Happy Labor Day! It means this is the last chance for most of us to make that last trip before the summer ends… It also means we will have our Englishman back in New York shortly for Billions Season 3 shoot. It goes without saying we will follow the shoot very closely and think and talk about our hopes, wishes and fantasies about Season 3 in the coming weeks and months.
But, today, we will talk about Damian’s summer, the first summer he has fully enjoyed in the last six years. There were obviously weekend escapes especially during Homeland shoot in North Carolina which Helen makes sound wonderful in an interview with Evening Standard…
“We went to the Appalachian Mountains, skinny-dipping in the white waters, camping…”
…but, still, Damian has constantly worked all summer since he started shooting Homeland in spring 2011. So, when asked by a fan at The Goat stage door back in May about what he would be doing between The Goat and Billions, he responded promptly:
“I am going to have a summer.”
And, he DID!
Shall we take a look?
Only four days after The Goat closed, Damian and Helen kicked off their summer attending Serpentine Galleries Summer Party in London…
…followed by a lovely family outing on their 10th marriage anniversary to famous playwright Tom Stoppard’s 80th Birthday along with 500 other A-listers! It is adorable Damian is holding hands with his two girls on the way to the party…
…and, I certainly applaud his choice of shirt! It is lovely to see Damian in a bright color once in a while! He should leave 50 shades of blue aside once in a while and do THIS!
Then he fully immerses himself in the world of sports… Damian shows up at the Lord’s on Day Two of the Investec Test Series between England and South Africa! Huh? Well, if someone asks me about cricket, I first think about the insect, not the sport. Sorry, Damian 🙂 However, even I can see that our “fair weather cricketer” is having a real good time and more than ready for a Pimm’s in the following interview 🙂
Damian’s story about attending cricket games with his dad and brother when he was a kid warms the heart and we should probably feel lucky that he has not become that next great cricket player 🙂 In case you want to find out about Damian’s own experience playing cricket at Lord’s, see JaniaJania’s post from two years ago here! She certainly knows more about cricket than I do.
Even though she always attends the games that Damian plays in, Helen repeatedly says she is not as sporty as her better half. She tells Telegraph in 2008:
“Damian and I have separate interests. I don’t care if Liverpool win or lose. Nor could I explain any of the cricket scoring.”
But, hey, it seems tennis is an exception! But, honestly, who would not make an exception to see the GREAT Roger Federer who is probably playing the BEST tennis he has ever played NOW after taking a six-month break? So, Damian and Helen attend Wimbledon men’s semi-finals to watch Federer vs Berdych. I have been lucky enough to see a few men’s semi-finals at the US Open over the last decade, so I know it is super thrilling to be in the same physical space with Roger Federer. And, I know Damian is a fan, too! He, in fact, attended a few US Open finals in New York in the last couple of years; however, I love it that he shares the excitement with Helen at Wimbledon this time around. Go, Roger!
And, ok, Helen may not as sporty as Damian, but even if she is, it still seems to be a challenge to catch up with our guy… who spends the day at Vicarage Road for the first Liverpool match of the English Premiere League 2017-18 Season…
…and then spends the evening at the London Stadium for the IIAF World Athletics Championships with Manon and Gulliver and hangs out with Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and a big athletics fan.
But why are they so excited?
Well, because they are seeing Britain win the gold in 4 x 100 men’s relay beating Jamaica with Usain Bolt running in championships for one last time. Have you noticed the properly planted English Rose on Damian’s cheek? LET’S ZOOM IN!
So far so good… But, hey, this is mostly staycation. How about vacation? Well, Helen shares in an interview with Telegraph back in 2008:
“We often go away for the weekend. Whenever I used to have time off, I always went abroad. But Damian is introducing me to how beautiful Britain is. His family has a house in the Brecon Beacons, so it’s lovely to go there.”
It seems, a decade later, Damian continues showing Helen around, and they drive a motorhome through West Wales this summer! How cool is that? Here is the Instagram message from Just Go UK, the company that the family rented their home on their back from in July!
And Damian was spotted at Salt Marsh Cafe Bar in Tywyn.
Later in August, Damian was spotted on vacation in Polzeath, a small seaside resort town in Cornwall.
A few observations: Damian is now recognized as Bobby Axelrod as he is as Dick Winters or Nicholas Brody and that he is a guy who buys the exact same tshirt in different colors 😀
Later in the week Damian was spotted at The Brewers Arms in South Petherton, Somerset.
We all know Damian loves his footie. He regularly plays for Anvil FC, a team in King’s Cross, but he has also taken part in several charity football matches including the celebrated Soccer Aid. Our guy shares in a recent interview with The Evening Standard that he sees the sport as a form of therapy:
“I enjoy the total absorption in a white ball and 10 other guys and the focus, and the way it releases everything else from your mind. It’s brilliant, it’s the best occupational therapy I can think of. You run around and get fit and it releases any anger or tension that you have. I used to play at 7.30 on Thursday mornings in New York. I’d haul myself out of bed, even if I’d had a night shoot that finished at 2am and go and play. I love it.”
I cannot agree with him more because I feel the same about running and swimming, particularly the part about the sport releasing any tension you have. And so I cannot be happier Damian puts a perfect end to summer playing the game he loves the most for a beautiful cause: Game for Grenfell, a charity football match organized by Les Ferdinand, one of my childhood football heroes, who played in my home team Besiktas in late 1980s, and Alan Shearer with former football stars and non-football stars to raise funds and inspire hope for the families of Grenfell Tower victims at Loftus Road.
And while he may call himself “a muppet” Damian played more like a pro in Game for Grenfell! In case you missed it, we covered the event in great detail, from locker room fun to after-party, here.
In the midst of all this constant activity, it seems Damian has found time to do some reading, too, this summer. And it comes as no surprise that the book he has read and highly recommended is a book about, well, sports 🙂
If you like Matthew Syed buy The Talent Lab by Owen a Slot. It's fascinating.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) August 19, 2017
The Talent Lab is a true story about “how talent can be discovered, created, shaped, and sustained.” Simon Timson and Chelsea Warr, the performance directors of the UK Sport, are tasked with delivering better success to Team Great Britain and Paralympics Great Britain at Rio 2016 than in London 2012 — a goal no other host nation was ever able to achieve in the next games. Timson and Warr DO IT using lessons from all over the place, varying from Yehudi Menuhin School of Music to the NFL Draft to the Royal College of Surgeons. Well, if you find it intriguing enough, The Talent Lab is available for purchase on Amazon.
Well, a recent Instagram post from Billions executive producer and show runner Brian Koppelman reminds us summer is “almost” over and it’s time to make Billions!
Damian was in New York for the table read and it seems the show creators and the cast had a high-end whiskey tasting followed by a private dinner at Mario Batali’s Del Posto. NICE! Damian then flew back home for Game for Grenfell and he is lined up to play in yet another charity event, a cricket match for Chance to Shine, a UK charity that spreads the power of cricket through schools and communities, on September 12.
UPDATE 09/08/2017: It is lovely to see that Damian is spending the last days of summer with family! Before his appearance at the charity cricket match, we find him again in the box at Lord’s to see England – West Indies Third Investec Test Match with his father!
Notice the new haircut! Someone is ready to make Billions in New York soon! 😀 And I love his tweet about the day just because it seems he has had a great time meeting some of his cricket heroes, not because I know any of them.
Legends everywhere in the box today. Goochy, Beefy, Boycs, Strauss, Gatt, Thorpey. And Jimmy hits 500. Magic.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) September 8, 2017
Here is Damian’s tweet thanking Chessington World of Adventures for a fun day out…
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) September 13, 2017
Dragon’s Fury? Ha! Here is what we are talking about… and, hey, seriously, they have to pay me for a ride on that! 🙂 I draw the line at The Cyclone on Coney Island!
According to a recent tweet by Brian Koppelman, they are starting to shoot Billions on September 11, so Damian will be flying to New York soon, and we wish the Billions team a wonderful shoot. Break legs!