We are thrilled to launch a brand new project on Fan Fun with Damian Lewis and we would LOVE you to be a part of it!
What is the dream role you have in mind for Damian Lewis?
THAT is the question!
In my not-very-humble opinion, the way he uses his physicality, his mind-blowing precision as well as his incredible range collectively make Damian one of the best, if not the best, working actors that we have today. The evidence presents itself in the fantastic characters he brought to life in his acting career of more than two decades varying from WWII hero Major Winters to homeless William Keane to billionaire Bobby Axelrod.
Kenneth Rea, a senior acting teacher at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for almost 40 years, published a book “The Outstanding Actor” with a foreword by one of his star students, Damian Lewis, in which he writes about why some actors just stand out. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Mr. Rea talks about Damian’s Hollywood experience:
“When Damian [Lewis] was working with Tom Hanks on Band of Brothers, he asked him about the roles he takes. Tom said he had a brand to maintain, the little American who struggles against adversity and comes out on top in the end. If he departs from that, his fans won’t follow him. Damian thought that was quite sad, a great star having to protect a brand. That’s one of the downsides of success; it can brand you. On the other hand, if you take risks, if you’re unpredictable, you can do pretty much anything.”
I like and respect Tom Hanks, and I applaud him for speaking very openly to a young actor about how show business works. And, yes, it’s quite sad, too. You know what this kind of “branding” does to an actor, right? The movie title changes, the character’s name changes, but the actor is always playing almost the same role. I don’t want to name names but I know that you know what I am talking about. Oh, we need a president… Call X. We need a guy who will take revenge from the guys who killed his wife… Call Y. We need a corrupt cop… Call Z.
In a world dominated by “brands” it is refreshing to see an actor like Damian Lewis, someone that keeps away from this almost inevitable trap, and chooses to play layered characters that cannot be more different from each other! I would call THIS a true brand. And while he is obviously very easy on the eyes, I believe it is Damian’s qualities as an actor that has kept us as his loyal fans. And knowing that this actor can take any role and make it his own, it is sort of inevitable to dream of Damian playing a particular character or two. And, you know, one sometimes gets lucky!
When I read Wolf Hall back in 2014 I had no idea that BBC was planning a TV adaptation. I had Damian in mind as Henry VIII throughout the book and hoped with all my heart that they would adapt the book for the small or big screen and cast my favorite actor as the king. Can you imagine my excitement when that dream came true?
Oh, and since 2015, the early days of this blog, we have repeatedly said that Damian Lewis should play Steve McQueen. And, yeah, that dream came true, too, when Quentin Tarantino cast Damian as Steve McQueen in his Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.
If you have a dream role for Damian to play, I sincerely hope you get lucky and he gets to play it one day. But regardless I am confident that your “dream role” stories would make a wonderful series of posts on the blog. And it goes without saying that it will provide a unique opportunity for us to interact as fans as well as strengthen our feeling of community – exactly like “How did you become a Damian Lewis fan?” project we did 3 years ago!
So what say you?
If you would love to write about your dream role for Damian, please leave a comment below this post or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you want to contribute to the project. You can then send your story to the same email address when it is done. A few of us have already written about our dream roles for Damian and they vary from a real-life artist to a popular fictional spy to literary characters. And, you know, this is your dream, this is your fantasy, so feel free to go with any character that you would love to see Damian bring to life on screen or stage and tell us why you think he is perfect for this role.
We plan to publish the stories starting early 2021 probably following Damian’s milestone birthday – the big 5-0! So there is ample time to get your thoughts together and put them into words. It would be wonderful if we could have the stories sent to us by mid- January. That would give us a month or so to prepare them for publication.
We very much HOPE that you like the “dream role” project and will participate. The more the merrier!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Damianista on behalf of the Fan Fun team