Hello all! Damianista welcomes you to a new Fan Story Tuesday!
Today’s story comes from Erica who has never seen Homeland (believe me, we can still be friends :D) and “discovered” Damian in two “as British as it gets” roles. Big thanks go to her for sharing her lovely story with us!
The first time I saw Damian Lewis, he was playing a young King Henry VIII in “Wolf Hall”. Like a lot of British series, this one started off so subtle that I actually fell asleep during episode one. I was really annoyed with myself because I know that these shows start off quiet and reach a boiling point at the end- most American shows do just the opposite. I rewatched and was blown away by the intensity of Mark Rylance’s Thomas Cromwell and by the power of Damian Lewis’ Henry.
We have all heard that the young King Henry was tall, athletic, handsome and incredibly charismatic. Damian plays him with all that and also manages to show a vulnerability that Henry covers up with arrogance and over-the-top displays of anger.
Playing opposite the incredible Claire Foy- his portrayal of Henry makes you believe that this King was his own worst enemy and yet…you totally understand how so many people placed themselves at his mercy. In the final episode- when Thomas Cromwell goes in to see an elated Henry, just after Anne Boleyn’s execution, Lewis is absolutely bone-chilling and manages to show that this is a man that is willing to do ANYTHING to get what he wants and feel absolutely no remorse. There is no dialogue- none necessary- we get it.
Just after “Wolf Hall” aired, PBS started running “The Forsyte Saga”. Even though this series is about 15 years old- I had never seen it but when I found out Damian was the star, I was ready to watch. It’s a visually beautiful show that captures your heart on so many levels and even though once again- it’s a period piece- the themes are totally relatable in today’s world.
Soames Forsyte is a character that rubs everyone in the story the wrong way- he is emotionally distant on the outside yet a seething cauldron of over-the-top obsession for the equally emotionally distant Irene. She knows better upon their very first meeting and yet she is pretty much forced to accept his marriage proposal and he is too determined to have what he wants to get that she DOES NOT love him.
Damian plays Soames so completely that even though he is a total mess emotionally, a rapist, ridiculously arrogant and mostly cold-as-ice and controlling to the other people in his life- you FEEL for him. He makes you understand his side – makes you feel sorry for him- makes you wish things could have been different. As with Henry VIII- Damian Lewis does what only really great actors can do- he makes you love the Bad Guy. I plan to watch “Billions” because both Damian and Paul Giamatti are so wonderful in everything they do and I’ve heard how much people are loving the show.
It will be weird for me to see Damian Lewis playing a character in the present day but I’m so looking forward to having him make me love another Bad Guy. OH!….and when the James Bond rumors started flying….I thought he was a perfect choice! The World could use a hot, intense, Ginger James Bond!