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Industry Mag Staten Island Cover Story – July 19, 2020

Accents and How He Handled Overnight Fame

by Joel Keller | Industry Mag Staten Island | July 19, 2020

He may be an officer of the British Empire, but the London native is best known for playing Americans, including Bobby Axelrod in Billions.

Damian Lewis has been playing American characters on and off (mostly on) for 20 years, since he was cast as Maj. Dick Winters in the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He’s played so many American characters that people are genuinely shocked to hear his natural west London-accented voice. He’s so used to it that sometimes he forgets to go back to his natural voice.

“I go get my groceries in an American accent,” he told ABC News in 2016. “And I get halfway through paying and I’m like, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m British, and I have no idea why I’m talking in an American accent to you, but I’ve been doing it all week.”

His American roles have been so prominent in his career that BBC America’s website actually has a listicle with the title “7 Roles Featuring Damian Lewis’ Real Accent.”

Suffice to say, playing American characters has been very good to Lewis. He won an Emmy in 2012 for his powerful turn playing war hero-turned-terrorist Nicholas Brody in the first season of Homeland, and since 2016, he’s played scheming billionaire Bobby Axelrod in another Showtime series, Billions. “Hello, I’m Damian Lewis, one of those pesky Brits,” he said somewhat apologetically when he went up to accept his Emmy.

Continue reading Industry Mag Staten Island Cover Story – July 19, 2020

Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Series Finale Acknowledges Brody – April 26, 2020

Arm in Arm in Espionage: Series Finale Recap

by Bill Keveney | USA Today | April 26, 2020

When “Homeland” grabbed the public’s attention and six Emmys, including best drama series, for its spellbinding first season in 2011, the relationship between CIA super spy Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and military hero and suspected terrorist  Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) took center stage.

Over eight seasons, many ups and some downs and the death of Brody in Season 3,  the central dynamic shifted to Carrie, a brilliant operative struggling with mental illness, and her savvy CIA mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin).

That bond frayed at times, as Carrie broke every rule in the book twice, but never has it been as endangered as it was going into the series’ final episode, which aired Sunday, after Russian agent Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin) gave Carrie only one way to secure the black box flight recorder, evidence that can prevent a possible nuclear war: “Kill Saul.”

Here’s how the finale played out:

Continue reading Homeland Series Finale Acknowledges Brody – April 26, 2020

Categories Homeland Print Media

Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020

Battles, Backlash, CIA Meetings

by Michael O’Connell | Hollywood Reporter | January 16, 2019

Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis and the creators of the era-defining Showtime drama — now entering its eighth and final season — reveal in The Hollywood Reporter’s oral history never-told tales of a show that smashed records, captivated presidents and predicted everything from terrorist attacks to Russian election hacks.

“What keeps you up at night?” That’s the question Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa annually posed to Washington insiders before putting fingers to keyboard on a season of his Emmy-winning Showtime drama.

What began as a slick spy thriller driven by a potent sexual chemistry, courtesy of leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, evolved into an exposé on the greatest dangers to an America that finally had some distance from 9/11. Threats from ISIS, the surveillance state and Russian interference punctuated clandestine meetings with the intelligence community — part of a yearly writers and cast symposium in D.C. affectionately dubbed “Spy Camp.”

The series, loosely developed from an Israeli format by Gansa and longtime collaborator Howard Gordon (24), became an instant and bona fide success when it premiered in 2011 to 2.8 million viewers and unanimous critical acclaim. Boasting a murderers’ row of writers, each a showrunner at one time, the drama catapulted Showtime and studio Fox 21 to an echelon of prestige TV they previously couldn’t reach. It swept its first Emmys (with six awards total) and those first seasons had both the Obamas and Clintons soliciting screeners.

Continue reading Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020

Categories Billions Homeland

Our 20 Most Eagerly Awaited TV Shows of 2020 – Jan 1, 2020

Both Billions and Homeland Make the List

by Staff | Los Angeles Times | January 1, 2020

Television … now more than ever: To paraphrase the satirical film studio slogan of Robert Altman’s “The Player,” TV’s dominant mode these days is the avalanche, the deluge, the endless binge. But even amid the clutter of 500-some scripted and countless unscripted series, there’s plenty to be excited about, including originals from nascent (or still-to-be-launched) platforms like Apple TV+, HBO Max and Quibi. Let the Times TV team help you plan your viewing schedule with this list of our 20 most anticipated new and returning shows of 2020.

Billions

The searing drama about the high-stakes battle between federal government watchdog Charles Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and cocky billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) incorporated a clever twist in its fourth season when Axe became consumed with destroying his former protégé, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillion), who left him to form their own hedge fund firm. In a complicated scheme, Axe blackmailed Taylor and wiped them out, forcing them to return to Axe’s firm. Though Taylor is chastened, they vow to work from within to take down Axe and Rhoades, setting up another lethal war. Upping the ante are Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) and Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), who join the cast. (Showtime, TBA) —Greg Braxton

Continue reading Our 20 Most Eagerly Awaited TV Shows of 2020 – Jan 1, 2020

Categories Homeland

Homeland Over the Decade – Dec 31, 2019

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