Hello all! Damianista here. It’s Tuesday aka Fan Story Day!
Damian Lewis got his first big wave of fans through Band of Brothers, a series that put him on the map as a good actor. The second, and much bigger, wave of fans came with Homeland that made Damian an international star and a household name. It seems though there is still room for growth in the fandom and Billions is bringing in a new wave of fans to Damian. Krista, a representative of this new wave of fans and a wonderful social media friend, is sharing with us today how she “discovered” her “first gingy ever.” Enjoy!
I did not know who Damian Lewis was until, wait for it…Billions! Yep, meet the first Damian Lewis fan who had never heard of Brody, nor fell in love with Damian because of Brody. Back then Homeland just didn’t appeal to me so I never watched it and avoided the bandwagon for quite some time.
But I was hooked on Billions from the get-go. In fact my friend and I would text each other during the show in real time as if we were watching it together in person. Sometimes my friend would be on delay and I’d text hints like a lion emoji just to drive him nuts. He’d text back, ‘What does the lion mean? Tell me now! I can’t wait.’ I was so hooked on Billions I’d record it as I watched it. Then re-watch it immediately via DVR. Then months later I re-watched every episode again, but only the Damian Lewis parts 🙂 That means I’ve seen Billions Season 1 three times, some episodes 4-6 times each, such as YumTime, Short Squeeze, Quality of Life, and The Conversation.
I’ll never forget the Billions scene that made me a forever diehard Damian Lewis fan. Episode 10 “Quality of Life.” The pretend argument between his character Bobby Axelrod and Dollar Bill Stearn played by Kelly AuCoin.
The final episode of Billions “The Conversation” made me sit up even straighter and say, “Whoa, who is this guy?!?!”
I immediately IMDB’d Damian’s filmography and began purchasing everything I could get my hands on, ranging from BBC Store, Amazon/Amazon Video, Netflix or Hulu. I have now seen 2/3 of Damian’s filmography. The remaining 1/3 is much earlier work that is difficult to find or not available, or was a play. It would be easier to list what I haven’t seen, than what I have. I have not seen the following:
- To Appomattox (this doesn’t count, it never happened)
- The Vicar of Dibley
- Phineas and Ferb
- Confessions of a Diary Secretary
- The Big Impression
- Jeffrey Archer: The Truth
- The Script
- Life Force
- Micky Love
I was also stunned that I had seen two of Damian’s performances before I ‘knew’ him and didn’t even realize it: Dreamcatcher and An Unfinished Life. Then it dawned on me, “Oh yeah, I remember that creepy ex-boyfriend in An Unfinished Life; loathed that character so much, it was emotionally provoking for me.” Just goes to show how Damian can bring a character to life so well. Talk about transference! I also remembered thinking at that time (and try not to laugh), “JLo wouldn’t be with that redhead. I’m not buying it.” Of course I watched both films again to get my Damian fix.
After Billions I binge-watched Homeland first. What an outstanding performance! I now understood what all the buzz was about. I stopped watching Homeland after season 3 ended, with the exception of “Redux” episode 7 from season 4 in which Damian Lewis made an appearance. I’ll never forget “Why are you so cold?” Ugh, I had to grieve Brody’s death all over again.
Next came Life, then Forsyte Saga and everything else, including interviews on YouTube. I really, REALLY liked the show Life. In fact, Charlie Crews is my second favorite character Damian has played and shows his comedic timing. I am also a fan of Adam Arkin and loved their on screen chemistry “Am I Robin to your Batman?” In an interview Damian talks about how Showtime/Homeland executives finally cast him and he thought at one point, “Oh did you see my work in Life?” Then Damian goes on to explain that no, they did not hire him for his work in Life and in fact, felt Life was a failure. A failure?!?!? Not in my opinion!
It had great writing. But the execs strongly felt any show that was cancelled after 2 seasons was a failure. Hello? Writer’s strike anyone? And we now know it was because of his performance in Keane that helped seal the Homeland deal. While trolling on YouTube I stumbled across his Emmy speech. While re-watching it I remembered, “Oh yeah, the Brit actor I didn’t know.” Just like Damianista, I said aloud during those Emmy’s “Who the hell is Damian Lewis?” But unlike Damianista I was rooting for Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad or Michael C. Hall of Dexter.
Then came my beloved Soames. How could you not feel empathy for this repressed character? But alas, we know Damian can play repressed men so well 🙂 I wanted to hate Soames, but didn’t feel it right to judge his whole character based on one defining, despicable moment.
My top 5 Damian Lewis performances in order are:
- Bobby Axelrod – Billions
- Charlie Crews – Life
- Nick Brody – Homeland
- Soames Forsyte – Forsyte Saga
- Nicholas McGrade – Colditz
No matter what character Damian plays, he commands the screen. I’m simply in awe of his acting abilities. And that eyebrow raise he does melts me every time. You girls know what I’m talking about!
I have come to terms with the fact that I love my first gingy….EVER.