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.”

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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’s not mortal, that’s not true”: Tiffany’s Story

Hello all! Damianista welcomes you to a NEW Fan Story Tuesday!

Today’s story comes from a woman with a BIG heart and a LOVELY smile whom I am proud to call a friend. Tiffany does A LOT to help all in need both in her professional life as a therapist and in her private life as an extremely caring and giving person. We are thrilled she has taken the time to share her wonderful fan story with us. Cheers!

Why Damian? Why is Damian special? Damian is exceptional at his craft, his depth of character is conveyed in each role he portrays. There’s a distinct level of realism that Damian achieves in each character that I’ve seen no other performer reach. As a therapist I am fascinated by his performance in Keane. So real to life that it was initially hard to watch. He captured the delicate balance of suffering, creativity and compassion that many with mental illness struggle to cope with in every day life. There are so many real Keanes and Damian gave each one of them a very real voice capturing flawlessly their humanity. Continue reading ““Damian’s not mortal, that’s not true”: Tiffany’s Story”

Damian Lewis and $$$: A Moderate Relationship

“It’s a good thing that I’m a rich ****in’ man.” — Bobby Axelrod

Damian Lewis is no stranger to playing men with money, in particular NEW MONEY. In The Forsyte Saga, he brings us Soames Forsyte, a member of an upper middle class family in Edwardian times, who is nicknamed “man of property” thanks to his ability to accumulate material possessions. Only a few generations removed from their farmer ancestors, the Forsytes are very much self-conscious about their status and do not like to be reminded of being “new money.”

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Damian also brings us Charlie Crews aka “Officer New Money” in Life. Charlie sues the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD successfully for his imprisonment of 12 years for a murder he did not commit and receives an undisclosed settlement money that is rumored to be around 50 million dollars. Charlie splurges on things he was deprived of in prison: Space. He buys a huge house and no furniture. Fresh fruit. He buys an orange grove. Light. He invests in solar energy.

Now, 50 million is a very very VERY serious amount of money for (almost) anyone. But everything is relative in life and 50 million may not sound as serious to a man like…

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A Weekend with Damian Lewis: Revisit

A revisit this week to a post that recently came up in conversation: Meeting Damian at the New Yorker Festival last year, ie the last year before last year. 🙂

Where do I even start with a retelling of the events of October 3, 2015, my first time seeing Damian Lewis in person? Seems like my experience was clouded by a fangirl fugue state that started when he first walked into the theater for his interview with Lauren Collins, reached a new crescendo with the Cleo reading, and didn’t let up until days later, when I could sit and recall it all in a moment of tranquility. As we were wrapping up our immersion into The Weekend with Damian Lewis provided by the New Yorker Festival, Damianista wanted to talk about how we would write about the events, who would write what, and when. Truthfully, I said, I could take that 90 minute interview and churn out a post about every 15 minute chunk of it. And that’s not even including the Green Room time, which in my fugue state felt like 5 minutes, but, in reality, I’m assured, was much longer. Such was the richness of the experience.

Granted, for the hard core Damian fans, there were several things we’d already read or heard him say before. But even those topics that had been touched upon over the years in one forum or another (eg Damian being told he got the Dick Winters role when he was still drunk from a night carousing in Santa Monica and his visit with President Obama) were retold under a fresh light. And how fresher a light can there be than when the subject of the interview is sitting less than five feet in front of you. Blazing light, to be perfectly honest.

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Top Damian Lewis Moments 2015: Cleo at the New Yorker Festival

Damian Lewis
source: New Yorker

The holiday season seems a great time to watch new films and catch up with the waiting list. One film long on my list has been Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. I knew enough about the film and had seen enough clips to know it would not be the typical feel-good holiday watching. But I also knew enough about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s history together that any film starring the two of them would be a scalding glimpse into their mad love story.

What does all this have to do with Damian Lewis, you wonder? Well, one of the Top Moments in 2015 for Damian Lewis was his reading the role of Richard Burton in Lawrence Wright’s Cleo at the New Yorker Film Festival in October. And because Damianista and I were there, front row center, it’s a TOP moment for us too! There we were rapt in attention as Damian belched his way into the script and, despite the fact that the show was simply a table reading, proceeded to channel the rude, sexy, and perpetually drunk Welshman to a tee.

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TOP Damian Lewis Moments 2015: In Conversation at New Yorker Festival

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Two of my MOST favorite things, Damian Lewis and the New Yorker came together at the New Yorker Festival in October. I wrote earlier here about the proud fan moment I had thanks to Damian making not one but two appearances at my most favorite festival! Just to re-iterate briefly, 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.”

Enough said 🙂 Both appearances at New Yorker Festival make it to our TOP Damian Lewis moments of the year! Today we will share with you the conversation Damian Lewis has with New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins today and and tomorrow the play reading.  Continue reading “TOP Damian Lewis Moments 2015: In Conversation at New Yorker Festival”