“How On Earth Did I Become a Fan of Damian Lewis?” Nancy’s Story

Hi everyone! Damianista welcomes you to a NEW Fan Story Tuesday!

Today’s fan story comes from a wonderful reader whom I met under very special circumstances! One morning this summer, and it was my wedding anniversary of all days, I woke up to find out I could not access the blog and got a message from our host service that our website was hacked! You know, there is no dreadful a feeling like knowing your hands are tied, and so it was a horrible day until I was informed by the host later that afternoon that someone on the host service mistakenly marked our website as “hacked” and things went back to normal. But, in the meantime, I got this lovely message.

“Hi, I wanted you to know that your website is not accessible right now. Says “error establishing a database connection”. I don’t want anyone to miss out on your writings, including myself, as they are excellent. Thanks, Nancy”

It turns out Nancy read Fan Fun from its very early days and she was genuinely concerned when she could not access the site. As someone who believes everything (well, almost) happens for a reason, I seriously think the “hack” was an excuse for the two of us to meet! We clicked instantly and, me being me, I kindly asked Nancy if she would like to contribute to our fan story series. Huge thanks go to her for taking the time to write her deeply personal and incredibly lovely story.

It was all set in motion without my even realizing it. One summer day in 2011 our internet went out. Our provider couldn’t fix the problem remotely and couldn’t get a repairman out for several days. As both my husband and I work from home, this was a problem. But we made it through several days at the local library. And the day finally arrived to get our internet back but no repairman! A mistake had been made and our service call was not scheduled. To make up for their mistake, after sending someone right out to our house and fixing our internet, we were offered three months of Showtime free. My husband was thrilled by this offer but, since I watched very little TV (except for Roger Federer tennis, Cubs baseball and March Madness) this reward didn’t do much for me.

When the three free months ended, my husband discussed with me if we could pay to keep Showtime because he saw promos for this great new show.

source: Showtime

We had just finished putting two of our children through college and our third had two more years left, so we were counting every penny. But since we already paid for the tennis channel for me, I thought it was the least I could agree to for him. But I never asked him about this “great new show”! I probably wouldn’t have watched it anyway.

The fall of 2011 was one of the saddest times of my life as my sister was valiantly battling breast cancer. I had attended every doctor’s appointment, chemo treatment and surgery in the four years since she had been diagnosed. I really needed all of my energy, both physical and emotional for supporting her which is why my husband never even told me whether or not he enjoyed this new show we were spending our hard earned money on. He knew my world was consumed with far more important things. In early 2012 my sister lost her battle and I felt – what? loss, pain, sorrow. But my own sorrow was nothing compared to watching my 85 year old parents lose their child or my sister’s husband and sons struggle with their loss. There is no way to prepare for how you will feel with a hole in your life.

So how does Homeland enter into this sadness in our family?

source: tv.com

As we slowly moved towards healing and finding our new normal, I kept hearing from various people, including family members how much I would love this show Homeland. I love to read and mysteries are one of my favorites and I was told that this show was just like a great mystery. Well I kept putting off watching it. I am, if nothing else pretty stubborn and don’t like to be told what to do! Plus our son was getting married that summer and that was a welcome bit of joy in the midst of our grief.

homeland, brody

Finally I found myself looking at a cold and rainy late September weekend with my husband out of town on business and the joy from our son’s summer wedding just not keeping the grief at bay any longer. I heard that Homeland had won all of the Emmys that year and I knew it was time to watch it. I sat down after work one evening and began. I never stopped until I finished all 12 episodes. I didn’t know that a TV show could be so thrilling. The story was fascinating and just like a great book I kept watching the next chapter until I was exhausted and the story was over.

The acting was phenomenal especially this unknown, to me, actor who played Brody. At this point in my story I don’t need to tell anyone who reads this blog about the acting ability of Damian Lewis. He made my heart break for this poor man and then made me think of all of the real life young men and women coming home from war damaged in some way. And isn’t that what art is supposed to do? It reflects our world back to us and makes us think – what can I do to make the world a better place? At least that is what the acting of Damian Lewis as Brody did for me.

Then I did what most of you probably did whenever you discovered his talent – found what else he had acted in and watched it, started paying attention to interviews and anxiously awaited any new work to be released. This admiration for an actor, any actor took me completely by surprise. It is not typically my personality but it happened due in part to the amazing acting talent that was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Each new role that I found seemed to be different from the rest – this is acting; becoming a character and letting us, the viewer into that character’s life and thoughts and feelings. And then I started to see and read interviews given by Damian Lewis – this man seemed so different from most of his characters! He seemed so grounded – in his marriage, as a father, in the approach to life as work AND play.

He comes across as being very confident but also humble and kind. There’s thoughtful intelligence, humor – even directed at himself, and the understanding that helping others is an integral part of any person’s life. He reminded me of the only other “celebrity” that I truly admire – Roger Federer. Damian Lewis is the Roger Federer of acting!!

I’d never say that Homeland, Brody or Damian Lewis healed me of my sadness – only time can do that. But as these two events occurred side by side in my life, they have become, in the words of the wonderful Charlie Crews – connected!

I have enjoyed all of the fan stories on the blog and thank you all for reading mine!

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

32 thoughts on ““How On Earth Did I Become a Fan of Damian Lewis?” Nancy’s Story”

  1. Nancy, that was a truly lovely Fan Story! Thank you for sharing it with all of us. I can certainly understand how you feel watching Damian act and your own life situation “connect” . After my husband passed away in January 2014, I had (and still have) a similar reaction. Now I certainly will not claim that Damian Lewis, or any actor, helps me with the heart wrenching process of mourning. But I already had on DVD, just about everything he had made to that point. Since his fantastic skills allow us to immerse ourselves into whatever character he has become, just taking an hour or so now and then to re-watch “The Forsyte Saga”, “Keane”. “Life”,”The Band of Brothers”….etc. provided brief, but welcome distractions for my broken heart.

    1. Oh Connie, I am very sorry to hear about your husband. There is just no understanding why we lose loved ones. Thank you for your kind words about my story and for getting that entertainment helps but only for a while even really good entertainment!

  2. Nancy, This story is different to the others in the sense that happened in a sorrow time of your life. I am so sorry for your loss. It’s true that only time can heal you and it will.
    I agree with you, I find Damian so unlike other stars and grounded to family and helping others genuinely that makes me love him twice 😉

    1. Hello Eli Cole, thanks for reading my story and for your encouraging words of healing. I feel like we all see beyond just the “star actor” part of who Damian is and love him for the human being that we see. In that way, we all have something in common despite our various backgrounds.

  3. Thank you, Nancy. A moving story well told; as much a tribute to your sister as a fan story. I understand your pain when my sister was taken from me the healing was long. In time her death became part of our little saga. One I wouldn’t have missed for the world. God bless you both. Our fandom has many similarities as well! In fact when my infatuation with Brody really took hold I called another sister (we are still 3 out of 5) to share my dismay. I’m 60+ years old for God’s sake! She said “Enjoy the ride!l
    So glad you are with us, Nancy!

    1. NotLinda – your “chosen name” always makes me smile when I see it on the blog! I too am 60+ and have another sister who understands my passion for the work of Damian Lewis even though she doesn’t share it. I am sad to hear about your sister – healing is a long process but meeting lovely ladies like you on this blog eases it.

  4. Thank you for this wonderful and moving story, Nancy! This is as much a tribute to your dear sister as a fan story. I sort of know how hard it is to lose a sibling since I saw my mom losing my beloved aunt (we were close) to ovarian cancer after a four-year battle. It’s been almost two years and I cannot say she recovered fully from that… And I know Damian cannot make such a grief go away but I certainly know about the soothing effects of his acting.

    It goes without saying I am thrilled to know you and our “first meeting” has SOME story value. Sending lots of love your way, happy holidays!

    1. Dear, dear Damianista, I will be forever grateful to you for your encouragement to put this story on paper. I know my sister would have liked it!
      And the loss of your aunt and seeing your mom suffer is just as difficult as what any of us have gone through. I’m very sorry for both of you. I know that my daughter suffered greatly losing her aunt and watching me suffer – loss is loss.
      “Meeting” you is one of those meant to be things whatever the reason. Wishing you PEACE, LOVE and JOY this holiday season and on into 2018 when season 3 of Billions awaits us!!!

      1. La pensée de Damian,m’a beaucoup aidé quand j’ai eu un cancer du sein,que j’ai eu la chance de surmonter! Le 13 decembre,mon neveu est décédé,d’une septicémie,aprés une blessure a la jambe!Sa maman,ma soeur a eu besoin de moi,car ,en plus elle a perdu son mari il y a 2 ans,et je n’ai pas honte de dire,que le soir regarder Damian,dans un film,ou dans une interview,me faisait beaucoup de bien,un peu oublier le chagrin! C’est ce que nous apporte Damian,son talent,sa gentillesse,sa personalité!
        Merci Damian,pour tout le bien,le bonheur,que tu nous apportes!!


        Damian’s thought helped me a lot when I had breast cancer, which I was lucky enough to overcome! On December 13, my nephew died of sepsis after a leg injury, his mother, my sister needed me, because she lost her husband 2 years ago, and I I’m not ashamed to say, that watching Damian in the evening, in a film, or in an interview, did me a lot of good, a little forget sorrow! That’s what brings us Damian, his talent, his kindness, his personality!
        Thank you Damian, for all the good, the happiness, that you bring us !!

        1. Monique, I know I sent you a private message earlier but I just want to reiterate we are so sorry for your loss. Please accept our most sincere condolences.

        2. Thanks to google translate I am able to read your comments, Monique. I am heartbroken to hear of your loss. I hope that watching Damian continues to help in some small way through your grief. My condolences to you and your sister.

  5. What a wonderfully touching fan story Nancy! So very sorry for the loss of your sister. I hope that sharing some of the story of your grief has helped in whatever way it can.

    It’s so true what you say about the best art showing us our world….oftentimes clearer than we living in it can ever see. Fiction can be truer than reality in that sense. I was also not the sort to be “obsessed” with an actor, until I “met” Brody and learned about the man who brought him to life.

    So grateful that you shared your story with us! And thank you for visiting us and enjoying what we put out there about this guy that no one ever thought they’d be obsessed about. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you! <3

    1. Hi Janiajania, as today is the anniversary of my sister’s death and it’s cloudy and cold and sleeting and I just had a wisdom tooth extracted – wow what a day – I decided to look back at my fan story. There I saw your comment that I must have missed last year and wanted to thank you for all of your kind words. I get so much enjoyment from all the time that you all put into making this a wonderfully interesting blog. Truly cannot wait for March 25th and then the reviews to begin.

  6. Thank you, Nancy. Your story touched me deeply. I’m glad that Damian has helped you during an impossible time. And you’re right – Damian is the Roger Federer of acting. My world has revolved around Roger since 2003; I’ve been lucky enough to meet him and his parents several times. He, like Damian, is not only an unbelievable talent, but is also humble, genuine, and the kind of person we need more of in this world. Art – acting, fine arts, music, Federer playing tennis – goes straight to the soul. Damian does that; Roger does that. I wish you all the very best. xo Nancy (yes … we have something else in common!)

  7. I just discovered Homeland and Nicholas Brody three weeks ago and I am in the middle of the fifth season. I have never, literally never grew fond of a fictional character like I did with Brody. I am in total grief after his death and part of me hopes ( altgough I know most likely this will not happen) that he will be brought to life in the final season. I knew about his death long before season 3 finished but still it was incrediblly paintfull to watch. I continued to watch the show after-it is good, but clearly something, actually someone is missing. Damian Lewis is a fantastic actor and the chemistry between him and Claire Danes was fabulous. I do not think the producers could recreate this with someone else. Actually, it is unbereable to see Carrie with someone else. So, after Brody left the show I started to search the internet for articles and videos about him. At this point I discovered this blog and I must say you did a great job. Thank you ladies, you healed some of my pain. Think now I am one of Brody’s widdows. P.S. Sorry for my English, I do not know how correct that is.

    1. Welcome to the club, Oana! I completely understand your love for Brody! You can read my story here and see how that Brit in disguise as a US Marine hit me like a truck 6 years ago! http://www.fanfunwithdamianlewis.com/?p=16564 So I hope you enjoy the rest of Homeland (it is still going strong while it feels like something is really missing for me!) and I hope you get to the other work Damian has done. He has been in so many wonderful TV shows and several good films. Let us know if you need recommendations. And we hope you visit us often and give us feedback, too! Much love <3
      ps. Your English is perfect!

      1. Dear Damianista, thank you so much for your kind welcome. I read pretty much everything on this blog (told you it had become an obsession for me) and for sure I will follow it from now on too. I started watching Billions now for Damian. Perfect acting again, but Brody remains Brody. For the past three weeks I am like a zombie and I try getting over this, repeating myself that it was just a character, but it is hard. I think this is the way you realize the greatnes of an actor, with this impact he has over people in a role. You’re soo lucky meating him. Anyway, it is soo goid talking to people who understand my feelings. Greetings and love from Romania and keep in touch.

        1. Ha! I know exactly where you are. I mean, I still could not watch that horrific scene in Season 3 Finale. I am still in denial. Yes, I know, I also reminded myself often that he is ONLY a character, but somehow Brody just gets under your skin, and becomes much more than a character. I don’t know how Damian is able to do it, but he just does. So glad you have found the blog and found us. NotLinda is right, you are home here with us. Please keep in touch, and we write weekly reviews of Billions episodes, you may enjoy them, too. The new season is starting here in the US on March 17.

          I feel very lucky having been able to meet him. They say it may be risky to meet one’s idols because they may turn out to be not what one expects them to be… true… there is always a risk… but Damian has never disappointed. He is a true gentleman.

          Much love to Romania!!!!

          1. Yeap, that horrible scene from season 3, I saw it but only once…cannot see it again. His face, looking for Carrie and her face when she calls him, it’s unbearable to watch, so I understand you do not want to see it.

            Although I saw that scene, I am also in denial. I like to imagine that it was a fake, that he, somehow, is alive and that he will come back in the last season ( I know it is not soap opera, but maybe, just maybe, the writers and producers would consider, even if only for a few moments, to have again some of Damian’s brilliant acting). Therefor, when Season 8 will begin I will avoid any spoilers, any references, anything that will be related to Damian and Homeland, so as to keep my hopes until the very last second from the series. So, accept my apologizes, because in fall I will not read your blog for some time :-)).

            Regarding Billions I like it, but it will take some time for me to take Brody out of Damian, think it is too soon. But for sure I will enjoy it and I will read your reviews.

            Damian sure looks and acts like a true gentleman. He is reacting very humanly, despite his fame, which is a rare thing among actors. He is humble, he is kind to fans, he is funny which makes me like him even more. Not to mention that he is damn sexy 🙂
            He totally replaced my first love – Brad Pitt. Like you with Kevin, I had to say good bye :-))).

          2. Now I know what the scene is about — thanks to you 🙂 But, no, I refuse to watch it! 😀 My dream (and very cheesy) ending to the show is Brody showing up at the very end, the last scene, and saying “Hi Carrie!” and THE END. It’s my dream so I can dream whatever I want, can’t I? 🙂 I don’t think we’ll post anything about Homeland in the fall, we don’t really follow the show. We only follow Damian’s projects!

            Ha! You’re second person I hear that broke up with Brad for Damian. This is the first one: http://www.fanfunwithdamianlewis.com/?p=18387 ENJOY!

    2. This is from NotLinda who’s been having technical difficulties as she’s trying to comment on the blog.

      “Your English is so correct, Oana, and your sentiment is completely understood here! Brody filled and broke my heart three years ago and I’m still there. Some feel that way for Peter Quinn some for Bobby Axelrod but for me Brody, always Brody. Welcome you’re home on this website.”

      1. Thank you so much NotLinda. Indeed, also for me Brody remains the one and only. As I said in my initial post I even cannot stand seeing Carrie with someone else. It was a scene in season 5 where Carrie says that she wants to take Frannie and Jonas and go to the lake cabin, and I was like Whaaat?!! Do not even think doing that, that’s Brody’s place. Great talking with you ladies, it makes me feel better.

  8. Oana, you must see his movie Keane – spectacular performance! I also strongly recommend TV dramas Wolf Hall and The Forsyte Saga. This blog doesn’t follow Homeland; if you are interested in continuing the show as I am, I enjoy the blog Hell Yeah Homeland. (Love that name )

    1. Thank you! I saw that it does not follow Homeland, but all the posts related to Homeland from here are fantastic.
      Anyway, I will follow your advise and see the movies and TV dramas recommended. And the blog.:-)
      Thanks again.

      1. Yes, I think you will love most of his other work. I also met Damian through Homeland and then the first thing I watched him in was The Forsyte Saga. Loved him in it! Then came Band of Brothers and my beloved Wolf Hall based on my all time favorite book. He is such a fierce Henry VIII. And if you come to like Billions, we have reviewed every single episode since Season 1! Looking forward to meeting here often! Oh, and even though we don’t follow Homeland, JaniaJania wrote a few pieces about Homeland after Brody. And NotLinda has her pieces on Season 2. Highly recommended!

  9. I know you’ll never watch this Damianista but you can see on Damian’s face the moment he finds Carrie. It’s amazing acting with the noose and the rigging yet he captures that one moment. A feat of acting.

    1. The man himself told me, too, that it’s a very well-made scene and I have to watch it. I believe him and you, too. But yeah I will never watch it.

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