Written By GingersnapComments Off on In Loving Memory of Dame Hilary Mantel
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 23, 2022
We join readers around the world in mourning the loss of Author, Dame Hilary Mantel. We are grateful for her magnificent body of work and the award-winning historical fiction novels including, but not limited to, Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and The Mirror and the Light. Without her words, her vision, Damian’s portrayal of Henry VIII would not be a critical hit as the regal King.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Underrated British TV Shows You Need To Watch
by Richard Chachowski | Looper | July 20, 2022
On the surface, one might immediately think that British television is very similar to any American TV program you can find on cable or currently streaming. However, as anyone who’s seen a decent amount of British and American series can tell you, the two couldn’t be further apart.
Known for their strong surrealistic elements, dry wit, and dramatically small number of episodes compared to American TV series, British TV shows are practically a genre unto themselves. Whether they encompass historical dramas, absurdist comedies, or sitcoms set in World War II, you know without question when you’re tuning into a TV show from across the pond, judging from its sense of humor and content alone.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Bulging Codpieces and Multi-Colored Tights
Renaissance Men’s Fashion Today
by Maria H. Loh | Art News | June 29, 2022
Certain men’s fashions have always been controversial. In 2014, Mark Rylance, a star of the BBC’s popular sixteenth-century TV drama Wolf Hall, told reporters that he thought “the codpieces are too small.” The actor, who played chief minister Thomas Cromwell, protagonist of the Hilary Mantel best seller on which the series was based, speculated that the sartorial edit was perhaps a directive from the show’s American producers, who feared that historically accurate codpieces might shock their transatlantic viewers. Indeed, if you look at any number of Renaissance portraits of Henry VIII, you might be immediately taken aback by the elaborate mound of shimmering white silk that bursts forth and rises up conspicuously between the king’s legs. Damian Lewis, who had the monarch’s role in the show, explained to the Los Angeles Times that these unusual attachments were,
“… a symbol of your virility, your derring-do, your sense of adventure. They were encouraged, it was a fashion, and Henry liked them.”
Just reading those words can instantly bring your mind to one of the most famous, scandalous, and formidable families to ever rule a nation. The powerful Tudor dynasty has long mesmerized and enthralled all who have come across their stories during history lessons. From the king who nabbed his crown against the odds to a long-awaited male heir who didn’t live past the age of 15, to the queen who defied all expectations and ruled for 45 years, their collective reign over England from 1485 to 1603 was chock full of warfare, religious reform, and treachery at a time where fealty, obedience, and adhering to the tenets of one’s social station literally meant life or death.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on 25 Best Movies and TV Shows About English Royalty
Certified Royal Drama – Wolf Hall
by Devon Forward | Collider | November 13, 2021
For the days when you just want to watch some certified royal drama. Sometimes real life is even better than fictional drama, which is why so many television shows and movies are based around historical events. Take England, for example. You can’t honestly claim that you’ve never been fascinated by something that’s happened to a king or queen of the country’s past or present, right? Everyone loves to hear about the strong-willed Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry VIII and his six wives, the elegant current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and any number of interesting English royals. Luckily, Hollywood feels the same way, and movies and television shows based on stories about English royalty have been made for decades now, with more coming out each year. But which ones are the best?
An earlier appearance by Claire Foy as an English royal, this time around she goes back a bit farther into the past to play Anne Boleyn opposite Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall. Sure, the story of King Henry VIII’s deadly reign and six wives is well-known, but there’s a reason for that, as his story is one of the most intense and memorable throughout royal history. But what makes this series a bit more unique is that it really focuses on the historical figure of Thomas Cromwell, played by Mark Rylance, a manipulative, charming man who uses his close relationship with King Henry VIII to gain more power for himself. With a target on Anne, attempting to get King Henry VIII away from her influence, Cromwell plays a risky game that might not end in his favor (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t).
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Hilary Mantel Hopeful Damian and Mark Rylance Will Return to Their Wolf Hall Roles
Henry and Cromwell
by Rebecca Jones | BBC News | May 20, 2021
Dame Hilary, 68, is a shrewd observer of political drama that spans the ages. “I think what my books have tried to show is that there is no life without politics,” she says.
She has been immersed in Tudor politics for more than 15 years, working on her Wolf Hall trilogy of historical novels about the plots and intrigues at the court of King Henry VIII and the rise and fall of his chief adviser Thomas Cromwell.
Dame Hilary has spent the past year writing the play of The Mirror and the Light herself. She says she wanted to “give it a go”.
But, perhaps surprisingly for a writer of 14 works of fiction and a memoir, she was not sure she could do it on her own.
“Although I’d written plays for radio… I’ve not written a whole stage play by myself. I felt my inexperience,” she admits. “I thought, ‘I need a collaborator.'”
Ben Miles, who starred as Cromwell in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring up the Bodies, suggested himself as “co-pilot” on the project.
The television adaptation of The Mirror and the Light is on its way too. “It is going ahead. It’s being written now, but delayed by Covid like everything else,” she says.
It is therefore unlikely to be on our screens before 2023. “It’s just a question of patience.” The previous BBC TV adaptation of the first two books – which was entitled Wolf Hall but brought together Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies – won two Bafta TV awards, and a Golden Globe.
She says she “would certainly hope” that Sir Mark Rylance, who played Cromwell in the BBC series and Damian Lewis, who appeared as Henry VIII, will be able to return to their roles, although “these are busy people with big schedules and it will all be a question of timing”.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on The Hall School: JDRF Charity Appeal & History Matters Program – Sept 29, 2020
Charity Appeal and Digital Learning
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 29, 2020
Just this past September 11, Damian brought awareness to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF-UK) for The Hall School Triathlon Charity Appeal with this video message. It’s not too late to give, if you can, here. All money goes towards JDRF – UK’s leading Type 1 Diabetes charity.
Earlier in June of this year, Damian participated via Zoom in The Hall School’s “History Matters” series as part of their digital learning program, which focused on the boys’ curriculum. The school was honored to welcome Damian and hear him discuss his love of history.