Falling for Charlie Crews: Lynda’s Story

Hello, everyone! Welcome to a new Fan Story Tuesday!

Today’s story comes from Lynda, one of Fan Fun’s early and constant supporters. The lovely limerick she sent us on Fan Fun’s second birthday attests to her wonderfulness!

Your Happy Birthday Limericks

There once were five ladies whose bent
Was to blog ’bout a fine ginger gent.
While you were trailblazing,
Damian called you “amazing.”
A reward for blog time well-spent.

My gratitude goes for your gift to us –
Our Fan Fun with Damian Lewis.
Brody, Charlie, Keane, Axe,
explored to the max.
Birthday cheer to your blog, which is fabulous!

With affection,
Lynda

Our gratitude goes to Lynda for this priceless gift and her constant support. It is a true pleasure to share her exploration of Damian with the fandom today – enjoy!

A few years ago, a friend who knows my interest in detective stories and police procedurals recommended that I check out the 2007-2009 television series LIFE.  I started with episode one and couldn’t stop – I binged on the whole two seasons over one long weekend, barely being able to break away for meals and other necessities. That is when I fell in love with Charlie Crews, the quirky, driven, smart, intuitive, sexy and sensitive police detective.  I was hooked on this original character and the actor who played him.

Boyish Wonder Charlie

What intricate and intertwining plot lines and what amazing lines for these characters to deliver!  It was thought-provoking and often so funny.  And, in the middle of all of it was this adorable redhead – simultaneously tough but boyishly innocent.  Charming and disarming.  I loved the “Zen-ish” Crews, yearning for Jen and his former life while obsessing about and pursuing the villains who set him up for the triple murder and a life sentence in prison.  Damian played the role with boyish wide-eyed wonder, maintaining a sweet, goofy patter, while at the same time exhibiting the mature calm and concentration of the strong detective.  A man on a mission, to be sure.  What fun watching as layer upon layer of this character unfolded.

Tough Cop Charlie

That admiration for Damian Lewis’ talent and versatility led me tenuously to check out HOMELAND.  I say “tenuously” because I’m generally not drawn to overly violent stories and especially not to torture plots.  But Homeland’s Brody struck a chord and drew me in.  I found myself in another marathon of binge watching seasons one and two.  Yep, I admired the cat and mouse game of Brody versus the CIA’s Carrie Mathison and I enjoyed trying to figure out whether or not Brody was truly a traitor.  But, I also fell for the romantic intrigue – I believed the intense Brody/Carrie attraction, maybe even love.  I continued to watch through season three, and I was crushed at losing this lost soul in the finale.  Again, a complex performance revealing layers of pain, cunning, passion, spirituality and confusion.

source: showtime

From Brody, I checked out the solid Dick Winters in BAND OF BROTHERS – young in years but mature, speaking volumes with powerful expressions, body language and a mere few words.  Damian played the character with understated calm, much as we learned was the nature of the legendary real-life Winters.  I’ll never forget his face when Major Winters encountered the  concentration camp prisoners and realized the enormity of what he was seeing.

I used IMDB to find more of Damian’s filmography.  There was the obsessed Soames Forsyte, the heartbreaking tortured William Keane (a magnificent performance!), the strutting Benedick in the modern Much Ado About Nothing, the tender Norman Harris in Brides, the quick-tempered Henry VIII of Wolf Hall, and the hilarious and often clueless Milo in The Baker.  And now we have Bobby Axelrod, the family man and ruthless hedge fund titan/self-deceiver at the same time.  Each of these performances is multi-dimensional and I cannot take my eyes off the screen.

Damianista’s note: Lynda is one of the lucky ones among us that has had the pleasure of seeing Damian recently on stage in The Goat and she very kindly added a note about that experience, too.

I just saw Damian on the London stage in The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?  His powerful and layered performance was all at once poignant, pained, so funny, angry, sweet, very intense, and very physical – a tour de force!

So, I started with Charlie – and I have been rewarded with a wide world of compelling characters over the years.  Bravo, Damian!

P.S. Not incidentally, I have come to respect the man Damian Lewis, who, from all accounts, is a family guy, kind to people, very smart and very funny in interviews, generous with his time, insightful, loyal, and strategically philanthropic (my professional expertise, but I’ll save that for another post in the future).  And, thanks to the wonderful Fan Fun sisters (Damianista and pals), I keep up with DL dramatic roles to come and about-town happenings.

 

10 thoughts on “Falling for Charlie Crews: Lynda’s Story”

  1. I know I told you this earlier but I LOVE YOUR STORY – thanks so much for sharing it! One thing I particularly like is that, thanks to you, and my partners, and other fans, I have been able to see the complexity in Charlie Crews that I did not particularly see when I binged Life a few years ago. I was just done with Homeland Season 3 — very frustrated and sad — and I wanted to see something else with Damian in it and there it was: Life. But I think I had this “Brody is the best no matter what” prejudice that even though I enjoyed Life, I did not enjoy it like I did on a second watch after all of you have made me think harder about Charlie Crews as a character and how complex he is and even how scary he is. So I owe you and many others a big thank you! Having said that, whenever I ask myself the question that whether I would have come this point that I am as a fan should I have not started with Brody, the answer is still no. I think he will stay as my all-time most beloved fictional character forever.

    I am so so so glad you have been able to see Damian on stage, I know it was a true treat, and we are so looking forward to your guest blog on Damian’s philanthropic activities. Much Much LOVE <3

  2. Hi Lynda! I LOVE your fan story so much because Charlie Crews is my second favorite character that Damian has played, Bobby Axelrod being number 1 for me. However, depending on my mood, I go back and forth between Bobby and Charlie. Like you, I binged the whole two seasons of LIFE over a long weekend. Friends/family would want to stop by and visit me and my response to them was: “Sorry, Charlie!.” Like Bobby, Charlie had swagger. A different kind of swagger. A quirky, boyish swaggers and I found him ADORABLE as well! Each episode I would wonder with anticipation if Charlie was going to stalk/pull over his ex’s new guy again LOL I didn’t find Helen McCrory’s character believable. The storyline sort of jumped the shark for me when her character was introduced very late in the final portion of the series. Every time I see a Tweet or comment about LIFE/Charlie Crews, my mind immediately goes to my favorite scene towards the end of the series when Damian trades himself for his partner, slowly passing her and saying “Just breathe” as he brushes her hand. I miss Charlie and his car. I miss Charlie and his fruit. I miss my Zen Charlie so much so 🙁

  3. Hi Damianista and Krista,
    So glad that both of you appreciate the complexity of Charlie Crews, adorable man/boy trying to rebuild his life. I rewatch that series regularly and still laugh out loud (and still furrow my brow, too), much as I did on first viewing. It’s a roller coaster of reactions to my favorite actor. I miss Charlie, too, and wish we had had more episodes to enjoy.
    Lynda

  4. Hi Lynda,

    I love that you love Charlie! We all do! I also binge watched Life, and thought it was great. And, just like Damianista, we all got to look a Charlie and Life when we re-watched the show and recapped the episodes.

    These fan stories are all a bit different, but all have similar threads! We all came to Damian (and to FanFun) on a different road, but I’m so glad we did!

    Thank you Lynda for sharing your story, and I am so envious of you getting to see The Goat! 🙂

  5. Beautiful story Linda.! I meet Damian through Brody but I was even more fascinated when I saw Charlie thanks to a dear friend who send me the DVD….And I am very happy for you that you have been got to see him in the theater. Lucky you !! Saludos

  6. Lynda, thank you for sharing. I love that you found Damian through Charlie Crews. Charlie is a wonderful character and the complexity you speak of is summed up by many scenes. The good man comforting the kid whose friend was killed in the Pilot to the dangerous man breaking another man’s finger with relative ease to get him to talk.

    Charlie provided many laughs.

    Hope you had a ball at The goat.

  7. I’m on S1E10 of Life. I’ve really come to enjoy my times with Charlie. Today I finished watching the SAG/Aftra interview with Damian Lewis; when the interviewer skipped over Life, Damian brought her around to discussing the series. He thinks it was important. A presage of narrative tv. He’s hilarious when he describes finding out that doing two seasons is “a failure ” in Hollywood. I no longer compare him to Brody but take the character on his own lovely merits. Now if you can only talk me into liking Bobby ………..

    1. I love the SAG-AFTRA interview and I remember exactly the moment he insists on talking about Life.

      Hahaha Bobby is not a Brody or a Charlie. That is for sure!

      Bobby’s been rubbing me the wrong way for some time in Season 2. Damian is portraying him brilliantly and lets us understand where Bobby is coming from when he makes a move, but I am not sure if he would want us to fall for him 🙂

  8. I’m such a boor! I neglected to thank you, Lynda, for sharing your story. I’m 65 years old and haven’t been in a fan group since I joined the Beatles fan club at age 13! I’m having a ball!
    I was an amateur actress for a number of years; the importance of being “in your body” was a major revelation to me. You are so perceptive of Mr. Lewis’ layering. He truly occupies his characters. Good job, Lynda.

    1. Just chiming to thank you for having a ball with us — much love <3 And how fun that you were an amateur actress. My acting never went beyond school plays in high school. I was okay but I guess real life took precedence. Still, I always think of teaching as kind of acting at times 😀

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