The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Damian Lewis rediscovered a love poetry recording he and his late wife Helen McCrory did together at Cheltenham Literature Festival back in October 2014. Well, I was there in the room when Damian and Helen read love poems to each other from The Love Book, a brilliant collection of classic and contemporary love poems that vary from Shakespeare to E.E. Cummings to Maya Angelou coming together in a book as well as in an app. It was a moving and intimate hour with a powerhouse husband and wife team reading poems, teasing each other, and sharing their dynamic chemistry with the audience.
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.”
Well, it is the New Yorker Festival time of the year again! And I cannot help go back to my most favorite New Yorker Festival moment ever. It was exactly six years ago that JaniaJania and I were extremely lucky to attend the fabulous conversation New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins had with Damian Lewis at the festival.
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.
Note: This post was originally published on March 26, 2019.
When he’s not running a show, co-creator of Billions, Brian Koppelman hosts a podcast called The Moment. Each hour-long session is a conversation about the creative process and pivotal moments in creative careers. Koppelman talks to people in various forms and stages of their creative lives about inflection points, the moments they sensed something shifted for them in their careers. Having listened to several of these conversations in his archive, its always a treat to hear how people get to live their professional dreams, be they restaurateurs, musicians, writers or actors. Back when he first publicized the podcast, I had this twee Twitter exchange with him. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with Brian Koppelman”
Time flies! Damian Lewis was the guest of celebrated Times Talks at Directors Guild Theater five years 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”