Why Damian Lewis? Part II: The Man

damian88In case you missed “Why Damian Lewis? Part I: The Actor” you can see it here.

Now that we have moved from the actor to the man…

Why Damian Lewis?

What are the qualities that I admire in him? How would I describe the man in a few adjectives?

Ok… I’d say… he’s a witty, kind, charming and articulate man!

I really ENJOY hanging out with witty, kind and charming people, and I deeply ADMIRE articulate people – it is just my soft spot, I just can’t help admiring people that can express themselves readily, clearly and effectively.

Damian Lewis is witty.

Look what Helen McCrory says: “It was definitely Damian’s humour that I fell in love with first. Give me someone who can make me laugh and I’m prepared to go to the end of the world with him.”

I am not surprised a bit, Ms. McCrory. My own husband is the person that makes me laugh the most in this world, and it was definitely his humor that I fell in love with first! And, yes, I am more than ready to go to the end of the world with him 🙂

Damian Lewis has this DRY British humor, making great use of irony and delivering jokes in a complete deadpan manner. In fact, he can get a bit cheeky at times that makes me giggle… like when he said at the Queen of the Desert Press Conference at Berlinale:

source: Berlinale Livestream
source: Berlinale Livestream

“I had a long kissing scene with Nicole, but got CUT… I don’t know if that was because I am not a very good kisser or not, but I enjoyed filming it…”

Or, when asked about his large red codpiece in Wolf Hall he responded with a hilarious “I already came with that.”

You know everyone cannot pull off such jokes. Damian can — because he delivers them at exactly the right tone, and, I think, this partly comes from the fact that he is someone so comfortable in his own skin, another quality that I admire in anyone.

Yes, Damian is witty. Moreover, he is very quick with his wit.

source: daily mail
source: daily mail

For example, when he bumps into Prince Harry at ICAP Charity Day:

Prince Harry: “I see another ginger.”

Damian Lewis: “What’s it like to be the second most famous redhead then?”

Or, when Damian is Conan O’Brien’s guest on Conan… Conan tells this story that Sir Michael Caine once comes to him at a party and says “I have the sunscreen just for you, young man!” And Conan gets excited, makes a note of the sunscreen and later he thinks: “Why did he cross a room to tell me?” 🙂

A few minutes later, the two are talking about Damian going to Morocco soon to shoot Queen of the Desert with Nicole Kidman. And, Damian goes:

Finally, I don’t think anyone can beat Damian’s little note to President Obama when he signed a Homeland box set for him with a “From one Muslim to another…” in an undeletable Sharpie!

Damian Lewis tells his hilarious story on Jonathan Ross show:

Ha, ha, lucky you, Damian, we have a president with some high IQ — I am sure he still LOLs when he remembers your little note 🙂

Damian Lewis is kind and charming.

A great fan once told me she sometimes says to herself that it may be better not to meet your favorite actor/actress in case they disappoint.

So true… We are all human beings after all. There may be times our minds are occupied with something personal that we may just be short of patience, and disappoint someone without knowing. I know from my own experience that there are days (most of the time) I am so nice to my students, and there are days (very rarely, but it happens) that I am not that nice and, actually, a bit impatient. And this can easily happen to anyone, and to an actor, too; when a very enthusiastic fan wants an autograph or a picture.

The same fan told me that since I am still a HUGE FAN after meeting Damian Lewis, then he should be nice.

Oh, yes. He’s very kind and impossibly charming.

I admit I had some kind of cold feet before I left home for Cheltenham — I was scared to death about THAT possibility of disappointment. Because, as Damian Lewis rightly puts in words in an interview with the Times Magazine, when asked about his “fame” problem: “If people fancy me from afar, it feels a bit like it’s happening to someone else. They’re in love with a construct of their own making.”

So true.  We first fall in love with the characters the actor brings to life, then create that idol of our own making in our minds and believe it… Lucky me, though, because Damian Lewis turned out to be exactly what I constructed in my mind 🙂

source: daminiasta
The Love Book signing at Cheltenham Literature Festival, source: daminiasta

He was kind, generous with his time and impossibly charming. He even said my name right! Yes, I was a BIG fan before meeting him, but meeting Damian definitely made me a FAN FOR LIFE… And, a blogger, too!

Damian Lewis is articulate.

Take your time and see a few serious interviews with Damian, say it’s Times Talks London from May 2014, or Charlie Rose Show from November 2013, or read the PBS interview with him about Forsyte Saga from 2002, and you will be truly impressed.

source: new.livestream.com
source: new.livestream.com

The Times TV critic Kate Muir, when she interviewed Damian Lewis about his new film The Silent Storm has also been very impressed: “His analysis displays a fine intelligence that many actors lack.” I cannot agree more. I have read and seen so many interviews with Damian Lewis where he analyses the movie or the show he is in, and the character he plays, and you can clearly see that he is not an actor that just learns his lines and delivers them well. He does research, thinks deeply about his character and his character’s place in the big picture, and talks very intelligently about it. Well, yes, everyone can do some name dropping. But an actor that can refer to Kowalowski or Freud or Mamet in a particular context, and in a clear and effective way? No wonder People magazine calls Damian “thinking person’s sex symbol.”

Which brings me to a sensitive subject — education. I think education is behind this articulateness, and also the wit. JaniaJania touched upon this in the context of acting in her first post, and so will I now in another context.

I know that “The Eton Boys” including Damian Lewis get tagged as “posh.” Now… One can criticize the rigid British class system and the education system that may be helping keep the rigid class lines, but one cannot deny the education schools like “Eton” provide. And, it cannot be put into better words than Damian does on Desert Island Discs: “It feeds this readiness to be quick, witty, nimble, agile of mind at all times, which of course is its own defence mechanism and is there, by the time you leave, very much as a part of you.”

I cannot agree more. I am not coming from a privileged background. I was just a good student —practically a Hermione — and attended very competitive schools, without spending a dime, always on fellowship. So, I know what Damian is talking about when he talks about “readiness to be quick, witty, nimble, agile of mind at all times.” I am, of course, dreaming of a world with equal education opportunities for all kids, but how come I can hold it against someone who was randomly born into a wealthy family and just took the opportunities offered to him? Today, I am an educator myself, and that is where I still stand.

Ok… to have a FUN closing here… I say “witty, kind, charming, and articulate” for Damian. Do you know how Damian describes himself with a few adjectives?

Now… what adjectives would YOU choose to describe Damian Lewis? 🙂

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

7 thoughts on “Why Damian Lewis? Part II: The Man”

  1. It costs approximately £36,000 ($53, 280 approximately) a year to be educated at Eton these days. The class system here is a big problem IMO. That being said it is easy as someone not born into money to look at them and resent. There are some who give the impression of “s*****g on, or would happily do so, those less fortunate. Damian is not one of them. He is someone I respect and could listen to all day. In any case generalising is easy to do regardless of what “class” you are considered and we will probably all have been guilty of it at some point in life. The problem is that those from the “working class” and again I will have been guilty of it at some point earlier in life myself, is that we view with cynicism. Rather than acknowledge a good deed, you may here the words “well, so he should. He can afford it”. There are no easy answers because whilst it is true we should all be trying to look past generalisations and “classes”, it is equally true that some with lots of money like it the way it is and don’t want to share or see “outsiders work their way up” as it were despite their background. You covered it well in your Billions article when profiling what Bobby might do as “new money” to stay where he is.

    Anyway, speaking of Damian’s wit and Eton, on one of his increasing number of guest host appearances on Have I Got News For You he was asked what was so great about the School and he replied pure dead pan”you get to wear really snazzy clothes”. Love that man.

    Thank you for another brilliant blog.

    1. Thank you!!!! I completely agree with you. These are not easy-to-answer questions at all, especially on our blog 🙂 I have done some work on social mobility so that I know about the UK having the most rigid class lines with one of the lowest social mobility rates in the world and I understand, and stand with them, when people resent the upper class for so many different things — and not only in the UK but anywhere in the world. The US has one of the worst income inequalities in the world — thanks to, at least partly, to the Bobbies of the world!

  2. Thank you so much for this amazing post. It’s just great.

    People that can articulate well fascinates me as well, and because you are so good in it, I am enjoying reading your posts so much.

    Such talks and posts – they are kind of nostalgia for me but together with it, it is the way to make the life that I am living now more bright, more interesting. It is like a fresh air and a food for brain.

    When I was younger, when I was a student, I had much more opportunities to discuss or analyze something, to reflect, to share thoughts with other people. Since then life changed a lot – I changed the land and language, I moved from big beautiful city with a lot of theaters and museums to a small town where there is almost no cultural life at all, and it’s fine, I am not complaining. I got other good things instead. 🙂 But to be part of a good formulated and articulated discussion, at least to read it, to find some thoughts that cause response in my soul – this is pretty rare for me now. That’s why I appreciate it.

    What really hurts me is that – knowing that such people as Damian live here, on this world, just few hours flight distance from me – at one point this makes me feel really good, but together with it, I understand, how differs our worlds are. In the same time I understand that we are living on different planets and our paths will never cross. That I live very standard, “normal” life that is totally OK, but sometimes I want so badly to have such people as Damian around. To have the opportunity to speak and to joke with them, to hang out and to have dinner with them. (Once upon a time I used to be good in this “ping-pong” joking and conversations).
    That’s why I do love to watch good TV shows, films and to discuss them afterwards. Because when I am speaking, thinking about this imaginary world, it is the easiest way for me to feel as a part of this “another” life, life that I will never have.

    Like Carrie told to Brody – “imagine that”. Well, that’t what I am doing, I am imagining.

    And when next time you’ll have a nice chat with Damian, could you please let him know that he has some fans in Sweden as well. 🙂

    1. Hi Polina, thanks so much for your lovely words! We’re doing the best we can to have great fans like you enjoy Damian Lewis and his work — this is what motivates us and keeps us going and going. So, thank you so much! Well, regarding having a chat with Damian — I was just at the right place and at the right time — I hope I’ll have another chance, but at the end of the day, as you also say, our worlds are completely different. And, it’s okay. I am a fiction buff myself and believe that people reading and seeing fiction have many more lives than the ones that don’t. Hope to talk more, please keep feedback coming, this is very helpful for us, too! Have a great day!

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