No question that in this spell of not seeing Damian on screen, I’ve been phoning it in a bit on this blog. (But, hey, what else is writing for the internet but phoning it in … literally?) During these “dry spells” as we like to call them, there always seems to be room to keep talking about Brody. So here we are, sharing a bit of the exchange between me and NotLinda in the comments on my “Was it Love” series.
You know what it was about these exchanges that made them particularly special to me? The fact that I learned something new and that my mind was changed a bit. Frankly I went into Homeland from Day One as a fan of Claire Danes. The guy playing against her was a new face to me, as he was to a lot of us. Of course that new face drew me in, marked his place in the Homeland world and all the various worlds he ever inhabited and will inhabit…grabbed a hold of all attention, never to let it go ever again. Still, I was always willing to talk for days about Carrie, and not so much about Brody, who, as I’ve always said and thought, was a dead man walking.
Exchanges with NotLinda were the first time, it pains me to say, that I saw more in Brody than a poor lost soul. I loved him, who didn’t, but, still, I knew he was gone before he ever even got here. NotLinda saw some light there though. Not necessarily hope, but, definitely some light. And I’m grateful for her showing me some of that light too!
Writing for a fan blog, you meet a lot of fans. We all know that Damian is one of the rare breed of actor who is able to convincingly straddle multiple genres of storytelling: thriller, romance, shakespearean drama, war drama, the list goes on. Thus he has fans from all over the place too. Lucky to be in a field where constancy is both something you want so folks know what they’re about to get when they see you on screen, as well as something you want to fight against to lesson the risk of pigeonholing yourself in one kind of role. Damian has resisted pigeonholing at every turn.
And, so, we meet Band of Brothers fans, and Forsyte fans, and Homeland fans. Most times we fans intersect over their one intersecting quality: Damian. I met one such true fan recently on my posts about Brody and Carrie’s love story. I’ve always liked the idea of having a sort of call and response in written form, fans interviewing each other, arguing respectfully, like we’re lawyers for the defense of our favorites. And it’s a lovely thing when something comes along to make you think deeper, maybe even change your mind a bit about the stuff you think you know inside and out. NotLinda did that for me, and, I’m happy to say, I for her. We had incredibly rich discussions in the comments sections. So much so that I’m gathering them together into a post or two of their own. For now, you can hear from her first. This is a response she wrote to something I said in one of my “Was it Love” posts. Enjoy!
In the tail end of Homeland S1, we see very little of Carrie and Brody in the same room. So, if I’m to focus on the love story, must needs abbreviate all the cloak and dagger stuff that happens in those last few episodes. Here you have my final installment of the Was it Love series.
When Brody died on Homeland, I was one of those fans who searched high and low, scrambling to find somewhere to talk about him and about the show. At one point I ended up on the Facebook page for Homeland and tried fruitlessly to sift thru all the flat “No Brody No Homeland” pointlessness to find someone who saw what I saw in the character and in the show. Brody will never die, I thought. So why rage into the void, begging for him to come back from the dead? Shows do listen to such things, I suppose. But, even if they did listen to all the pleas from fans, what would Brody come back for? To be a dad to his new daughter? To live happily ever after with Carrie? Really, fans?
No. Brody was dead. In fact, he was dead from the minute he got off the plane and saw Jess for the first time. I spoke at length of this aspect of the character before, here and here and here. The remarkable thing about the character was this very thing, that he was a dead man walking. A cipher, a mystery, an empty vessel filled with nothing except what various people put in his head. The fact that Damian played that emptiness so FULLY is the remarkable thing, the memorable thing, the thing that compels us to never let go of the character. Characters written so completely and played so fully never die, do they? The truth and the reality of Brody lives on and will never die.
Holliedazzle and I have the great pleasure of bring up the derriere of the bloggers’ fan stories… I am hoping someone did indeed discover Damian in the Escapist, but I digress.
We all knew, that being quite new to Damian Lewis fandom, it was very likely that we all discovered Damian Lewis from the same TV show because of the same character, which is one of the reasons I am looking forward to reading your stories from next Tuesday onwards. Damianista is the only one who has read them so it is quite exciting.
Speaking of Damianista, a big thank you to her and Lady Trader for conceiving the idea. And stay tuned next week as the reader’s fan stories start rolling out, as well!