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”
“Your instincts are wrong. Animals rely on instincts for their daily survival, but we are not beasts. We are not lions or sharks or vultures. We are civilized, and civilization only works if instincts are suppressed. So do your bit for society and ignore those dark desires inside you.” – The Abstainer’s Handbook (second edition), p. 54
The Radleys is seemingly an ordinary suburban family. They live at 17 Orchard Lane in the village of Bishopthorpe, Yorkshire. Peter Radley is an overworked general practitioner. His wife Helen is an amateur artist who paints apple trees in watercolor. Their marriage has got distant over the years. Peter and Helen have two teenage children who attend the local high school. Rowan, their 17 year old son, suffers from rashes and chronic insomnia and reads Lord Byron .Clara, their 15 year old daughter, has recently become a vegan with the hopes of having animals treat her better.
Despite their best efforts to live like the next family, The Radleys are perceived to be “a little odd” by their fellow villagers. The family has their curtains closed at all times. They love their meat almost raw but choke on garlic. The amount of factor 60 sunscreen Rowan uses on his skin is off the charts. Clara is extremely pale and fragile. The Radley children are called freaks and bullied at school.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing the songs I’ve written and been recording for my debut album. Be good to be back on stage, this time with a guitar in my hand.”
You know what I did in the title, don’t you? If you know a certain ginger man who thinks he is the “second coming of Elvis” that is returning to stage with a guitar in hand, you go and title your related post after a lesser known Elvis gem.
So… if you are not living under a rock, you know that Damian returned to stage, this time, with a guitar in hand turning his fantasies into reality. He released a few singles in spring 2023 followed by his highly acclaimed first album ‘Mission Creep’ in June, and is already working a second album. He did live gigs in London, played at music festivals, rocked the paddock at the British Grand Prix, and went on a UK tour the second part of which is coming up in March.
Damianista’s note (02/15/2024): When a good friend shares this picture from Damian’s dressing room with you, you know it is time to travel back to 2009 and re-visit our guy in The Misanthrope. It is Damian’s handwriting on the mirror: I would recognize that capital “G” anywhere. And it says ““Rouse tempers, goad and lacerate, raise a whirlwind.” A little research shows that this was Kenneth Tynan’s lifelong motto, pinned above his desk at the National Theatre when he was its literary manager. ENJOY!
It was 2009 when Damian played the lead role of Alceste in Martin Crimp’s modernized version of Moliere’s 17th century comedy. After his appearance in The Misanthrope he was not seen on stage again until American Buffalo six years later. Dare we say, The Misanthrope marked a turning point for Damian, the last one where he was the nearly A-list actor playing against decidedly A-list’er Keira Knightley. NOW, of course, he is not nearly anything but a full-blown highly sought commodity on stage and screen. In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the play, then, beg your indulgence as I wax philosophical about the extent to which the themes of the play translate to Damian’s own career trajectory.
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. And could there be anything better to share with the fandom on World Poetry Day?
It turns out that when the festival inquired about a possible video recording of the reading in 2014, Helen and Damian said no. Damian tellsThe Sunday Times: