“And Damian [Lewis] likes to sing show tunes, surprisingly.” — Maggie Siff about lighthearted moments on Billions set
Well, Maggie, you have known Damian for a short while so it is okay you are surprised. Are we surprised at all? No way! And I would say Claire Danes would not be surprised, either 😀
This is what Claire tells Digital Spy about Damian:
“I don’t think most people know what a song-and-dance man he is. I suspect Damian’s dream gig would be a Broadway musical, and he would be amazing. He actually took tap-dancing lessons throughout the filming of Homeland’s second season.”
Damian shares with People Magazine about his tap-dance classes as well as his love for singing show tunes on set in 2012:
“I’m learning to tap dance. That’s what I love doing. And I love to sing show tunes.” It turns out his favorite CIA agent bought him a Gene Kelly box set for inspiration, and moreover Damian and Mandy Patinkin sang together on set: “…we’ll just break out into a cappella. We did ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ together. He corrects me on the words.”
Now, for those of you that do not know of other incredible talents Saul Berenson has next to spying… Mandy Patinkin is a tenor and a voice artist who is first and foremost known for his work in musical theater, in particular the works of Stephen Sondheim and he won a Tony Award for his role in the original Broadway production of Evita! As it turns out, he and Damian sang together on Homeland set! When asked by Entertainment Weekly about the most challenging and thrilling moments on Homeland Set during the first season, here is what Damian says:
“…the most challenging of all was the lie detector scene and Mandy Patinkin was there and we tried to do an a capella version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ That was the most thrilling.”
Remember that scene?
“Have you ever been unfaithful to your wife?”
Cut! And Damian and Mandy go into Bohemian Rhapsody and celebrate Sergeant Brody passing the polygraph test with flying colors! Gotta LOVE these guys!
And when asked about who has the better singing voice:
“Oh my God. I can’t believe you’re even asking! Mandy. He sat me down yesterday. I started humming a tune from Into the Woods. And he was like, “Oh my God keep singing that! I’ll come in with my part!” Then he was coaching me. I was getting the notes wrong. He was trying to put me in touch with singing teachers. We’re not really shooting Homeland down here.”
Damian played both the Wolf and Cinderella’s prince in the 1999 Donmar Warehouse production. The musical was nominated for the Outstanding Musical Production at the Laurence Olivier Awards in 1999. Theater critic Kevin Wilson, in particular, raved about Damian Lewis as the Wolf:
“The Wolf, in the hands of Damian Lewis, is a sexy, charismatic character whose death robs the piece one of its greatest assets at an early stage.”
And, lucky us, even though there is no way, and this is the big downside to stage productions, that we can see Damian in that particular Into the Woods, we have Damian singing “Agony” — the musical number he sang as Cinderella’s prince in Into the Woods on Popcorn with Peter Travers a few years ago. In this particular scene, Cinderella’s prince and Rapunzel’s prince, who are brothers, compare the misery that their new found and unobtainable loves give them.
There were rumors in early 2013 that Damian was in some kind of early negotiations to play the lead character in a West End revival of the musical Me and My Girl, set in 1930s and telling the story of Bill Snibson, an “unapologetically unrefined cockney gentleman named Bill who learns that he is the 14th heir to the Earl of Hareford.” It may be that Damian’s schedule in 2013, including Homeland Season 3 shoot, did not let him go ahead with the musical, or it could be something else, but the production did not go through in the end, either.
Damian, in his recent SAG-AFTRA interview, cites Me and My Girl as one musical that he fell in love with as he talks about which actors he looked up to on stage as he was growing up:
“I totally fell in love with Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson doing Me and My Girl in the West End which he then took to Broadway and won a Tony for… A lovely 1930s Vaudevillian musical.”
And, guess what, he leans on a wall holding a copy of The Evening Standard and sings “Leaning on a Lamppost” from Me and My Girl as his opening number when he hosts Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Savoy Hotel in London, in November 2013. Notice Damian’s Movember Moustache!
His tweet about his preparation a few weeks before the awards ceremony is priceless!
Tsvetanka, one of our wonderful readers, has shared with us this little audio file where Damian is singing “ Leaning on a Lamp-post” at the Evening Standard Awards. Well, either he is singing differently from the shower or he is a brilliant performer in the shower! Because, as Tsvetanka points out “he has such a velvet voice and excellent vibrato.”
Please copy and paste the link below and… ENJOY!
Finally, Damian recently sang a lovely standard, You Brought a New Kind of Love to me on his appearance on Popcorn with Peter Travers. Even though Frank Sinatra version of this love song is the most famous, we would take Damian’s version over it anytime, wouldn’t we?
So just close your eyes and let Damian sing for you:
Travers is thrilled: “The musical has to be next!”
Damian: “Maybe not.”
UPDATE 06/21/2018: Yet, having seen these pics from Damian’s recent performance of Singing in the Rain along with Adrian Lester and Bertie Carvel at the Old Vic’s Bicentenary Ball in May, I would just say:
“Why not, Damian?”
It goes without saying we all have our dreams about Damian on stage and mine is, since I saw him at Ascot Race in 2015, to have Damian sing “there even are places where English completely disappears; in America they haven’t used it for years.” 😀