I am happy to say “Ich bin ein Berliner” for the last couple of days. And exactly like JaniaJania and I did in London, I cannot help follow Damian’s footsteps in Berlin… Honestly, it is not that I follow him, but he comes and finds me everywhere 😀 Look at that!
Then I stand in front of the glorious Brandenburg Gate that has become the symbol of unified Germany since 1989, and I do not just think of history, but also of Damian saying his hotel room had “a pretty amazing view of Brandenburg Gate” when he was in Berlin for the World Premiere of Queen of the Desert at Berlinale 2015 😀
So I look around and find out there is only one hotel looking over Brandenburg Gate: Damian should have stayed at Hotel Adlon during his visit to Berlin, the MOST famous and probably the most expensive hotel in the city with some interesting history.
So this little “discovery” provides a unique opportunity for a Throwback Thursday to Damian visiting Berlin two and a half years ago for Berlinale!
One reason that makes us love Damian Lewis even more than we do is that this guy knows how to have a GOOD TIME — exactly like how he did at the Queen of the Desert World Premiere at Berlinale in 2015!
Damian simply ROCKED the premiere with his wit and charm and was even called “Prince Charming” of the festival by Rainer Traube, the Head of Arts at Deutsche Welle, Germany’s state run international broadcaster.
Queen of the Desert, the biopic about Gertrude Bell, a historian, novelist and member of the British Secret Service, directed by Werner Herzog, and starring Nicole Kidman, Damian Lewis, James Franco and Robert Pattinson arrived at Berlinale 2015 complete with a photo shoot, press screening followed by a press conference with some FUN moments and, of course, the Red Carpet and an after party! I was extremely lucky to be able to see both the Press Conference and the Red Carpet LIVE on the festival website. That’s what I call public service 🙂 Thank you, Berlinale!
Let’s start with the official plot of the movie from Berlinale and then talk about “Damian Moments” of the day!
“The film tells the story of Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) who, as historian, novelist and member of the British secret service, played a decisive role around 1920 in setting the course for the new political order in the Middle East. As an educated young woman, for whom no suitable husband can be found in England, she journeys to Tehran.
After a tragic love affair with diplomat and inveterate gambler Henry Cadogan, she decides to give up on her private life and discover the region as an explorer. Before the backdrop of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire she learns languages, translates literature, meets with Muslim dignitaries in Cairo, Basra and Baghdad and earns their trust through her pluck and respect. Predestined to be a mediator between the Orient and the British Empire, she contributes to defining the new borders in the region after the First World War.
And then love enters her life once again.”
And this LOVE is the one we’re most interested in. Here is the first clip they released before the world premiere and you can see my review of Queen of the Desert here.
Werner Herzog uses the vast desert landscapes to depict the architecture of his characters’ souls. A panoramic epic about the woman who has gone down in history as ‘the female Lawrence of Arabia’.”
Damian greets fans on his way to the press conference.
At the press conference, Damian talks about the research he did about his character Charles Doughty-Wylie and his relationship with Gertrude Bell at Newcastle University. In case you missed it, you can see a piece, that I wrote earlier here, on Damian’s character in the movie, Charles Doughty-Wylie, and on Damian’s research at Newcastle University.
Damian says of the relationship between Doughty-Wylie and Bell:
“They sent beautiful and erotic letters to each other… but of its time… there is nothing explicit or sexual… there were suggestions of love, of missing each other… And, Doughty-Wylie was married, so… he was, I suppose, in some ways, being a naughty boy… I’m not sure if he would have ever left his wife or not… I think he was caught, he was caught, but he was certainly taken by Gertrude Bell.”
Hearing Damian Lewis talking about his research and all is great, BUT… the funniest and the loveliest moment of the Press Conference was when Damian said:
“I had a looong 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…”
Who could pull off being cheeky better than our guy?
And… on to the Red Carpet moments… Here is Damian and Helen, ladies and gentlemen…
Damian keeps busy talking to reporters on the red carpet.
And he shares a real laugh with his co-star Nicole Kidman.
Honestly, I like this kind of photo, the natural moments if you wish, much more than the staged photos at photo shoots or on red carpets. That’s probably why I did not have a professional photo shoot even for my wedding 🙂 Maybe it’s just me, but yeah, it’s me 🙂
And he even gave a short interview in which he does a Werner Herzog impression – priceless 😀
And if you want to know what Werner Herzog thinks of Damian, Lauren Collins who did a wonderful profile on our favorite actor in The New Yorker in January 2016 talked to the director for the profile.
She says Herzog told her that he needed a manly man for Charles Doughty-Wylie and he cast Damian “on the basis of his natural authority and dignity.” We find out that the two men have a disagreement over a walking stick at some point. Even though Herzog believes “we do not have to imitate a person, we have to invent them” Damian brings in a lot of compelling evidence including the fact that, at Gallipoli, Doughty-Wylie walked into the machine-gun fire without any weapon but only with his walking stick, Herzog gives in. Well done!
AND… The moment that tops it all for me was Damian Lewis signing his photo at Berlin Palast with a “Damian Lewis <3 x” LOVELY.
And, he’s so funny, he first signs, and then he pretends to sign as Helen takes a picture 🙂
It seems Damian and Helen had a fun time at the “Queen of the Desert” Studio Babelsberg Berlinale celebration with GREY GOOSE at Soho House. They look appropriately tipsy! 😀 Hey, lovely couple, lots of <3 and x’s for both of you!