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 Damian Lewis Interview, Sunday Telegraph – Sept 30, 2001
Bananas and Marmalade
by Emily Bearn | Sunday Telegraph | September 30, 2001
Damian Lewis is an Old Etonian who plays an American war hero in Spielberg’s latest epic, and dreams of being the next James Bond. Emily Bearn meets the young contender.
Damian Lewis (if the actor’s publicists in London, New York and Los Angeles are to be believed) is destined to be pretty big — he is already big enough to turn up for our interview two hours late. We have arranged to meet at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, which has been Lewis’s home for the past six months while he has been filming a new adaptation of Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga for ITV. Journalists and photographers are milling around the hotel’s palm-fronded foyer, being sporadically debriefed as to Lewis’s whereabouts by Michael, a member of his publicity team, who is directing operations from a mobile telephone. We are plied with complimentary croissants and told that the delay is attributable to Lewis’s intense filming commitments, coupled with a recent unscheduled appearance at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he had his appendix whipped out.
When he eventually arrives, Lewis looks calm, robust and fairly confident of the fact that he is one of the swifter-ascending stars of the small screen. He is dressed in jeans and a slightly grubby grey shirt; his orange hair is damp or fashionably slicked, and his freckles suggest he has been in the sun. He is 30, but has the sort of pleasant, negotiable looks that mean he could pass himself off as a decade older or younger. After Lewis has dispatched Michael into the Manchester drizzle to buy him bananas, we retire to a suite in which the bed has been replaced by a table bearing yet more croissants. Lewis eats two, with the rapacity of a man who has missed breakfast, pausing between bites to explain the etymology of marmalade.
We are here to discuss Band of Brothers, an American Second World War drama in which Lewis plays Major Dick Winters, the hero who led an élite US Army corps as it parachuted into France on D-Day. The ten-part series (which swallowed a budget of about £86 million and will be screened by the BBC this week) was produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and has been attacked for — as one British tabloid put it — casting an “unashamedly American slant on the Second World War.”