Our favorite guy said in a recent interview with The Telegraph that he is quite relaxed about turning 50. While we applaud him for being calm about his 50th, we can’t keep calm about such a milestone birthday!
So… Welcome to Damian’s week-long BIG 5-0 birthday party on Fan Fun. We kick off the festivities today with 50 Fun Facts about our favorite guy. Did you know about Damian’s first ever stage role? Or about his childhood nickname? How about his first screen crush or what he would have done if he had not been an actor? You can find the answers to all those and many more questions you may have about Damian below.
Fun Fact #1 Damian grew up on Abbey Road, not far from the Zebra Crossing the Beatles made world famous!
Fun Fact #2 Damian’s childhood nickname was… “Damage” 😀
Fun Fact #3 Damian’s first ever role was a policeman in The Pirates of Penzance, a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, at Ashdown House. Our boy has not changed much since his boarding school days, has he? 🙂
Fun Fact #4 Damian accidentally (well, he says so!) flushed his younger brother Gareth’s hamster down the toilet! Yikes!
Fun Fact #5 Damian formed his first theater company “The Chameleons” at age 16 at Eton College. They put on a school production of The Long And The Short And The Tall.
Fun Fact #6 Damian lived on the same street as Amy Winehouse. From 2001 to 2006 he lived on Prowse Place, No. 7, between Camden and Kentish Town. Baz Bamigboye (British gossip columnist) lived on one corner and Amy Winehouse on another. He met Helen towards the end of his time there, which is why he moved out. The house was just too small.
Fun Fact #7 Damian made his Broadway debut at the age of 24 in Hamlet where he played Laertes to Ralph Fiennes’ Hamlet. One night on stage he was injured near his eye during the famous sword fight scene which resulted in six stitches.
Fun Fact #8 Damian is a Liverpool supporter since he was seven. He was there at the stadium in Madrid when his beloved Liverpool won the European Champions League title last year and hung out with the team at the after-party.
Morning after. GET. IN. pic.twitter.com/UCIxpuwOPB
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) June 2, 2019
Fun Fact #9 The dirtiest trick Damian has ever pulled on a woman is to give his new girlfriend the presents the previous one gave him back when they split up. Oh. My. God. Helen, it is not you, is it? 😀
Fun Fact #1o Damian can play his teeth! You can see him play Liverpool’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” below.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) May 31, 2019
Fun Fact #11 Damian once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he did not enjoy at all. He also worked as a shop assistant for Burberry selling raincoats, but was fired for standing around with his hands in his pockets. In addition, he worked as a delivery person selling Christmas hampers, luxurious seasonal gift baskets, for a company called Choc and Cheese.
Fun Fact #12 The day he arrived on The Forsyte Saga set, Damian was rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary’s operating room as his appendix was seconds away from rupturing!
Fun Fact #13 Damian loved his sports car, a racing-green TVR, even though it never started when he wanted it to.
Fun Fact #14 While filming the movie Keane, Damian lived in New York for six months on Christopher Street in the West Village in a classic old New York building with an iron fire escape.
Fun Fact #15 Damian fell in love with his future wife Helen McCrory on stage as they were doing Joanna Laurens’ “Five Gold Rings” at the Almeida together.
Fun Fact #16 One of Damian’s favorite pastimes is playing ping-pong. He played a game of table tennis during his Sunday Sitdown interview with Willie Geist.
Fun Fact #17 The family house Damian and Helen bought in Tufnell Park in 2006 was previously owned by Hugh Laurie aka Dr. House 🙂
Fun Fact #18 Damian participated in the charity football match Soccer Aid in 2006, 2010, 2016, and 2018. And he scored a penalty goal at Soccer Aid 2010.
Fun Fact #19 When he films in America, Damian spends the entire day speaking in American accent. Here is what he shares with NPR’s Marketplace:
“I speak in an American accent from the moment I get in the van in the morning … I’m not good enough to flip in and out of my Brit accent to my American accent. We have English members of the crew. I don’t avoid them, but there’s always a moment when I have to re-calibrate after I’ve spent five minutes talking to them.”
Fun Fact #20 Damian was terribly hungover when Steven Spielberg cast him as Dick Winters in Band of Brothers! Damian shares with Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY that he had already auditioned for the role with Tom Hanks and celebrated a good day with drinks.
“I go out and get absolutely hammered. I’m so excited. I’m in L.A. I did a really good audition for Tom Hanks. I come back at 3 in the morning and I get a phone call at 8 o’clock. ‘Damian, Steven [Spielberg] would like to meet you now, can you be here by nine? I have three showers, 17 cups of coffee and I go in shaking. And Steven is there, and he’s already got his video on his shoulder and then they offered me the role, there in the room. It was great. It was a great day.”
Fun Fact #21 Damian’s local is the Dartmouth Park staple The Bull and Last.
Fun Fact #22 Alex Gansa decided to cast Damian as Nicholas Brody in Homeland after watching him as William Keane in Keane on Netflix. And hats off to Helen who urged Damian to take the role in Keane.
Fun Fact #23 Until he was about the age of age 18, Damian believed he was Elvis, returned; and spent a lot of time putting shaving foam, oddly, through his hair and relentlessly coiffing his quiff! Well, the video below from the Berkeley Ball in 2006 makes me think that he may be right!
Fun Fact #24 Damian took tap dance lessons while he was filming Homeland in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fun Fact #25 Damian’s first screen crush was Daisy Duke played by Catherine Bach in Dukes of Hazzard!
Fun Fact #26 Damian proposed to Helen on Pont Neuf in Paris. You should really hear the fun story from him:
“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.”
Fun Fact #27 Damian co-produced Normal for Norfolk, written and directed by his brother Gareth Lewis and starred his wife Helen McCrory.
Fun Fact #28 Damian says he would teach history and drama if he did not act. I am grateful that he acts but he is one of the most articulate people I have ever seen and would make an excellent teacher!
Fun Fact #29 Damian’s favorite royal family member is…
Fun Fact #30 Damian wore a women’s thong to find the right walk for his character Rizza in The Escapist.
Fun Fact #31 The film The Baker, also known as Assassin in Love, was written and directed by Damian’s talented brother and business partner Gareth Lewis, a joint project produced under their production company Picture Farm, Ltd.
Fun Fact #32 On his last day on Homeland set, Damian had a wrap gift for all crew members: A t-shirt that said “I’m an American.”
Fun Fact #33 Well, Damian does not accept he did it, but it seems he really made Timothee Chalamet! Hear the story from Damian in an interview with The Vulture and decide yourself.
“He was in Homeland, and I did make a call to my agent Brian Swardstrom and said, “I think you should get on the phone right away with this kid, because I think very soon, everyone’s going to be on the phone with him.” Brian did and they got together. It is probably true, given that Brian’s husband was producing “Call me By Your Name”, that I had something to do with the fact that Timothée ended up in that movie. I didn’t make Timothée Chalamet. Although, of course, when I see him I tell him I did.”
Fun Fact #34 Damian played for a football team in King’s Cross called Anvil FC. He also plays cricket, specifically the historic ‘Authors vs. Actors’ match each year.
Fun Fact #35 The best family vacation Damian has had with his own children is when they rented a camper van with Damian at the wheel, driving the Wales countryside for a week. And Welsh campsites turn out to be good hiding places. They got a few strange looks but that was it. Damian shares with Radio Times:
“It was just us, the kids and the dog. We played rounders on the Pembrokeshire cliffs in horizontal rain. It was brilliant.”
Fun Fact #36 Damian formed a band called “Yummy Yummy Yummy” as he filmed Homeland Season 1 in Charlotte, North Carolina! Here’s the band singing “Should I stay or Should I go?” for Damian’s favorite CIA agent at the show’s Season 1 Wrap Party!
Fun Fact #37 Damian played tennis with professional tennis player Maria Sharapova. Sure it was for a Billions episode, but he held his own! He played tennis in school as a sport.
Fun Fact #38 His guilty pleasures are butter-pecan ice cream and ice cream sundaes with extra cream. And his favorite ice cream shop is Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park!
Fun Fact #39 As he signed a box set of Homeland for President Barack Obama, a huge fan of the show, Damian wrote ironically “from one Muslim to another, your great fan, Damian Lewis.” 😀 😀 😀 See Damian below telling the story on Jonathan Ross Show!
Fun Fact #40 His mother gave him two pieces of advice: get married before the age of 35 and don’t marry an actor. Damian married fellow British actor Helen McCrory, whom he met when he was 36.
Fun Fact #41 Damian was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for “his services to drama” as part of the Queen’s birthday celebrations in June 2014. He received his medal from Duke of Cambridge in November 2014.
Fun Fact #42 A cricket ball broke Damian’s nose when he was young. Before he had it operated on, he used to perform on stage with his mouth slightly open.
Fun Fact #43 If Damian could be stranded in any one place in the world, it would be on Black Mountain in Wales. It’s the only place he’s been “…where the air tastes even better than it smells.”
Fun Fact #44 Damian and Helen were invited to the White House for a state dinner held in honor of the British PM David Cameron in 2013 and seated at the same table with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Oh, and they nicked a set of napkins, too 😀
Fun Facts#45 Damian used to stand in front of his bedroom mirror pretending he was a guest on Wogan and answering imaginary questions in an American accent when he was kid! But, hey, you have a 10-year-old boy with some vision here! Damian guested on Wogan’s radio show in 2012 — only 30 years after rehearsing in front of his bedroom mirror 😀
Fun Fact #46 Damian is happiest when he is driving golf balls in his pajamas on summer nights.
Fun Fact #47 Damian’s brother William Russell is the Lord Mayor of London. He is actually the fifth member of his family to bear the title in the last 110 years.
Fun Fact #48 Damian’s most treasured possession is a Swiss Army penknife.
Fun Fact #49 He had the coolest birthday cake he’s ever had on Billions Season 5 set for his 49th birthday!
Fun Fact #50 Damian’s biggest financial extravaganza is… guitars! He has four guitars, and he buys them when he lives in different places:
“I have a guitar for when I’m in New York. I have a guitar in London. I just have two vintage guitars for my children. I like guitars.”
And what a fun coincidence it is that Damian’s birthday February 11, is Get Out Your Guitar Day! We hope the birthday boy gets out his guitar and gets rockin’ away!