. Not many gingers get leading-man status, but after starring in series such as Band of Brothers, Homeland and Billions, Lewis is big in American.
We’re meeting to discuss his first venture into the world of documentaries, fronting and producing a series about spies on the History channel.
Lewis, now 48, was born in London but was sent to boarding school at a young age, which, he thinks, would make him a very good spy.
“If you are sent away from your family at the age of eight, it gives you a rigor, a dissociative quality that is extremely useful for spies because they have to be able to shut down parts of their emotional life. That’s why the British secret services actively recruited public schoolboys. Guy Burgess is the most extreme example of that. He was flamboyant, charming and mostly drunk – how he didn’t reveal what he was doing is a mystery to me.”
Continue reading Radio Times Magazine Interview – Oct 2, 2019
Spy Wars: kNOw More Secrets
by Nicole Lampert | Weekend Magazine | September 27, 2019
Damian Lewis thinks he would probably make a good spy, partly because of his schooling. Some of Britain’s best known spies – and traitors – went to public school, and the Eton- educated actor isn’t surprised.
‘If you’re sent away from home at the age of eight and you’re asked to cope with that situation, I think there’s an instinctive compartmentalising of one’s emotional life,’ he says.
‘That’s very helpful to a covert life of espionage. It helps you develop a mild sociopathy, which is clearly what spies need to have. Often they’re living multiple lives, not just double ones.
‘I think I’d be a good spy, better than James Bond, who’s a rubbish spy,’ he adds, despite being one of the favourites to take over the role from Daniel Craig.
‘What’s brilliant about Bond is his recovery. Each movie is two hours of him getting himself out of a massive mistake he made quite early on.’
It’s little wonder he’s fascinated by spies. He won acclaim as soldier-turned-potential-terrorist Nick Brody in Homeland, and was cast as MI6 agent Hector in the film adaptation of John le Carré novel Our Kind Of Traitor.
But as outlandish as those stories were, they don’t compare to the twists and turns in the real spy dramas he explores in his first documentary series, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.
Continue reading The Real Stories Behind Some of the World’s Most Intriguing Espionage Cases – Sept 27, 2019