Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in The Baker

“Everybody deserves a second chance.” — Milo Shakespeare

Damian recently tweeted about a movie idea his brother Gareth has that we can all help to make it happen!

What this means, in a nutshell, is that a Lewis brothers collaboration may be on the horizon if Gareth Lewis is able to get The Money Run funded through an indiegogo campaign and have a script written. If The Money Run becomes a movie, Gareth will direct it and Damian will star in it.

Well, do you need another reason to back Gareth’s indiegogo campaign?

And if The Money Run, happens, it will not be the first collaboration between the two brothers. And these recent news give us a great opportunity to re-visit their first collaboration: The Baker aka The Assassin in Love in the US.

Well, what happens when you have Nicholas Brody, Jaime Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) and Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) together in a movie?

The Baker happens!

The Baker (aka Assassin in Love in the US) is an independent British movie, in fact, a black comedy shot in Wales and a family project, too: co-produced by the Lewis brothers, written and directed by younger brother Gareth and starring the older brother Damian.

Gareth Lewis wrote a real fun piece for The Guardian just before the movie was released in 2008 on how Lewis & Lewis worked it out on the set. And this is how Gareth, in his own words, cast Damian in his movie:

Gareth: You want to be in my film?

Damian: Sure.

Gareth adds about the moment:

“It just seemed like a good idea: Damian was perfect for the role, he liked the script, liked me, I liked him, I bought him another beer and thrust the contract under his nose. It was a beautiful moment.”

How did the collaboration work out? Let’s first hear from Gareth:

“I’m from the school of gritted teeth, with the occasional explosive release under (semi-)controlled circumstances. As it turned out, my teeth were no more worn down at the end of the shoot than at the start. It seemed to me that the same was the case for Damian. He was loving it. Wasn’t he? Well, he’s a great actor, and when he tells me he had a great time, who am I to doubt? So he had to go for long walks, clenching and unclenching his fists and chanting a mantra he’d been given by his yogi, to help him calm down. But otherwise it was like being kids playing make-believe again – only with more expensive toys.”

It seems the younger brother has as good a sense of humor as his older brother 🙂

Damian and Gareth Lewis at a movie premiere in 2004, source: Getty Images

Gareth Lewis shares a bit more about their experience on The Baker set with The Sunday Times:

“…getting on set with Damian was like playing again. I’d come over to give him a note after a take, and he’d practically know what I was going to say. He knows when I’m not happy and I can tell by looking at him when he’s about to lose it. But it was a tantrum-free set. We shared quarters in a converted monastery in the Wye valley, and every night one of us would be cooking up pasta and sticking the rushes on.”

Sounds like fun!

But what does the older brother think about working with his younger brother? Damian tells The Independent:

“Maybe at the end of each working day, the Coen brothers throw knives at pictures of each other when they get home, but Gareth and I had such fun. It was like being kids again, only more sophisticated… Perhaps I should say, ‘only marginally more sophisticated’! We certainly have more expensive toys now.”

Comedy is a genre we don’t often see Damian in. He usually plays complicated characters in dark drama settings, so The Baker is a good example that he can actually do comedy and do it very well! Besides, we know he loves comedy. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, when asked about TV shows that would interest him after the Season 3 Finale of Homeland, he says:

“I love Mad Men and Game of Thrones, but I’d really like to guest on Modern Family or Veep — something like 30 Rock.”

I strongly recommend The Baker to those of you that enjoy quirky small town characters doing absurd stuff and I guarantee quite a few good laughs, too! Besides, who would not like to see the life in a remote Welsh town called Gwynfyd? 🙂 I believe Damian agrees. This is what he shares with The Independent just before the movie gets released in the UK:

“I like the fact that it gets away from conventions. There are several moments that are really quite weird. It’s great, for example, that the local village idiot likes blowing up sheep. People can be scared of these sort of off-the-wall ideas. I think strangeness is great, but the problem is people don’t always know how to market strangeness.”

Our protagonist, Milo, is an assassin, a sensitive one, who wants to quit his professional life. He violates the code, and does not kill a man that he was supposed to kill, and the “management” decides to sends another assassin, Bjorn (Coster-Waldau), to terminate him.

Milo talks to an old, assassin friend in retirement, Leo (Gambon) who tells him he could go and stay safe at his property in the country. The only detail Milo doesn’t know is that the place he would stay in the country is a bakery!

So, Milo moves to Gwynfyd! Because he stays in the bakery, the villagers believe that he is the new baker. They have been waiting for him. The guy that owns the local bar says he understood he was the baker the first time he saw him. “There is a fresh aura of bread about you” he says.

Not to blow his cover, Milo adopts the name “Milo Shakespeare” and gets to work. To get rid of his past, he buries all his work equipment, but a young local boy, Eggs, sees him. He unburies the weapons, and with a little bit of research, he understands that the guy that they all think of as a baker is actually a professional assassin. Eggs believes “The Baker” is here for a mission!


Milo becomes The Baker, hires Eggs as his assistant and also meets Rhiannon, a beautiful young woman that works at the pub. The village seems to be a quiet and peaceful place, but in fact, every local wants somebody else dead. The local chips shop owner Rhys makes the first move. He cannot stand his wife — well, he has his reasons… and I really cannot blame him 🙂 He goes to the bakery and orders his wife’s murder… as follows!

Rhys: “You know, bake her a cake?”

Milo: “Bake her a cake? You want me to bake your wife a cake? What kind of cake?”

Rhys: “Chocolate?”

Milo: “Of course, I can bake her a cake.”

Rhys: “Really?”

Milo: “Cakes are what I do.”

Rhys: “Ah… so it’s true. You are THE Baker.”

Milo: “Yes, I am.”


And… the wife dies a few days later, but not because Milo kills her, she dies in a house accident. But, of course, Rhys thinks that it was all taken care of by the Baker! He was impressed. So, Milo’s business really picks up with more and more “cake” orders, and things get complicated… Really complicated…

The movie has some really good moments… and one scene that I cannot help talking about when I talk about The Baker is that the movie has the most hilarious love scene that I have ever seen. I am not 100% on this, but my hunch is that the scene is a parody of the famous scene in the cult movie 9 and 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. At least, that’s my take.

See the scene here and decide yourself!

When asked about the sex scene in a TV interview Damian says:

“It was fun to do… it was fun to do until we had to re-shoot a bit of it because we realized it hadn’t worked… and we had ourselves all dried off and cleaned… and then actually stood there in the cold day of light and well you know the props people came out and smeared custard on us…”

Well, this is even more hilarious than the scene itself 🙂

And what does Gareth think about filming his brother in a sex scene?

“There was still the small matter of the sex scene. Was it going to be weird directing my brother getting semi-naked with a beautiful woman? It’s hard enough to direct a sex scene without inviting your family to get involved. Put it this way: in the end, it was weirder filming him getting knocked unconscious by a sheep’s head. Read that how you like.”

Well, see the movie and decide for yourself. The movie is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Oh, and the soundtrack —  it has absolutely brilliant classics! I have Volare and Jump in the Line on my running playlist!

Bottomline: A bit over the top, absurd at times, comedy with a great soundtrack. What’s not to like? ENJOY The Baker! 

Following the Footsteps of our Resident Londoner

Gotta love it when a passing thought from one post leads to an entire new fully-fleshed-out post. I had remarked, during my two-week tour in London, I was reminded often of places I’d seen Damian in images and film. In particular, when I was walking from Shakespeare’s Globe west towards Blackfriars Bridge along the Thames Path I looked down to the river and saw the moss covered walls where Damian and Helen leaned and loafed for a photoshoot, as well as the pier under which Hector made a phone call in Our Kind of Traitor.

That bit of Proustian mind-wandering lead Damianista to the thought, “Hey, why not do a post where we follow along in Damian’s footsteps throughout London?” “Isn’t that a bit stalkery?” I worried. “Nah,” we both concluded. Happily, Damian knows we are the most harmless variety of stalkers he could ever have. So, here it is, a catalog of all the places and sites where we “saw” Damian, characters he’s played, and stories he’s been a part of in his beloved home town.

Continue reading “Following the Footsteps of our Resident Londoner”

Happy 10th Anniversary, Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory!

I have been married for quite some time (21 years in two days!) but my husband and I don’t care much about our marriage anniversary. We somehow feel it is just the day we “legally” became a couple and what we do instead is to celebrate the day we started dating 😀 And I obviously do not know if Damian and Helen are having a big celebration for their anniversary, but one thing I know is that even if they are not, an entire nation is celebrating with fireworks today on their behalf 😀

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Throwback Thursday: Damian Lewis as Gear Head on Top Gear

Damian Lewis, Top Gear
source: BBC

As folks are vacationing on all sides of the pond, let’s take a look back at this time last year when Damian made an appearance on Top Gear. Enjoy!

Boys and their cars. And girls too, for that matter. There’s something about being behind the wheel of a nice automobile, pressing the gas, shooting ahead with the force of however many horses, and letting a machine take you where your feet can’t. Damian made his second appearance on Top Gear in June 2016 and got to drive around a bit: recklessly, dangerously, at the sort of speeds humans probably weren’t ever designed to go, at least not unaided. Yes, no doubt, there’s a rush there, the burst of power and the addictive lurching feeling of hairpin turns at top speed, the balance between control and utter abandon. One small explosion in a combustion chamber to get things moving, then the lingering burn of the fuel made from our fossils, and we’re off to the races, quite literally. And for those few seconds of sheer joy, you sorta want to forget that these are the very machines that have summarily sent our planet on a not-so-slow burn. Alas, let’s keep this post about joy, and the joy of watching Damian play with cars. Read on!

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Happy Father’s Day to Damian Lewis!

No doubt many people get married and start families because it’s the thing to do, a natural progression in life. Not everyone takes the time or effort to really think about what it means to bring new life into the world or go forth on the venture with conscious intentionality. How many times have we heard (or ourselves thought) David Byrne’s immortal refrain:

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself: Well…How did I get here?

Following Damian as we do on this blog, we’ve seen at every turn that he seems to have entered his current life with full intentionality. You sense, in his various relationships prior to Helen, what we know of them, that he was always quietly in search of someone to settle down with, someone to have children with. Not all men think this way, I’m guessing, particularly attractive men who have no shortage of female attention. A lot of guys fantasize about the attention that Damian has always gotten, right? So, if you’re lucky enough to be Damian Lewis, why settle down? Why let a woman and the resultant children cramp one’s playboy style? But, no, Damian, even though he IS Damian, wanted the wife and the house and the family. And how beautiful the stories we hear and the images we get of him in arguably the most important role of any man’s life, the role of father. Here are some of our recollections of Damian being a Dad.

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Throwback Thursday: Damian Lewis as a Teacher? Yes, Please!

Damian Lewis recently taught a free masterclass for young actors aged 16 – 30, as part of the Masterclass, the brilliant in-house charity of the Royal Theatre Haymarket for the last 19 years.

Social media was our eyes and ears for the masterclass, and here is a selection of tweets attesting to young actors genuinely enjoying Damian’s class. The adjectives they use for it include “awesome”, “enlightening”, “brilliant”, “inspiring”, “insightful” and “motivating.” Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Damian Lewis as a Teacher? Yes, Please!”