“Who the Hell is Brody?” Krista’s Story

Hello all! Damianista here. It’s Tuesday aka Fan Story Day!

Damian Lewis got his first big wave of fans through Band of Brothers, a series that put him on the map as a good actor. The second, and much bigger, wave of fans came with Homeland that made Damian an international star and a household name. It seems though there is still room for growth in the fandom and Billions is bringing in a new wave of fans to Damian. Krista, a representative of this new wave of fans and a wonderful social media friend, is sharing with us today how she “discovered” her “first gingy ever.” Enjoy!

source: @kristaevans

I did not know who Damian Lewis was until, wait for it…Billions!  Yep, meet the first Damian Lewis fan who had never heard of Brody, nor fell in love with Damian because of Brody.  Back then Homeland just didn’t appeal to me so I never watched it and avoided the bandwagon for quite some time.

But I was hooked on Billions from the get-go.  In fact my friend and I would text each other during the show in real time as if we were watching it together in person.  Sometimes my friend would be on delay and I’d text hints like a lion emoji just to drive him nuts.  He’d text back, ‘What does the lion mean? Tell me now! I can’t wait.’  I was so hooked on Billions I’d record it as I watched it.  Then re-watch it immediately via DVR.  Then months later I re-watched every episode again, but only the Damian Lewis parts 🙂  That means I’ve seen Billions Season 1 three times, some episodes 4-6 times each, such as YumTime, Short Squeeze, Quality of Life, and The Conversation.

I’ll never forget the Billions scene that made me a forever diehard Damian Lewis fan.  Episode 10 “Quality of Life.”  The pretend argument between his character Bobby Axelrod and Dollar Bill Stearn played by Kelly AuCoin.

The final episode of Billions “The Conversation” made me sit up even straighter and say, “Whoa, who is this guy?!?!”

I immediately IMDB’d Damian’s filmography and began purchasing everything I could get my hands on, ranging from BBC Store, Amazon/Amazon Video, Netflix or Hulu. I have now seen 2/3 of Damian’s filmography.  The remaining 1/3 is much earlier work that is difficult to find or not available, or was a play.  It would be easier to list what I haven’t seen, than what I have.  I have not seen the following:

  1. To Appomattox (this doesn’t count, it never happened)
  2. The Vicar of Dibley
  3. Stolen
  4. Phineas and Ferb
  5. Confessions of a Diary Secretary
  6. The Big Impression
  7. Jeffrey Archer: The Truth
  8. The Script
  9. Life Force
  10. Warriors
  11. Ill
  12. Micky Love

I was also stunned that I had seen two of Damian’s performances before I ‘knew’ him and didn’t even realize it: Dreamcatcher and An Unfinished Life.  Then it dawned on me, “Oh yeah, I remember that creepy ex-boyfriend in An Unfinished Life; loathed that character so much, it was emotionally provoking for me.”  Just goes to show how Damian can bring a character to life so well.  Talk about transference!  I also remembered thinking at that time (and try not to laugh), “JLo wouldn’t be with that redhead.  I’m not buying it.”  Of course I watched both films again to get my Damian fix.

After Billions I binge-watched Homeland first.  What an outstanding performance!  I now understood what all the buzz was about.   I stopped watching Homeland after season 3 ended, with the exception of “Redux” episode 7 from season 4  in which Damian Lewis made an appearance.  I’ll never forget “Why are you so cold?”  Ugh, I had to grieve Brody’s death all over again.

source: imdb

Next came Life, then Forsyte Saga and everything else, including interviews on YouTube. I really, REALLY liked the show Life.  In fact, Charlie Crews is my second favorite character Damian has played and shows his comedic timing.  I am also a fan of Adam Arkin and loved their on screen chemistry “Am I Robin to your Batman?” In an interview Damian talks about how Showtime/Homeland executives finally cast him and he thought at one point, “Oh did you see my work in Life?”  Then Damian goes on to explain that no, they did not hire him for his work in Life and in fact, felt Life was a failure.  A failure?!?!?  Not in my opinion!

It had great writing.  But the execs strongly felt any show that was cancelled after 2 seasons was a failure.  Hello?  Writer’s strike anyone?  And we now know it was because of his performance in Keane that helped seal the Homeland deal.  While trolling on YouTube I stumbled across his Emmy speech.  While re-watching it I remembered, “Oh yeah, the Brit actor I didn’t know.”  Just like Damianista, I said aloud during those Emmy’s “Who the hell is Damian Lewis?”  But unlike Damianista I was rooting for Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad or Michael C. Hall of Dexter.

Then came my beloved Soames.  How could you not feel empathy for this repressed character?  But alas, we know Damian can play repressed men so well 🙂  I wanted to hate Soames, but didn’t feel it right to judge his whole character based on one defining, despicable moment.

source: ITV studios

My top 5 Damian Lewis performances in order are:

  1. Bobby Axelrod – Billions
  2. Charlie Crews – Life
  3. Nick Brody – Homeland
  4. Soames Forsyte – Forsyte Saga
  5. Nicholas McGrade – Colditz

No matter what character Damian plays, he commands the screen. I’m simply in awe of his acting abilities. And that eyebrow raise he does melts me every time.  You girls know what I’m talking about!

Damianista: “Well, this is it, isn’t it?” 😀

I have come to terms with the fact that I love my first gingy….EVER.

 

25 thoughts on ““Who the Hell is Brody?” Krista’s Story”

  1. Brilliant! I love Soames & his performance in Colditz is often overlooked, so thank you for reminding people. I must confess though, I didn’t get into Billions… I tried! But when I realised I was putting episodes on & doing other things, I realised it wasn’t for me… Not Damian’s fault at all (he’s brilliant as always) but I think the subject & the language that goes with it just alienated me… Definitely recommend watching Jeffrey Archer: The Truth though (if you know who he is).

    1. I like challenges and learning something new. My brain needs it LOL which is precisely why I love Billions. I had to Google terms at first and on average I watch each Billions episode three times, once with Closed Captioning so I can “read” the terms, once without CC, then a third time with just the Damian scenes. 🙂

    2. Vicky,

      I had difficulty locating Jeffrey Archer: The Truth. Do you know where I could find that, streaming, purchase, or otherwise? Thank you!

      1. Vicky has a geographical advantage. She is in the UK. I don’t think Jeffrey Archer is available here at all. But any helpful hint is appreciated

  2. Thanks for sharing Krista; I enjoyed your entry! Have you seen Keane? I didn’t see it mentioned but may just have missed it. If not, do so please. Like Band of Brothers, it is in a category of its own. Also, I must agree with Vicky on a couple of things. The subject matter of Billions does not interest me as much as that of Homeland, but I will faithfully watch it as anything that brings Damian into my living room is worth it to me. The language also gets in the way somehow. I am sure I am the oldest one on here, perhaps my generation is more easily offended by the infamous “f” word. It’s just that when overworked it loses its punch somehow. Besides I have always held the theory that if one can’t express him or her self without an obscenity in every sentence, then that person has a terribly poor vocabulary. That goes for the writers of any dialog in movie, play, book etc. But that is merely my opinion of course, and one not held by many in this day and age I suppose.

    1. Yes, I’ve seen Keane. Brilliant. I’ve seen everything Damian Lewis EXCEPT the items numbered 1-12 in the blog post 🙂 I went from not knowing who Damian Lewis was in January, 2016 to tackling just about his entire IMBD by January, 2017.

  3. It is very difficult to say in which film we prefer Damian! He is prodigious in all his roles, but for me his most difficult role is in Keane, then Homeland, Life Forsyte Saga, BOB, Colditz, Warriors, Wolf Hall, Brides !
    I have not seen Billions yet, I’m waiting for the dvd ! Monique

    1. Thank you! But if I had to play marry, shag, kill, Soames would be off’d LOL Shag Charlie, marry Bobby, kill Soames. And then have an affair with Brody hahaha

      1. Ha, I like that game! Great to hear your story and for you to contribute to the blog. 🙂

        Now that you’ve made me think about it, here’s mine:

        Marry : Charlie (I love goofball guys. Laughter is more sustaining than any other force of attraction, imo.)
        Shag : All incarnations, probably, except Soames. If I have to pick just one: Brody, definitely
        Kill : Oo, this is tough. Maybe Bobby? But only after marrying him and making sure he left all his loot to me.

        That was fun! Maybe we can make it a future post! 🙂

  4. It’s so wonderful to see Billions is bringing a new set of fans to the fandom, and a fan like you is definitely Damian’s gain and ours, too!

    If I speak for myself: Billions is my dream show. Damian Lewis. New York. Game Theory. Brilliant Sense of Humor. These are a few of my favorite things in life and I still cannot believe how stars got aligned to give me Billions. I agree with you that Billions makes my brain work. I have always been one that loves tackling puzzles and Billions always gives you a puzzle to solve and it never ceases to surprise you with new ones. But I also understand people love different stories and I agree with Connie that Homeland’s subject matter appeals to me more maybe because I study and teach international war and conflict in my job. And in the same way Billions appeals to Lisa probably more since it is her life!

    Having said that, there is no way Bobby could be a Brody for me. I love Bobby but I would never feel the kind of things I felt for Brody — HUGE affection you feel for a small kid after he sees a nightmare that you want to have him in your arms and tell him everything will be alright — for Bobby. They are absolutely different characters and thanks to Damian’s amazing talent, if you did not know, it is hard to guess it is the same actor bringing them to life.

    Keane is a BRILLIANT and unfortunately an under-appreciated film, a fate many indie directors and movies share thanks to big studios taking over everywhere and investing on franchises. This is an issue I am very sensitive about, I guess, so let me stop here otherwise I can write a novella here. 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing your fan story with us, Krista, we are extremely happy to have you among us. Much Love <3

    1. Homeland’s subject matter appealed a great deal to me, too. Out of Damian’s work, Billions, Life and Homeland are my go-to’s. Both Homeland and Billions give me strategy, puzzles to solve, and the element of surprise with new twists. But Billions gives me a little more edge with it’s innuendo, fast-paced dialogue, and like you pointed out, that brilliant sense of humor (in a drama, no less). The attention to detail with the sports references, the history references, the food, and the music, both portrayed in the show and as tracks is, my friends, Bobby Axelrod’s character peppered with true characteristics of Brian Koppleman. IMO, it’s little bits of BK on the screen 🙂 Top that off with a cherry called cussing and you’ve defined my taste. I curse like a sailor.

      I’m so amazed at Damian’s acting abilities, which is why I engulfed his work in one year. I had a lot of catching up to do! Such a talent he is. He embodies the character(s) like a chameleon and portrays them so well that I forget I’m watching a character.

      #followthemoney #teamaxe

      1. Hahaha, cursing like a sailor, love that! I am someone that very rarely used the f-word before Billions. What did this show do to me? I am liberated, I guess 🙂

        1. One of my favorite Okie (Oklahoma) curse phrases is, “What in the sam hell is going on?” My grandmother used to say that all the time!! Another Okie curse phrase “That sucks big green donkey dicks.” No idea where it came from, no idea why they are green. All I know is when I go out of town and curse. no one has heard of green donkey dicks even though all us Okie has been saying it since the 1980’s. When my daughter moved to NYC she’d call me and say, “I said such-n-such and they don’t know what it means or what I’m saying” LOL! And her NY friends are always ragging on the way she pronounces certain words, like “wolf” for example. In Oklahoma is Woof for singular and Wolves with an “L” for plural. We just can’t seem to pronounce the “L” in the singular version. 🙂

        2. It won’t let me reply to your last comment, so replying up here, out of order on the thread. I can switch to Francais. Merde. Zut alors!

  5. Down another. Proud watcher of the cartoon Phineas and Ferb. And Warriors has been purchased, arriving June 2017,

Leave a Reply