Written By DamianistaComments Off on Red Hot: The Irresistible Rise of Damian Lewis – Sept 8, 2006
Damian Lewis: The Chameleon Performer
by Liz Hoggard | The Independent | September 8, 2006
Damian Lewis is an intense chap, capable of conveying a huge range of emotions with the smallest gesture. He’s hotly tipped for an Oscar for his new film. And he’s a real gent. Just don’t call him posh, whatever you do.
“Ask him about that intense thing he does with his eyes,” a female journalist suggested when she heard I was interviewing the actor Damian Lewis. What’s striking about Lewis is how much he manages to convey by doing so very little. There is stillness about him on screen, a faraway look that can evoke anger or desire or – if you saw his rollicking performance as Benedict in BBC1’s modern-day version of Much Ado about Nothing – sheer hilarity.
The press love to brand Lewis as an arrogant posh boy. Like David Cameron, he went to Eton. But, among his generation of actors, no one does grief and repressed emotion so well. In Spielberg’s Second World War epic, Band of Brothers, he played an American soldier facing up to fear with a quiet certainty (it won him a Golden Globe nomination). He was the bewildered newlywed who doesn’t understand why his marriage is falling apart in Hearts and Bones. And in the remake of The Forsyte Saga, he did the unthinkable – making the brutal Soames sympathetic.
For several years now, 35-year-old Lewis has been a successful actor on the verge of becoming a major star. Unlike Ewan McGregor or Joseph Fiennes, his contemporaries at London’s Guildhall drama school, you might still walk past him in the street. But all that should change with the release of his new film Keane: his performance is already sparking Oscar rumours in the States.
Written By DamianistaComments Off on Interview: The Charmer, The Times / Sunday Times, November 17, 2002
by Lesley White, The Times / Sunday Times, November 17, 2002
Smooth, confident and raring to reinvent himself, Damian Lewis is just the chap to play Jeffrey Archer, says Lesley White
When we meet on the Pinewood set of the slapstick satire, written by Guy Jenkin, creator of Drop the Dead Donkey, Lewis’s flaming red hair is dyed brown, the make-up department has achieved a not totally streak-free job with the fake tan, and, with his funky shorts, he is transformed not into Jeffrey, but a cross between an Ibiza raver and a boy scout. As Greta Scacchi is playing Margaret Thatcher, we can assume no attempt at impersonation is being made.
In some ways, Lewis, 31, and the celebrated fantasist have more in common than it might first appear. While the latter has spent his adult life embellishing his biography for public consumption, the actor went through a period of reverse self-invention. Rather than admit having attended Eton, for example, he told early interviewers that he went to boarding school, then changed the subject before they could ask which one. “I tried to sever all ties to my posh upbringing. It made me feel as if I couldn’t be a genuine moody actor. I’m desensitised to that now.” Continue reading Interview: The Charmer, The Times / Sunday Times, November 17, 2002