Lewis at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, February 2015
|Born||Damian Watcyn Lewis
11 February 1971
St John's Wood, London, England, UK
|Alma mater||Guildhall School of Music and Drama|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer|
|Spouse(s)||Helen McCrory (m. 2007)|
Damian Watcyn Lewis, OBE (born 11 February 1971) is an English actor and producer. He is known for portraying U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland (which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award), hedge fund manager Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in another Showtime series Billions, Soames Forsyte in the ITV remake of The Forsyte Saga, Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life, and U.S. Army Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He appeared as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, which earned him his third Primetime Emmy nomination and fourth Golden Globe nomination.
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. His paternal grandparents were Welsh. 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 Alfred Yarrow. 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'".
As a child, Lewis made several visits to the U.S. to visit relatives during his summers. He first decided to become an actor at age 16. 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.
Lewis once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he detested. 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.
Subsequently, Lewis portrayed Soames Forsyte in the ITV series The Forsyte Saga which earned him rave reviews. 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. 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.
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 2007–2008 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. 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.
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. Other cast members included Tara Fitzgerald, Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan.
From 2011 to 2013, Lewis had a starring role as Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland. In 2013, he narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an "interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri". In 2016 he began starring in the Showtime series Billions.
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). They live in Tufnell Park (London) and Los Angeles.
In March 2010, Lewis became a trade justice ambassador for the charity Christian Aid. In May 2006, he played for England in Soccer Aid, and played golf for Europe in the All*Star Cup in August 2006, both shown on ITV.
|2003||Dreamcatcher||Gary "Jonesy" Jones|
|2004||Keane||William Keane||Nominated – Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance|
|2004||Brides||Norman Harris||Original Greek Title: Νύφες|
|2005||An Unfinished Life||Gary Winston|
|2006||The Situation||Dan Murphy|
|2006||Stormbreaker||Yasha "Yassen" Gregorovich||Released in the US as Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker|
|2008||The Baker||Milo "The Baker" Shakespeare||Also producer; also known as Assassin In Love|
|2012||The Sweeney||Detective Chief Inspector Frank Haskins|
|2013||Romeo & Juliet||Lord Capulet|
|2014||The Silent Storm||Balor McNeil|
|2015||Queen of the Desert||Lt. Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie, VC|
|2015||Bill||Sir Richard Hawkins|
|2016||Our Kind of Traitor||Hector|
|2018||Ocean's Eight||In post-production|
Awards and nominations
- "Winners at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards". USA Today. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990, ed. Charles Kidd, pg 759
- Profile at thePeerage.com; accessed 14 January 2009.
- Interview with The Sunday Express, 25 May 2003; accessed 22 December 2008.
- Mottram, James. Damian Lewis interview with Marie Claire, 25 February 2008. accessed 14 January 2009.
- Fascinating Fact 4144. Contact Music, 21 October 2007; accessed 14 January 2009.
- "An Interview with Damian Lewis". Public Broadcasting Service. 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
- Iannotti, Lauren. "Esquire Style". Esquire, April 2003, 139 (4):120.
- "Fighting Talk". New Woman, November 1999. republished at Damian-Lewis.com. accessed 22 December 2008.
- Prato, Alison. "Out on the Town with This Season’s Breakout Stars", Maxim (October 2008); accessed 15 December 2008.
- Kelleher, Terry (2002-10-14), "The Forsyte Saga". People. 58 (16):36
- Rozen, Leah (2005-09-19), "Keane". People. 64 (12):40
- Kauffmann, Stanley (2005-09-19), "Heights and Depths". New Republic. 233 (12):28–29
- Travers, Peter (2005-10-06) "Keane". Rolling Stone. (984):164
- "AFI Awards 2008". American Film Institute. 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
- The Misanthrope's London production
- Staff. "BBC Media Centre Programme Information – Afternoon Drama: Number 10". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "Number 10". Radiolistings.co.uk. 6 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Why we chose LFC and Istanbul". 2 November 2011. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- Andreeva, Nellie (21 December 2010). "Damian Lewis Cast As The Male Lead In Showtime's Pilot 'Homeland'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- The Love Book App profile
- The London Gazette: . 14 June 2014.
- "''The Mirror'' article". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2011.