Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in A Touch of Frost

Before he hit the big time in cable TV, Damian did some smaller, lesser known roles in British television. The role of Adam Weston in a feature-length episode of mystery drama Touch of Frost may not be a role that Damian is particularly proud of, given how disdainfully he spoke of it at the NY Times Talk in May 2014.

Nonetheless, I’d say the role begs remembering, if, for nothing else, to give us a picture of Damian at 25. According to Damian, roles such as this one were the few available to British actors in television in 1996. It was either Merchant-Ivory-esque period drama or stories of the struggles of the underclass left in the wake of Thatcherism, both “classes” of roles Damian would have been uniquely qualified to play, but only later. First, he had to build up a resume with things like Touch of Frost. So here’s Damian at 25, a Shakespearean trained thespian and, they ask him to get down to his skivvies. Okay, he’s still doing parts that get him into his skivvies some 20 years later, but, hey, who’s counting. As Bobby Axelrod would say:

Those who can, do.

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Following Footsteps of Damian in London

Taking inspiration from Vicky’s fun retelling of walking in the footsteps of Milo Shakespeare, here’s me walking in some of the footsteps taken by Damian in his home town. Enjoy!

Gotta love it when a passing thought from one post leads to an entire new fully-fleshed-out post. I had remarked, during my two-week tour in London, I was reminded often of places I’d seen Damian in images and film. In particular, when I was walking from Shakespeare’s Globe west towards Blackfriars Bridge along the Thames Path I looked down to the river and saw the moss covered walls where Damian and Helen leaned and loafed for a photoshoot, as well as the pier under which Hector made a phone call in Our Kind of Traitor.

That bit of Proustian mind-wandering lead Damianista to the thought, “Hey, why not do a post where we follow along in Damian’s footsteps throughout London?” “Isn’t that a bit stalkery?” I worried. “Nah,” we both concluded. Happily, Damian knows we are the most harmless variety of stalkers he could ever have. So, here it is, a catalog of all the places and sites where we “saw” Damian, characters he’s played, and stories he’s been a part of in his beloved home town.

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Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Bill : Comedy for Kings and Kids Alike

Anything that can render history and literature accessible to the masses plus get children excited about learning is a winner in my book. Combine that with cameo appearances by Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory and what you’ve got is a must-see treat.

The comedy, Bill, put together by the folks who do the BBC series Horrible Histories, is a good example. The film imagines what may have happened during William Shakespeare’s “Lost Years”, the time during which he transformed from a married father of three in bucolic Stratford to the greatest dramatist of all time in London.

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TOP Damian Lewis Moments 2020: Theater of War UK – Philoctetes

Whenever I’m compelled to watch or read or listen to something out of our place and time, something “foreign”, I’m sent back to ninth grade, to when I first learned to read. No doubt I’d been deciphering the alphabet strung into words and sentences long before I turned 14, but ninth grade is the time, I think, when we really learn to read, if given the chance. To look at meaning between the lines, find the metaphors and the messages connecting one story to another to yet another and then back to ourselves.

And I’m brought back to my ninth grade teacher asking us “why do we read?” Maybe she was provoked by someone sighing too loudly at an assignment or maybe even muttering under their breath “why do we have to read this stuff?” She asked the question of us all and waited. Someone likely said “to pass this class so we can get into college” or “to write the paper, take the test, get the grade.” These answers didn’t satisfy her, so she waited and asked us again “why do we read?”

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TOP Damian Lewis Moments 2020:
Theater of War UK – Oedipus

Wow, this pandemic, amirite? Depending on where you live you may be still hunkered down, resisting social gatherings, wearing masks whenever you go out. Maybe you’re somewhere where things are fully open and things are back to normal. For most of us, though, it’s certainly a new way of life. And, it may be with us much longer than anyone hoped it’d be.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have jobs that weren’t too affected, or actually took off, due to the nationwide lock down. (once folks can no longer mill around the water cooler in the office, they seem very keen to get stuff done. I sense in some industries, like tech, for example, productivity is at a record high) Too many of us haven’t been so lucky. And what about our artists, the stories that we need to watch, the performances that entertain and sustain us? Obviously they have been affected in a major way. Those in Damian’s profession are still learning how to get their work running again.

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