Fan Fun with Damian Lewis is five years old today!
Here we are, a bunch of inspired fans, 1826 days, 1,017 blog posts and over 1.7 million views from 221 countries later… absolutely thrilled and totally beaming about how far we have come!
I vividly remember the conversation I had with Lewisto as I was trying to decide, in the last weeks of 2014, whether it would be worth keeping an online fan diary about Damian Lewis. Lewisto told me he knew I would do a fantastic job but I should do it only if I believed I could make a commitment for two years.
We have just more than doubled that! 😀 😀 😀
Five years may not be a very long time in a blog’s life, but it is a real milestone in its own right — at least a very good excuse to thank YOU, our readers, for the overwhelming love and support you have given us over the years! As we are collectively sharing Damian Lewis FUN, you are making our dream come true! Here is a BIG thank you to each and every one of you for reading us, following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, giving us feedback and spreading the word.
I remember it felt just right when I made the first ever post here five years ago. I somehow knew I would have fun doing this and meet like-minded fans along the way to team up with. What I did not know was we would have the BEST TEAM one could ever hope for! We absolutely have the best chemistry ever as partners in crime and you cannot imagine how many blog posts come out of our casual conversations. I will liberally steal a quote from Damian to describe my partners because I would not be able to put it into better words: “Everyone is smart, witty, and a little bit better than the last person.” 🙂 Thank you, sisters, I love you, YOU ROCK!
Lewisto, my number one guy and our Fan Fun tech guy, who has been supporting the blog since its inception, deserves special thanks! I would never ever have started a blog should Lewisto have not encouraged me. I will never forget him saying: “Some people love golf. You love Damian Lewis. What’s the difference?” Right?!?! Lewisto, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank you for everything!
We are extremely grateful to our London spy Tsvetanka – a wonderful fan and a true friend – for attending Damian Lewis events and sending us pictures and videos! My friend, thank you from the bottom of my heart! You are one of the most selfless people I have come across in life. Who would give up on her own pleasure of seeing Damian talk or perform and record the event to share it with the rest of the fandom? Only you would!
Before we give special thanks to the guy who names this blog, it would be neat to walk down the Fan Fun memory lane and re-live some of the awesomeness the last five years have brought! Please join us!
January 5, 2015: I publish the first post “How I Stopped Worrying About Kevin Costner and Loved Damian Lewis” on Fan Fun with Damian Lewis.
January 19, 2015: Damian starts shooting Billions pilot in New York.
February 3, 2o15: Lewisto and I catch Damian on Billions set in New York and let him know about the blog. Damian asks for my information and, believe it or not, he has my information in his jacket pocket as he films the famous “Fuck you money” scene in the Pilot episode.
As the famous song goes…
“The memory of all that
No, no they can’t take that away from me” 😀
You can read the full story here.
March 4, 2015: JaniaJania joins the team and brings her literary and forensic talent to the blog. Here’s her first post “Why Damian Lewis?” still as fresh as it was (almost) five years ago.
April 5, 2015: Wolf Hall premieres on PBS Masterpiece Theatre.
April 27, 2015: American Buffalo opens at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London.
May 29, 2015: Lewisto and I go to London to see Damian for the first time on stage in American Buffalo. We also catch up with him at stage door, but this is not your typical stage door story which you can read here. I give Damian a sample of our blog writings including JaniaJania’s piece “Why Damian Lewis Must Play Steve McQueen” and also tell him he must play Steve McQueen 🙂
October 2-3, 2015: JaniaJania and I spend a weekend with Damian Lewis at the New Yorker Festival, well, sort of… 😀 Damian introduces us to his PR person and calls the work we do “creative”, “journalistic” and “in-depth.” Oh. My. God.
January 17, 2016: Billions premieres on Showtime.
January 21, 2016: Wolf Hall receives the Golden Globe for the Best Miniseries or TV Film.
March 29, 2016: Holliedazzle joins the team and brings her expertise, as a student of Delsarte, in use of body language to decode many of the great ways that Damian uses his body to create some of the most convincing characters we have ever seen on the screen. Here is her first blog post “The Many Faces of Damian Lewis” specifically focusing on how Damian uses his face to create Charlie Crews, Nicholas Brody, and Bobby Axelrod.
April 1, 2016: Lady Trader officially joins the Fan Fun team. She has been helping us with understanding the financial jargon in Billions for a while, and now a part of Fan Fun, she brings her decades of expertise in the financial world and her unique perspective to the blog. Here is Lady Trader’s first post “In Defense of Bobby Axelrod” which is as relevant today as it was three and a half years ago.
April 7, 2016: We have a fabulous moment at a Facebook Q&A with Brian Koppelman and David Levien just before Billions S1 Finale. I submit my question early because I teach during the live event. And I have to pinch myself as I watch the recorded event later that evening: Are they saying they read us and they salute us for the work we do? Yes, they are!
Thank you, Mr. Koppelman and Mr. Levien, for the shout out which motivates us to do better. And, dear readers, if you are intrigued to find out about the crazy story Mr Koppelman refers to in the video, see February 3, 2015 in this timeline 😀 It was one crazy day indeed!
June 23, 2016: It is as historic a day for Fan Fun with Damian Lewis as for the UK – the day of the Brexit vote. Damian rocks the New York Times Talks at the Directors Guild Theatre in New York. And, after the event, he lets me interview him for the blog.
Yet, the most priceless moment comes when he offers to make a “thank you” video for the blog! I am a calm person… well, generally. And I am quite relaxed when I interview him. But then I am about to faint as I film his shout out message. The words Damian uses for our work make my knees go weak: “Involved.” “Intricate.” “Sophisticated.” “Makes fascinating reading.” “Keep doing it.” Is he really talking about us? Oh. My. God.
June 30, 2016: Our Kind of Traitor opens in theaters across the U.S.
October 2, 2016: Fan Fun with Damian Lewis launches a brand new project asking fans to answer a very important question: “How did you become a Damian Lewis fan?” I am extremely proud of our collective project that brought in 55 stories from 21 countries attesting to the fact that Damian Lewis fandom has no borders!
April 5, 2017: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? opens at Theatre Royal Haymarket in London.
April 14, 2017: Queen of the Desert has a limited theater release in the U.S.
April 24-25, 2017: JaniaJania and I have the time of our lives as we see Damian on stage in The Goat and meet him backstage after the performance to give him our surprise gift! Damian is clearly exhausted when we meet him after a 110-minute physical play without intermission. And it is LOVELY to see how his eyes go from tired to excited when he is opening his gift. It is incredible how memory can freeze a moment in time: I am my usual 6 year old self jumping up and down saying “open it, open it!” while JaniaJania is being her usual lady-like self, composed, where as Damian, tearing the wraps, is repeatedly saying “look at that, look at that, look at that.” I think his grin says it all but his words, as he gives us bear hugs, will stay with me forever:
“Thank you, girls! That’s incredibly nice of you!”
And some more awesomeness arrives in a tweet later when we make a post celebrating 12 weeks of The Goat after the play closes. It is not that we are expecting anything but Damian’s sweet gestures are everything.
Thank you for this wonderful retrospective of a fabulous twelve weeks in the West End.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) June 28, 2017
April 24, 2017: The exact same day JaniaJania and I see The Goat in London, Billions creators and show runners Brian Koppelman and David Levien hold a Billions Q & A on Facebook. They collect questions earlier in the day so I submit my question and leave for theater. When we are back at the hotel room, we first see exciting tweets by our blog sisters and immediately tune in to hear Mr. Koppelman’s words about us:
“They write incredibly entertaining and fun recaps of the show. They really understand the show.”
We are absolutely flattered by and extremely grateful for this shout out. It encourages us to work harder and do better. And I highly recommend you to watch the Q&A in its entirety to have a better understanding of the creative process behind Billions.
September 28, 2017: Another big moment comes in the fall when we start to manage the fan site damian-lewis.com. The ladies who founded the site were there for Damian before anyone else. They started an online chat group during the HBO broadcast of Band of Brothers in 2001 and launched the fan site in 2006. We are grateful to all who poured their hearts and souls into the site over the years. We know it is a serious commitment and are now doing our best to preserve their legacy and keep up the good work.
Moreover, with damian-lewis.com, comes along the ridiculously talented and resourceful Gingersnap as the principal news and events person at damian-lewis.com and a fun blogger at Fan Fun (have you read her series on “Bobby Axelrod’s Hairstyles” yet?). Her dedication is exemplary and her enthusiasm is contagious. I love you to the moon and back, sister!
November 1, 2017: NotLinda joins the team and brings with her lots of love and words devoted to Brody. She is currently curating our “Countdown to Homeland Season 8” series!
March 1, 2018: Insert all the happy emojis you can think of here! Because Damian Lewis follows Fan Fun with Damian Lewis on Twitter!!!!
March 14, 2018: Fan stories turn into a book and land in Damian’s hands. You can read the story here.
April 12, 2018: The Tail That Wags The Dog joins the team! You can read his first blog post “Billions Season 3: Capital Offenses” that focuses on character development in Billions.
June 6, 2018: Damian is cast as Steve McQueen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood!
June 7, 2018: Lady Trader, Lewisto and I attend Billions Super Fan Season 3 Finale Screening, and believe me, I rescheduled my Harry Potter and The Cursed Child tickets for this! 😀
Billions creators and show runners Brian Koppelman and David Levien take their viewers seriously and they are incredibly down-to-earth people. They very kindly took the time to say hi and mingle with fans before the screening. And it was lovely to see Lady Trader and Brian Koppelman chat about Black Sabbat, a conversation I did not get a word of. That said seeing the two of them speak the same language was a true joy!
October 27, 2018: Damian Lewis receives the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Award for Excellence in Television at a ceremony in Los Angeles. The award “recognizes inspiring individuals whose extraordinary talent and global appeal have been instrumental in the elevation of the medium of television” and here is what the BAFTA Los Angeles Chairman Kieran Breen says about Damian’s contribution to the medium:
“Damian’s ability to completely transform himself into iconic characters on screen ranging from King Henry VIII to Bobby Axelrod is a testament to his genius. With his unforgettable performances he consistently draws audiences in and takes us on a gripping journey deep into the human psyche. We are delighted to celebrate his achievements and honor him with the Britannia Award for Excellence in Television at this year’s ceremony.”
December 17, 2018: I am extremely lucky to catch up with Damian on Billions Season 4 set in New York! Damian hangs out with me on set, makes me feel like a guest even though I am sort of invading the workplace, and he plays along to make a video for the blog!
You can read the full story here.
April 5, 2019: Lady Trader and I attend the Xfinity Watchaton Billions Watch Party for an amazing evening at Classic Car Club of Manhattan! They make us feel like billionaires as we sip Champagne on Axe’s plane, eat quail-masquerading-as-ortolan with napkins on our heads, play Black Jack like there is no tomorrow, enjoy a Q&A with show creators and cast members followed by an early screening of the crazy good Episode 4, and, hey, we get to hang out with these two! Kelly and Toby, you guys rock!
June 4 2019: I check a bucket-list item as I high-five Damian and scream “Damian – You’ll Never Walk Alone!” on top of my lungs just a few days after Liverpool’s victory when our guy appears on Live with Kelly and Ryan. I have been a Liverpool fan as long as Damian has been! And as he was very lucky to be physically in the stadium, I was glued to the TV in a NYC pub rooting for LFC! And, yes! WE DID IT!
June 4 2019: BBC confirms the return of Wolf Hall for a second season.
July 1, 2019: Damian is invited to become a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
July 26, 2019: Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood opens at movie theaters.
Bottomline: These five years have brought so much love and laughter into my life thanks to my fellow bloggers and our wonderful readers! And I cannot thank Damian enough for the kindness, trust and generosity he has given us over the years. I do not know much about other fandoms but I do not think actors typically invite the fans who manage their fan sites / blogs to backstage after their theater performance, or introduce them to their agent, PR person and their personal assistants, or show them real hospitality on a film set. Damian has done all of this and more. I cannot say he is my friend or that I know him very well but I know him well enough to say that he is a true gentleman. It is a true pleasure to turn the inspiration he constantly provides into words. And, yes, we will keep doing it!
This year will bring us a lot of Damian on the big and small screen. While there has been no formal announcement, we expect Billions Season 5 to arrive on Showtime sometime in spring 2020. Damian’s new factual TV show Damian Lewis: Spy Wars has already finished its run on History Channel UK and will come to the Smithsonian Channel (a joint venture between Showtime and The Smithsonian Institute) early this year. As far as the upcoming movies are concerned, Run This Town had its world premiere in South by Southwest Festival last year while Dream Horse will have its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival this January. Both movies should come to a theatre near us in 2020. My biggest dream is for Damian to appear in Homeland Season 8, the series’ last season. I know it is an extremely long shot but my fantasy ending to the series is Brody showing up to say “Hi Carrie!” and cut… Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?
As I leave the stage to my fellow bloggers so they can share their thoughts about Fan Fun’s fifth birthday with you, I hope you stay with us and we keep following Damian’s brilliant career together! Cheers <3
Happy 5th Birthday to Fan Fun with Damian Lewis and the wonderful team we have. It was late spring/early summer of 2016 when I started following Fan Fun’s Instagram account. I posted so many Man Crush Mondays about Damian that Damianista asked if I’d be interested in helping with Fan Fun’s social media account, specifically, Instagram. I kindly passed because at the time I thought I would have too much on my plate. I continued to follow and interact on the blog and Tweet about Billions and Damian on Twitter. I even contributed a piece to the blog before becoming a team member. Then in late August/early September 2017, Damianista asked if I’d be interested in helping maintain the newly acquired damian-lewis.com. I jumped at the chance and the rest, as they say, is history! Damianista, I love you to the moon and back, too!
It has been a joy posting the news over at our sister site damian-lewis.com, blogging here with my blog mates, interacting with the fandom on social media and commenting with all of you readers. I am grateful for this community and its continued patronage because we wouldn’t be here without loyal readers like you.
Here’s to a FUN upcoming year with Fan Fun with Damian Lewis and I look forward to what’s to come! Wishing everyone an “Axeceptional” 2020 and what better way to ring in the New Year than with Damian, Helen, and fireworks!
Happy 5th Birthday FanFun!
Has it really been 5 years? Time flies when you are having FUN, and that certainly is what we here at the blog are having, and is what this blog is all about: the FUN of our “sisterhood”, the FUN of all of us writing and interacting with each other and our readers, but most of all the FUN of writing and exploring the amazing acting and philanthropy of Damian Lewis!
2019 had all the ingredients to make our blog diverse, thought-provoking, and entertaining.
“Billions” has opened up such debate and discussion on our blog, and it was wonderful. Looking at the show, and of course Bobby Axelrod, from so many different angles for the past 4 seasons took us from just discussing our favorite show, to basically doing in-depth analysis of these characters and their relationships. Some of us have been come physiologists in our analysis!
It never goes without saying say how much I appreciate all the hard work that everyone puts into this labor of love. We all have lives: jobs, families, and other commitments that everyone must attend to; but the attention, level of commitment, and enthusiasm of everyone who is involved with this project is amazing. Damianista is our brilliant “boss”, and she continually astounds me with her writing, her organization, her encouragement and her tireless support that makes this blog what it is today. Thank you Fearless Leader!
Season 5 of “Billions” will be here before we know it!! “From the Trader’s Desk” will continue to give you my perspective of the show and the characters from the financial point of view (and of course the metal side of things!). I’ll also be here to explain any “Fin-speak” that can sometimes be a tad confusing for the non-Wall Street viewer!
On a personal note, I had a very serious health issue in the summer/autumn of 2017. Being able to get back to writing “From the Trader’s Desk” and “Axe and his Music” helped me recover and get my life back to normal. Thank you to all the readers (and my fellow Sisters!!) who commented and engaged in the discussions! You were a help beyond words!
So Happy 5th Anniversary! Just like a fine wine, we are getting better with age!!