An Antiques Restorer: NotLinda’s Dream Role for Damian Lewis

“I Add My Own Love To The History Of People Who Have Loved”

So Donna Tartt sums up her beloved and layered novel “The Goldfinch”. The actor to whom this website is devoted could be described by these very words. Beloved and layered. I’m well aware that an effort was made to transfer the novel to the big screen. The result was beautiful but shallow. When in the future it is made into a limited run series Damian must be cast as Hobie, James Hobart, the restorer of antique furniture and of broken children.

Though played beautifully by Jeffrey Wright, the character need not be an African-American; indeed he was not written as such. As described by the website Litchats:

“Hobie is an extremely kind, principled, and sensitive man. When Theo (the young protagonist) is with him, he feels like Hobie always knows the right thing to say and can almost read his thoughts. A highly skilled antiques restorer, Hobie’s one flaw is that he is overly trusting. This allows customers of the antiques business to take advantage of him.”

Picture Damian’s art in practice as you read the following excerpts.

 Then—so suddenly I started back—the door opened, and I found myself gazing up at a large and unexpected person.

He was six foot four or six five, at least: haggard, noble-jawed, heavy, something about him suggesting the antique photos of Irish poets and pugilists that hung in the midtown pub where my father liked to drink. His hair was mostly gray, and needed cutting, and his skin an unhealthy white, with such deep purple shadows around his eyes that it was almost as if his nose had been broken. Over his clothes, a rich paisley robe with satin lapels fell almost to his ankles and flowed massively around him, like something a leading man might wear in a 1930s movie: worn, but still impressive.

Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch (p. 120). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

I suppose I’d been expecting incredulity, raised voices, outrage of some sort. But it was worse. A blow-up I could have handled. Instead he didn’t say a word, only gazed at me with a sort of grieved fubsiness, haloed by his work lamp, tools arrayed on the walls behind him like Masonic icons. He let me tell him what I had to, and listened quietly while I did it, and when at last he spoke his voice was quieter than usual and without heat. “All right.” He looked like a figure from an allegory: black-aproned carpenter-mystic, half in shadow. “Okay. So how do you propose to deal with this?”

Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch (p. 493). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

The man who brought us the sweetness of Norman Harris and William Keane combined with the deep and complex inner life of Nicholas Brody would capture Hobie in new and intricate ways. Is he kind or inattentive, introverted or emotionally lazy? What if it’s all of the above? Damian Lewis can bring all of that to a role and give him a few weeks to stretch out and watch him bring it!

Our man has aged out of the running but he would have been spectacular as Larry Decker, Theo’s dad. Luke Wilson played the role in the flawed 2019 film. He’s a good actor but the script gave him little to do.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures/REX/Shutterstock (9457221a)
Luke Wilson

Mix the hustling Gary Winston (An Unfinished Life) with Teach Cole (Mamet’s American Buffalo)


and you’ll come close to Larry Decker. A man about whom can be said

 Unreliable I guess is the diplomatic way of putting it. Even when he was in a good mood he did things like lose his paycheck and fall asleep with the front door to the apartment open, because he drank. And when he was in a bad mood—which was much of the time—he was red-eyed and clammy-looking, his suit so rumpled it looked like he’d been rolling on the floor in it and an air of unnatural stillness emanating from him as from some pressurized article about to explode. Though I didn’t understand why he was so unhappy, it was clear to me that his unhappiness was our fault. My mother and I got on his nerves. It was because of us he had a job he couldn’t stand. Everything we did was irritating. He particularly didn’t enjoy being around me, not that he often was: in the mornings, as I got ready for school, he sat puffy-eyed and silent over his coffee with the Wall Street Journal in front of him, his bathrobe open and his hair standing up in cowlicks, and sometimes he was so shaky that the cup sloshed as he brought it to his mouth. Warily he eyed me when I came in, nostrils flaring if I made too much noise with the silverware or the cereal bowl.

Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch (p. 55). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition

and can also be said:

(Boris) Even your dad… feeding me, talking with me, spending time, sheltering me in his roof, giving me clothes off his back… you hated your dad so much but in some ways he was good man.”

“I wouldn’t say good.”

“Well I would.”

“Well, you would be the only one. You would be wrong.”

“Look. I am more tolerance than you,” said Boris, invigorated by the prospect of a disagreement…And yes… your dad was destructive… irresponsible… a child. His spirit was huge. It pained him terribly! But he hurt himself worse than he ever hurt anyone else. ”

Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch (p. 744). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

What do you think, could our guy handle? Would that it could be; would be!

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