A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony

To be filed in the category of “This is a guy who makes you want to go back to school”, we learned and reported (on our lovely sister site damian-lewis.com) that Damian’s version of Antony’s funeral speech from Julius Caesar, for The Guardian’s video series Shakespeare Solos, was featured in a seminar on rhetoric. This wasn’t an avenue for literary criticism or drama theory, but a newsletter on effective public speaking.

How is speaking any different from writing and reading, you may wonder? Well, there are components to classical rhetoric, when dissected, can show you what makes one speech different from another. Such an analysis would reach your brain (or at least attempt to). Alternatively, we can talk about how a speech makes you feel. Granted we’re not seeing much great oratory from our current elder statesmen, so examples are few and far between. But, there was a time, wasn’t there? In our not too distant history, when a leader spoke, it did a heart good to hear, didn’t it?

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Life with Charlie Crews Redux

A  character that Damian has said is the one role that was most like him in real life.

The thinking man with a sunny disposition: Charlie Crews.

Here’s my visit with Life.

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Book Review: Meeting Damian Lewis

Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers.

Il ne faut pas toucher aux idoles: la dorure en reste aux mains.
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

How I love when art gets meta: when a writer or artist has the self-awareness and genuine capacity to make fun of themselves. That’s what we mean when we say the writing is “honest”. There’s no agenda to convince or win over the reader, just a need to show, everything, even the warty not-attractive bits.

With her first novel, Meeting Damian Lewis, Christine Wilson has succeeded beautifully in that effort. Continue reading “Book Review: Meeting Damian Lewis”

Much Ado About Nothing

Ah, the romantic comedy: A genre when presented as an evening’s viewing option has sent many an otherwise lovey-dovey couple to opposite ends of the couch. I have to say the romantic comedy has never been my first stop when Netflix surfing. Actually, it’s rarely my choice at all, unless When Harry Met Sally is on (the last great romantic comedy, IMO) or the least appreciated but my personal favorite of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles: Joe vs. the Volcano. [The guy falls for different versions of the SAME woman; how much more romantic (and comedic) can you get?]

William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romantic comedies. In fact, he invented the genre! The formula of boy meets girl, they run up against some obstacles, surmount said obstacles with the help of a jocular coterie of friends, and live happily ever after: That’s Shakespeare! And perhaps the most seminal of his romantic comedies is Much Ado About Nothing. The plot and characters gave rise to many adaptations and permutations. There was the beautifully hilarious big-screen adaptation in 1993 with real-life couple-at-the-time Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. More recently, in 2012, there was another lovely big-screen adaptation, this time by Joss Whedon, set in modern times but true to Shakespearean language. And between those two, in 2005, our very own Damian Lewis starred as Benedick in a BBC adaptation of the story, set in modern times with modern language, for their series Shakespeare ReTold.

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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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