Throwback Thursday to a Moment on Pont Neuf: Or How Damian Lewis
Proposed to Helen McCrory

“I always pursued my fantasies. I was never interested in fantasies remaining fantasies. They were always so formed in my imagination that I couldn’t not chase them.” – Damian Lewis


Now, Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory make a real cool couple. But, do you know how Damian proposed to Helen? It’s a FUN story!

In an interview with Vogue, Damian Lewis says that “falling in love with a beautiful, talented actress and whisking her off to Paris to propose” was his fantasy.

Damian and Helen in 2005

So, first he falls in love with a beautiful, talented actress, Helen McCrory. In case you missed it, we shared that story earlier here.

“Helen and I partied very, very hard before we met and then we collided at the Almeida in 2004 and together we partied even harder. We used to lose entire evenings listening to jazz at Ronnie Scott’s.”

Damian and Helen at the De Beers and Factory Publishing magazine launch party, 2005

I smile big when I remember Damian telling Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs very lovingly about the evenings he and “his lady wife” spent at jazz bars and choosing a track that reminds him of those sweet evenings:

“…when I was courting my lady wife, we went to listen to a lot of jazz, it was really lovely. And… I like the entire spectrum of jazz, but I’ve chosen us a more traditional swing jazz. This guy was really the first jazz super star, he was dead by the time he was 28. And, this is called Goose Pimples… It’s a fantastic track and it would remind me of jazz clubs with Helen.”

So, go ahead and swing away with Bix Beiderbecke as you read on about how our favorite guy, who could NOT not chase his fantasies, whisks Helen off to Paris to propose… 🙂

“I proposed to Helen in Paris. I tried to do it on the Pont Neuf — I was sweating bullets and wrestling in my overcoat pocket for the ring, which had got stuck in a little cellophane bag, but when I finally got it out, a gaggle of Japanese tourists surrounded us like a flock of seagulls, taking pictures, and the moment was totally destroyed.”

True, the moment was totally destroyed, but it’s still a lovely, romantic and equally funny story to tell their kids and grandkids.


Here is a picture of the beautiful Pont Neuf, the oldest standing bridge over the river Seine, at night for you… so now you can imagine Damian and Helen on the bridge… and add the tourists taking pictures of them 🙂

Damian and Helen at the Keane Premiere at BFI Film Festival, 2005

Damian adds:

“I now take Helen back to Paris for three days without our two kids every February for our anniversary. We walk about the city, and sit in bars drinking rosé.”

Damian, Helen, and little Manon 🙂

It turns out the couple’s engagement was formally announced in the press. Wales Online reports:

“A NEW Welsh “golden couple” could be in the making after the engagement of actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory was announced.

It emerged last night that Lewis, best-known for starring in acclaimed World War II drama Band of Brothers, proposed to his girlfriend of three years earlier this month, in a romantic gesture shortly before Valentine’s Day.

Her acceptance was confirmed in a formal announcement in the Daily Telegraph’s pages yesterday, which read, “The engagement is announced between Damian, son of Mr Watkin [sic] Lewis and the late Mrs Lewis, of London, and Helen, daughter of Mr and Mrs Iain McCrory of Cardiff.”

Damian and Helen arriving at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, 2006

And how about the ring? Well, Helen talks a bit about her plain titanium engagement ring as well her more expensive platinum wedding band which Damian convinced her about in an interview with the Daily Mail. She rotates the rings for the interviewer’s inspection and says:

“Not that you can really tell the difference. When my dad saw them he said, “What is Damian, a bl**** plumber?”’

Damian, Helen and Helen’s Dad Iain McCrory at “A Little Chaos” Premiere, 2016

But my favorite from Iain McCrory, Helen’s dad, is what he talks about when he talks about his first meeting with his future son-in-law:

“Helen never brings fame into the house. Yes, she’s married to Damian Lewis and he is who he is, but all I see is a brilliant husband and a father who’s totally devoted to his family. As soon as I met him, I knew he was right. He’s an old-fashioned romantic at heart and I know he’ll always look after my girl. What more could a father wish for?”

This literally brings tears to my eyes and not because Damian is a brilliant husband and a father but because I know this is what every parent wishes for their children.

And while we have no clue if the Paris tradition continues  we genuinely hope that it does and our favorite couple finds a few days in the month of love every year to go to Paris or and sip some rosé! Cheers!

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!

Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.