Damian Lewis

Last updated

Damian Lewis

OBE
Damian Lewis Berlin 2015.jpg
Lewis at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, February 2015
Born
Damian Watcyn Lewis

(1971-02-11) 11 February 1971 (age 48)
NationalityBritish
Alma mater Guildhall School of Music and Drama
OccupationActor, film producer
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)
Helen McCrory (m. 2007)
Children2

Damian Watcyn Lewis OBE (born 11 February 1971) is an English actor and producer. He played U.S. Army Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers , which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and also portrayed U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland (which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award). [1] His performance as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall earned him his third Primetime Emmy nomination and fourth Golden Globe nomination. He currently plays Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series Billions (2016–present).

Richard Winters American military personnel

Richard Davis "Dick" Winters was an officer of the United States Army and a decorated war veteran. He is best known for commanding Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division, during World War II. He was eventually promoted to major and put in command of the 2nd Battalion.

HBO American pay television network

HBO is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia. The programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television shows, along with made-for-cable movies, documentaries and occasional comedy and concert specials.

<i>Band of Brothers</i> (miniseries) American TV mini-series

Band of Brothers is a 2001 American war drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book Band of Brothers. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who had collaborated on the 1998 World War II film Saving Private Ryan. The episodes first started airing on HBO September 9, 2001. The series won Emmy and Golden Globe awards in 2001 for best miniseries.

Contents

Early life

Lewis was born in St John's Wood, London, the elder son of Charlotte Mary (née Bowater) and John Watcyn Lewis, a City insurance broker with Lloyd's. [2] [3] [4] [5] His paternal grandparents were Welsh. [6] His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Sir Ian Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Lord Dawson of Penn (a doctor to the Royal Family) and the philanthropist and baronet Sir Alfred Yarrow, who was of partial Sephardic Jewish descent. [7] [4] [8] He has stated that he "went to English boarding schools and grew up around people very much like Soames and in a milieu very much like the Forsytes '". [9]

St Johns Wood area of Marylebone, west London

St John's Wood is a district in the City of Westminster, London, lying about 2.5 miles northwest of Charing Cross. Much of the neighbourhood is covered by a conservation area, a small part of which extends into neighbouring Camden.

City of London City and county in United Kingdom

The City of London is a city and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the agglomeration has since grown far beyond the City's borders. The City is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. Administratively, it forms one of the 33 local authority districts of Greater London; however, the City of London is not a London borough, a status reserved for the other 32 districts. It is also a separate county of England, being an enclave surrounded by Greater London. It is the smallest county in the United Kingdom.

Lloyds of London Insurance market located in the City of London

Lloyd's of London, generally known simply as Lloyd's, is an insurance and reinsurance market located in London, United Kingdom. Unlike most of its competitors in the industry, it is not an insurance company; rather, Lloyd's is a corporate body governed by the Lloyd's Act 1871 and subsequent Acts of Parliament and operates as a partially-mutualised marketplace within which multiple financial backers, grouped in syndicates, come together to pool and spread risk. These underwriters, or "members", are a collection of both corporations and private individuals, the latter being traditionally known as "Names".

As a child, Lewis made several visits to the U.S. to visit relatives during his summers. [10] [11] He first decided to become an actor at age 16. [5] He was educated at the independent Ashdown House School in Forest Row, East Sussex, and at Eton College. He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993, after which he served as a stage actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Ashdown House, East Sussex co-ed prep school in Forest Row, East Sussex

Ashdown House is a co-educational prep school in Forest Row, East Sussex. There are currently around 100 pupils from the ages seven to thirteen; with a roughly even split of boys and girls.

Forest Row village in East Sussex, United Kingdom

Forest Row is a village and relatively large civil parish in the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. The village is located three miles (5 km) south-east of East Grinstead.

East Sussex County of England

East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent to the north and east and West Sussex to the west, and to the south by the English Channel.

During his time with the RSC, he played Borgheim in Adrian Noble's production of Henrik Ibsen's Little Eyolf and Posthumus in William Shakespeare's Cymbeline . He also starred in another of Ibsen's plays, as Karsten Bernick in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre in November 2005. [12]

Adrian Keith Noble is a theatre director, and was also the artistic director and chief executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1990 to 2003.

Henrik Ibsen Norwegian playwright and theatre director

Henrik Johan Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, When We Dead Awaken, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and by the early 20th century A Doll's House became the world's most performed play.

<i>Little Eyolf</i> play by Henrik Ibsen

Little Eyolf is an 1894 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play was first performed on January 12, 1895 in the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.

Career

Lewis once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he detested. [13] He appeared in Robinson Crusoe (1997) as Patrick Conner. He appeared in Jonathan Kent's production of Hamlet , playing Laertes. This production was seen by Steven Spielberg, who later cast Lewis as Richard Winters in Band of Brothers , the first role of several that required him to have a credible American accent. [10]

<i>Robinson Crusoe</i> (1997 film) 1997 film directed by Rod Hardy and George T. Miller

Robinson Crusoe is a 1997 American adventure survival drama film directed by Rod Hardy and George T. Miller, and starring Pierce Brosnan in the titular role of Robinson Crusoe, based on Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe.

Jonathan Kent CBE is an English theatre director and opera director. He is known as a director/producer alongside Ian McDiarmid at the Almeida Theatre from 1990 to 2002.

<i>Hamlet</i> tragedy by William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet's mother.

Subsequently, Lewis portrayed Soames Forsyte in the ITV series The Forsyte Saga , which earned him rave reviews. [14] He returned to the US to star in Dreamcatcher , a Stephen King film about a man who becomes possessed by an evil alien. The character is American but when possessed he takes on a British accent. [10] On the heels of this role, he starred in Keane as a Manhattanite with a fragile mental state who is searching for his missing daughter. Despite the film's poor box-office performance, the role won Lewis rave reviews. [15] [16] [17]

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London. It was launched in 1955 as Independent Television, under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority (ITA), to provide competition to BBC Television which had been established in 1932. ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

<i>Dreamcatcher</i> (2003 film) 2003 film by Lawrence Kasdan

Dreamcatcher is a 2003 American science fiction horror film based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William Goldman, the film stars Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis and Timothy Olyphant as four friends who encounter an invasion of parasitic aliens. Also starring Morgan Freeman, Tom Sizemore and Donnie Wahlberg.

Stephen King American author

Stephen Edwin King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 58 novels and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

He played Jeffrey Archer in the TV special Jeffrey Archer: The Truth. Since 2004, he has appeared in a number of films, as well as the 2005 BBC TV adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing , as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season. Lewis played the role of Yassen Gregorovich in the film Stormbreaker . In 2006, he appeared in Stephen Poliakoff's BBC drama Friends and Crocodiles . He has appeared on BBC's Have I Got News for You as guest host several times; on 10 November 2006, 1 May 2009, 18 November 2010, 27 April 9 November 2012 and 31 October 2014.

In 2008, Lewis starred as the main character Charlie Crews in the US television series Life on NBC. The show premiered in the U.S. on 26 September 2007 and was affected by the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. Only half of the first season's shows were produced. Regardless, the show won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series. [18] Although the show received critical acclaim, when it returned the following television season, it was shuffled from night to night, and eventually cancelled by NBC to clear its time slot for the less expensive[ clarification needed ] nightly programme, The Jay Leno Show .[ citation needed ]

Lewis appeared, the following year, in the lead role in The Baker , a film directed by his brother, Gareth. Damian took a supporting role of Rizza in The Escapist , which he also helped produce. He led the cast in Martin Crimp's version of Molière's comedy, The Misanthrope , which opened in December 2009 at the Comedy Theatre, London. [19] Other cast members included Tara Fitzgerald, Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan.

Since 2010, Lewis has played Tory Prime Minister Simon Laity in two seasons of Number 10 on BBC Radio 4. [20] [21]

He played Gareth, the father of an 11-year-old Liverpool F.C. fan, in the 2011 film Will . [22]

From 2011 to 2013, Lewis had a starring role as Gunnery Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland . [23] In 2013, he narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an "interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri". [24]

Since 2016, he stars as billionaire Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series Billions . [25]

Lewis was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to drama. [26]

Personal life

On 4 July 2007, Lewis married actress Helen McCrory. They have a daughter, Manon (born 8 September 2006), and a son, Gulliver (born 2 November 2007). [27] Lewis and his family left England in the latter half of 2007 to live in Los Angeles, California, while he worked on the NBC-TV crime drama Life . However, after the completion of that series' final episode in early 2009, he, his wife, and children returned to England to reside in a Victorian townhouse located in Tufnell Park, in north London. [28] He is a cousin of Alderman William Russell, Lord Mayor-elect.

In March 2010, Lewis became a trade justice ambassador for the charity Christian Aid. [29] In May 2006 and June 2018, he played for England in Soccer Aid, and played golf for Europe in the All*Star Cup in August 2006, both shown on ITV.

Damian Lewis is an avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club. [30]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1997 Robinson Crusoe Patrick
1999 Warriors Lieutenant Neil Loughrey
2003 Dreamcatcher Gary "Jonesy" Jones
2004 Keane William Keane
Brides Norman HarrisOriginal Greek Title: Νύφες
2005 Chromophobia Marcus Aylesbury
An Unfinished Life Gary Winston
2006 The Situation Dan Murphy
Stormbreaker Yasha "Yassen" Gregorovich Released in the US as Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker
2008 The Baker Milo "The Baker" ShakespeareAlso producer; also known as Assassin In Love
The Escapist Rizza
2011 Your Highness Boremont
Will Gareth
2012 The Sweeney Detective Chief Inspector Frank Haskins
2013 Romeo & Juliet Lord Capulet
2014The Silent StormBalor McNeil
2015 Queen of the Desert Lt. Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie, VC
Bill Sir Richard Hawkins
2016 Our Kind of Traitor Hector
2019 Run This Town [31] Rob Ford
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Steve McQueen
TBA Dream Horse Howard DaviesFilming

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1993Micky LoveCliveTelevision movie
1995 Agatha Christie's Poirot Leonard BatesonEpisode: "Hickory Dickory Dock"
1996 A Touch of Frost Adam WestonEpisode: "Deep Waters"
1999 Warriors Lt. Neil LoughreyTelevision movie
2000 Life Force Kurt Glemser2 episodes
2000 Hearts and Bones Mark Rose8 episodes
2001 Band of Brothers Maj. Richard D. Winters Miniseries
2002–2003 The Forsyte Saga Soames Forsyte10 episodes
2002 Jeffrey Archer: The Truth Jeffrey Archer Television movie
2003 The Forsyte Saga: To Let Soames ForsyteTelevision movie
2005 Colditz Cpl / Lt. Nicholas McGrade2 episodes
2005 Friends and Crocodiles PaulTelevision movie
2005 Much Ado About Nothing BenedickTelevision movie
2006–2014 Have I Got News for You Himself6 episodes
2007–2009 Life Charlie Crews32 episodes
2011StolenD.I. Anthony CarterTelevision movie
2011–2014 Homeland Nicholas Brody 31 episodes
2015 Wolf Hall Henry VIII of England Miniseries
2016–present Billions Bobby Axelrod36 episodes

Stage

YearTitleRoleTheatre
1995 Hamlet Laertes Belasco Theatre
2015 American Buffalo Teach Wyndham's Theatre
2017 The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Martin Gray Theatre Royal Haymarket

Awards and nominations

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References

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  2. "Damian Lewis's Transformations".
  3. Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990, ed. Charles Kidd, pg 759
  4. 1 2 Profile at thePeerage.com; accessed 14 January 2009.
  5. 1 2 Interview with The Sunday Express, 25 May 2003; accessed 22 December 2008.
  6. Mottram, James. Damian Lewis interview with Marie Claire, 25 February 2008. accessed 14 January 2009.
  7. HighBeam
  8. Fascinating Fact 4144. Contact Music, 21 October 2007; accessed 14 January 2009.
  9. "An Interview with Damian Lewis". Public Broadcasting Service. 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  10. 1 2 3 Iannotti, Lauren. "Esquire Style". Esquire , April 2003, 139 (4):120.
  11. "Fighting Talk". New Woman, November 1999. republished at Damian-Lewis.com. accessed 22 December 2008.
  12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. Prato, Alison. "Out on the Town with This Season’s Breakout Stars", Maxim (October 2008); accessed 15 December 2008.
  14. Kelleher, Terry (14 October 2002), "The Forsyte Saga". People. 58 (16):36
  15. Rozen, Leah (19 September 2005), "Keane". People. 64 (12):40
  16. Kauffmann, Stanley (19 September 2005), "Heights and Depths". New Republic. 233 (12):28–29
  17. Travers, Peter (6 October 2005) "Keane". Rolling Stone . (984):164
  18. "AFI Awards 2008". American Film Institute. 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  19. "The Misanthrope's London production". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012.
  20. Staff. "BBC Media Centre Programme Information – Afternoon Drama: Number 10". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  21. "Number 10". Radiolistings.co.uk. 6 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  22. "Why we chose LFC and Istanbul". 2 November 2011. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  23. Andreeva, Nellie (21 December 2010). "Damian Lewis Cast As The Male Lead In Showtime's Pilot 'Homeland'". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  24. "The Love Book App, poetry read by great actors".
  25. "Damian Lewis Suits Up for New Showtime Drama Billions". People. 11 August 2015.
  26. "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b13.
  27. "''The Mirror'' article". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  28. Collins, Lauren (2016). "Blue Blood, Blue Collar: Damian Lewis's transformations," The New Yorker, 18 January 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  29. https://www.christiantoday.com/article/actor.signs.up.to.christian.aid.trade.campaign./5274.htm
  30. McCoid, Sophie (25 May 2018). "Damian Lewis posts cringeworthy video as he travels to Champions League Final". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  31. "Damian Lewis to Play Controversial Ex-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in Drama".