Damian Lewis

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Damian Lewis
OBE
Born (1971-02-11) 11 February 1971 (age 43)
St. John's Wood, London, England
Occupation Actor, film producer
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Helen McCrory (m. 2007)
Children 2

Damian Watcyn Lewis, OBE (born 11 February 1971), is an English actor and producer. He is best known for portraying Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland, which earned him an Emmy and a Golden Globe,[1] Soames Forsyte in the ITV remake of The Forsyte Saga, Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life, and Army Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Early life[edit]

Lewis was born in St John's Wood, London, the son of Charlotte Mary (née Bowater) and J. Watcyn Lewis, a city broker.[2][3] His paternal grandparents were Welsh.[4] 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 British Royal Family) and philanthropist Alfred Yarrow.[2][5] 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'".[6]

As a child, Lewis made several visits to the United States to visit relatives during his summers.[7][8] He first decided to become an actor at age 16.[3] 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. 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.[9]

Career[edit]

Lewis once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he detested.[10] 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, his first role of several that required a credible American accent.[7]

Subsequently, Lewis has played Soames Forsyte in the ITV series The Forsyte Saga which earned him rave reviews and further exposed him to a US audience.[11] 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.[7] 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.[12][13][14]

He played Jeffrey Archer in the satirical 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 and 9 November 2012.

In 2008, Lewis starred as the main character Charlie Crews in the US television series Life on NBC. The show premiered in the US on 26 September 2007 and was affected by the 2007–2008 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.[15] 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.[16] Other cast members included Tara Fitzgerald, Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan.

Since 2010 Lewis has played British Tory Prime Minister Simon Laity in two seasons of Number 10 on BBC Radio 4.[17][18]

He played Gareth, the father of an 11-year-old Liverpool FC fan, in the 2011 film Will.[19]

From 2011 to 2013, Lewis had a starring role as Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland.[20] In 2013, he narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an "an interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri".[21]

Lewis was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[22]

Personal life[edit]

On 4 July 2007, Lewis married actress Helen McCrory; the couple have two children.[23] Lewis is the brother of film director Gareth Lewis. He is an avid Liverpool FC fan, attending as many games as his schedule allows.

In March 2010, Lewis became a trade justice ambassador for the English charity Christian Aid. In May 2006, he played for England in Soccer Aid, and golfed for Europe in the All*Star Cup in August 2006, both shown on ITV. He is involved with a number of charities, and is a patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.[24] He again participated in Soccer Aid in 2010, which supported the charity UNICEF. He scored in the penalty shootout.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Robinson Crusoe Patrick
2003 Dreamcatcher Gary "Jonesy" Jones
2004 Keane William Keane Nominated – Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance
2004 Brides Norman Harris
2005 Chromophobia Marcus Aylesbury
2005 An Unfinished Life Gary Winston
2006 The Situation Dan Murphy
2006 Stormbreaker Yassen Gregorovich
2008 The Baker Milo Producer
2008 The Escapist Rizza
2011 Your Highness Boremont
2011 Will Gareth
2012 The Sweeney Frank Haskins
2013 Romeo and Juliet Lord Capulet
2015 Queen of the Desert

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Micky Love Clive
1995 Agatha Christie's Poirot Leonard Bateson Episode: "Hickory Dickory Dock"
1996 A Touch of Frost Adam Weston Episode: "Deep Waters"
1999 Warriors Lt. Neil Loughrey
2000 Life Force Kurt Glemser
2000 Hearts and Bones Mark Rose
2001 Band of Brothers Maj. Richard D. Winters Biarritz International Festival Award for Best Actor - Series and Serials
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
2002 The Forsyte Saga Soames Forsyte
2002 Jeffrey Archer: The Truth Jeffrey Archer
2003 The Forsyte Saga: To Let Soames Forsyte
2005 Colditz Cpl / Lt. Nicholas McGrade
2005 Friends and Crocodiles Paul
2005 Much Ado About Nothing Benedick
2006–present Have I Got News for You Himself Host
5 episodes
2007–2009 Life Charlie Crews
2011 Stolen D.I. Anthony Carter
2011–2013 Homeland Nicholas Brody Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Dorian Award for TV Performance of the Year - Actor (2013)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2012)
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2012)
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series (2012, 2013)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2011)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012, 2013)
Nominated – TV Guide Award for Favorite Actor (2012, 2013)
2015 Wolf Hall Henry VIII of England

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Winners at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards". USA Today. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Profile at thePeerage.com; accessed 14 January 2009.
  3. ^ a b Interview with The Sunday Express, 25 May 2003; accessed 22 December 2008.
  4. ^ Mottram, James. Damian Lewis interview with Marie Claire, 25 February 2008. accessed 14 January 2009.
  5. ^ Fascinating Fact 4144. Contact Music, 21 October 2007; accessed 14 January 2009.
  6. ^ "An Interview with Damian Lewis". Public Broadcasting Service. 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Iannotti, Lauren. "Esquire Style". Esquire, April 2003, 139 (4):120.
  8. ^ "Fighting Talk". New Woman, November 1999. republished at Damian-Lewis.com. accessed 22 December 2008.
  9. ^ http://d1wf8hd6ovssje.cloudfront.net/documents/Pillars.pdf
  10. ^ Prato, Alison. "Out on the Town with This Season’s Breakout Stars", Maxim (October 2008); accessed 15 December 2008.
  11. ^ Kelleher, Terry (2002-10-14), "The Forsyte Saga". People. 58 (16):36
  12. ^ Rozen, Leah (2005-09-19), "Keane". People. 64 (12):40
  13. ^ Kauffmann, Stanley (2005-09-19), "Heights and Depths". New Republic. 233 (12):28–29
  14. ^ Travers, Peter (2005-10-06) "Keane". Rolling Stone. (984):164
  15. ^ "AFI Awards 2008". American Film Institute. 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  16. ^ The Misanthrope's London production
  17. ^ Staff. "BBC Media Centre Programme Information - Afternoon Drama: Number 10". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  18. ^ "Number 10". Radiolistings.co.uk. 6 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Why we chose LFC and Istanbul". 2 November 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (21 December 2010). "Damian Lewis Cast As The Male Lead In Showtime's Pilot 'Homeland'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  21. ^ The Love Book App profile
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b13. 14 June 2014.
  23. ^ "Actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory welcome a son". People. 
  24. ^ "Scene & Heard". sceneandheard.org. 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 

External links[edit]