Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis at the New Yorker Festival

I’ve been reading The New Yorker quite religiously for more than a decade now. I don’t remember how many subscriptions I gave to friends as gifts over the years and it is still one of the few subscriptions that I receive in the mail every week. And, the New Yorker Festival feels like the pages of the magazine literally coming to life for a weekend throughout the city with talks, conversations, readings, performances, panels with individuals that are at the top of their game in their respective fields — including arts, sciences, politics, sports, theater, music, literature, film, TV, food and more… As someone that attended quite a few events at the festival over the years, I can confidently say that, independent of the context, all events share one characteristic: intelligence. The festival participants are without exception endowed with some real brainpower. They are, in The New Yorker‘s own words, “some of the most talented and influential thinkers about topics ranging from politics to pop music, science to cinema, and so much more.”

damiannyerlineup

Well, it is the New Yorker Festival time of the year again! And while I am extremely lucky to have tickets for conversations with the world-renown chef Yotam Ottolenghi as well as one certain Jon Hamm at this year’s festival, I cannot help go back to my most favorite New Yorker Festival moment ever. JaniaJania and I were extremely lucky to attend the fabulous conversation New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins had with Damian Lewis at the festival.
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Damian Lewis Making Keane: Behind the Scenes

Alex Gansa knew he had the actor to play Nicholas Brody in Homeland once he saw Damian Lewis’ performance in Keane.

“Every ounce of me wanted to go home and pour a gin-and-tonic, but I thought, let me see if it’s streaming on Netflix. I looked on my computer and put on my headphones and opened my laptop and there was this little movie. The first forty-five minutes of the film are essentially Damian on camera. I hit pause and picked up the phone and called the studio head and said, ‘This is just an incredible performance—a damaged person on camera holding the frame. ”

Well, we blogged earlier about how Keane gave us Brody here and both JaniaJania and I wrote our reviews of the movie here and here. But how did Damian get to work on Keane? How did he prepare for his wonderfully gripping but extremely consuming part? How did the filming go? How did it all come together? Continue reading “Damian Lewis Making Keane: Behind the Scenes”

Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis at Times Talks

source: Times Talks Program
source: Times Talks Program

Time flies! Damian Lewis was the guest of celebrated Times Talks at Directors Guild Theater a year ago. And I would love to take this opportunity to travel back to that day to re-live the wonderful conversation Damian had with Cara Buckley, a New York Times culture reporter and celebrate the first anniversary of a beautiful friendship with Paige and Joyce with whom I clicked as soon as I met them in the line!   Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis at Times Talks”

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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Billions at Split Screens TV Festival

It is a pleasure to see, in this golden age of television, new TV-focused festivals are popping up around us every year. IFC Center in New York recently launched its Split Screens Festival celebrating the art of television  with a program curated by Matt Zoller Seitz, the editor-in-chief at rogerebert.com as well as critic for New York Magazine and vulture.com. The long-week festival had appearances by stars, producers, directors and show runners of several popular TV shows, including Billions!

Lewisto and I attended Close-Up: Asia Kate Dillon in Billions panel to see the brilliant Asia Kate Dillon, who brings Taylor Mason to life in our favorite show, and show creators and show runners Brian Koppelman and David Levien discuss the first gender non-binary character on TV and much more.

The evening started with the most pleasant surprise for us: we ran into wonderful Kelly AuCoin aka Dollar Bill who was in the audience. Well, Kelly and I had “met” online and we have been Facebook friends for over a year, and he also very graciously gave us an interview, but I did not meet him until that evening. And, yes, he is a great actor but he is also a sweet, sweet guy! Continue reading “Billions at Split Screens TV Festival”

Billions Season 2 Dining Guide

My husband and I are crazy foodies. He loves to cook (we are talking about a man who bakes bread, brews beer and makes pancetta here!) and we both love to eat. Thus, NYC dining scene, from its “special occasion” restaurants to yummy hole-in-the-walls to city institutions to cozy neighborhood joints, making memorable appearances in Billions makes us smile big!

source: Showtime

Today I turn that big smile into Billions Season 2 dining guide with a huge THANK YOU to the show creators for loving and honoring the dining capital of the world: Some of these places are my personal favorites and I believe, being the forensic fan that I am, I have been able to figure out almost all of them using hints from the scene as well as Google and, hey, Google earth, too! 🙂 And big thanks go to Brian Koppelman for kindly answering a few of our restaurant related questions on Twitter.  Continue reading “Billions Season 2 Dining Guide”