In the beginning there was chaos. Well, maybe not quite so dramatic, but there was something else before this definitely. Also, this is not a proper opening paragraph, so maybe I need to re-evaluate.
First of all, let me say, that Billions Season 2 Finale left me emotionally challenged. It is only the smartest show on television at the moment (sorry, Hinterland) but it also gives the viewers tears, laughter and all the other emotions in a neat bouquet. So, in order to get over the pain that the season finale brought me as well as fill the void (bye, bye Billions Sundays, till the next one!) I decided to cook up another Damian Lewis appreciation post.
Where is Damian Lewis?
Well, these days you can still see him at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London where he stars in Edward Albee’s ”The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” – a play that will possibly change the way you see theatre.
You can still find all about it here: The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
And if you want to read reviews both from press and from some of the coolest people I have met, go straight to Fan Fun With Damian Lewis blog right here.
But Damian knows stage work very well. He knows how to bring something special for each and every role he plays, and they are all a testament to the talent. Or maybe it’s the red hair.
Damian Lewis as Hamlet at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 1994 source: LOVEtheatre.com
I take it back, it’s definitely the hair. He is a proud redhead. Now I wish I was around when this performance was in theatres. Hamlet, the one and only.
Lewis’s Hamlet intensely alive, the rest of the show relatively inert. – Paul Taylor, the Independent
This man knows how to deliver Shakespeare. The Bard would be quite pleased I think.
Someone we like. And their puppy.
I think I have mentioned almost countless times that my first introduction to this great of greats was through the silver screen. Consciously – I blame Major Dick Winters for it. First of all, the man himself was a legend who had this cool exterior, and had a wicked brain. He wasn’t one for loud displays or many words, but his teachings are still used in West Point today.
Professors at West Point have used this action, attack on a battery of four German guns at Brécourt Manor, as a lesson on the proper method of carrying out a small-unit attack. – Christopher J. Anderson, American History Magazine
BoB Premiere, Utah Beach, source: pinterest
And Damian has one of the best audition stories for his Band of Brothers role. It is one of those roles people remember or get to know this ‘pesky Brit’ from, however, rarely it gets touched upon in interviews now that Damian has reached international and national stardom.
When Band of Brothers celebrated its 10th Anniversary, Ross Owen and Black Sky Radio did a fantastic interview series with as many BoB actors as they could, including our very own Mr. Lewis.
Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston portraying Maj. Dick Winters and Capt. Lewis Nixon in Band of Brothers, HBO
Well, he is also British National Treasure. Him and Stephen Fry. I have personally encountered people who are very surprised that the man whom they know as Brody or Bobby Axelrod, is actually British. It shouldn’t really surprise anyone anymore, right?
There are things that cannot be bought
Growing up with detective stories meant I was a huge fan (still am, by the way) of all things Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. And here is another Damian Lewis in his natural habitat… on Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode with the amazing David Suchet.
”Hickory Dickory Dock” sees Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) solving an outbreak of kleptomania in a student residence, which turns into a murder investigation. Damian plays Leonard Bateson, a student residing at Hickory Road, studying medicine and surgery.
Hickory Dickory Dock, 1995; source: Daily Mail
‘I feel so privileged to have been involved at the chrysalis stage of their careers,’ Suchet said. ‘It’s absolutely fantastic.’ – Jason Chester, Daily Mail
In 2013 Dawn French and her Parish of Merry Men re-united for Comic Relief. Founded in 1985 by Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry with its highlight – Red Nose Day, it alternates with Sport relief and has become an important even in British pop culture.
Guest starring was none other than our very own Damian Lewis. The sketch was written by Richard Curtis who is the creator of Vicar of Dibley, and it was a great way to reunite the cast. Damian, playing a man of the cloth has fantastic lines in the sketch.
Damian Lewis and Dawn French. source: Radio Times
Seeing an actor whom you know from a dramatic role take on comedy is refreshing. Besides, comedy is much harder to pull off.
One of the reasons a whole conversation on Twitter started was because on my day off, I was re-watching an old favourite – Robinson Crusoe, a 1997 adaptation of the novel, directed by Rod Hardy and George T. Miller, and starring Pierce Brosnan as well as our very own Damian Lewis.
When I was a kid and watched the film in Russian (because it was on the Russian telly at the time) I didn’t even know Pierce Brosnan, let alone Damian Lewis. And now, re-visiting the film, I fell in love all over again. With Damian, of course.
Patrick in Robinson Crusoe, 1997, Touchstone Pictures
So, the conversation grew and we talked about other Damian’s TV/Film appearances as well as our appreciation of his stage work. If you haven’t seen Robinson Crusoe – go, find it and watch it! One of the first TV appearances for our favourite man.
One more, a little more quirky guest role Damian had was in Phineas and Ferb. For those who don’t know, Phineas and Ferb (voiced by Vincent Martella and Thomas Sangster) is an American animated musical comedy television series about two brothers and their pet platypus Perry (who is a secret agent).
Damian voiced Agent Double 0-0, a parody of James Bond, in an episode called “Elementary My Dear Stacy” ( at least, that is when I first noticed him in the show, so I don’t really know if he has done more episodes than this one, as I don’t watch it regulary).
“I am Agent Double 0-0 from Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” – Agent Double 0-0, Phineas and Ferb, Walt Disney Television Animation
Agent Double 0-0, Phineas and Ferb, Walt Disney Television Animation
This is one of those animated shows that is enjoyed by adults and children alike. So, look it up and maybe you can find Damian’s episode. It was kind of weird hearing his voice, but it was a fun episode definitely worth watching.
Some stories have to be written.
He is handsome, talented, plays football and had a cool family. Besides, he is a true Artist.
It is impossible that someone is just so…. perfect, you would say and I would agree. Nobody is perfect, and the reason of me singing these praises (except for the fact that I am, clearly, quite biased) is not to state that Mr. Lewis is Mr. Perfect. Everyone has good and bad days. The magic happens when nobody notices that you are having a bad day. (Like that time when Damian was on stage performing with an ear infection)
I think people sometimes tend to forget that beloved or maybe disliked actors are only human. They are not the roles they play.
I bring this up, because I recently encountered an actor receiving hate on Twitter because of a role he plays. David Haydn-Jones, a wonderful British/Canadian actor plays Arthur Ketch on CW’s Supernatural, and his character is a horrible man. He’s also an assassin with no conscience, really. However, David is an amazing human being and a very talented actor.
I think it’s important that we stop and think for a little bit about that. They are all only human, and they to give their all each and every performance. Could you do it?
However, actors also hold a great deal of influence in their hands, or, perhaps it is their performance that has the influence. It is not only when on stage, but also afterwards.
I was raised in a tradition of bringing actors flowers to a performance I thought I would truly enjoy. Then my mother encouraged me to buy flowers (nothing massive, maybe a rose or two – simple, but elegant) to every performance, because she thinks there is something you like in each and every one.
In UK there is no such tradition, or, at least I haven’t really noticed it happening. Perhaps we should start it. The actors appreciate the standing ovations, but we need something more. Perhaps this could be one of those ‘something more’ things.
If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence. – Shannon L. Alder
This is a fantastic quote that rings true. I’m now reading the reviews of The Goat one more time, and this quote correlates with the pay (and many other plays for that matter).
Thank you, Mr. Lewis for always doing your best and creating unforgettable moments for your audience. And thank you for always being so down-to-earth and approachable for us fans!
Go see The Goat in London while you still can, and we’re all awaiting the next chapter in the story that is Billions!
Thank you to my inspirations, the lovely people from Fan Fun with Damian Lewis – a fantastic Damian Lewis fan blog which is such an inspiration!
Thank you, Damianista, JaniaJania, Krista and every other fantastic contributor to the blog! I have love to love you as dear friends.
We started a conversation and it grew into this little appreciation post, so I hope you gained at least a little bit of enjoyment out of it.