“She was unlike anyone I’ve ever met. She still is.” – Damian Lewis
Well, it is obviously not easy to be two ridiculously talented and busy actors living together and raising a family. I remember Damian telling us at Cheltenham Literature Festival that the problem never goes away:
“When you’re two actors living together, you’re always asked to do work away from your home, so you just have to decide which ones are important enough to go and do away from home and try to spend the rest of the time together.”
While he needs to spend, give or take, half of the year in New York to shoot Billions, Damian goes back home often. Here is what he shares with The Evening Standard a few years ago about his commute between New York and London.
“I’ve pretty much flown back and forth from New York to London every ten days for the last six months.
It’s not easy to leave my kids but I tell them I’m flying back to work so we can have a nice holiday later on with all the air miles that I’m amassing.
We muddle through but it is hard work. I must say, I’m getting quite tired of the departure lounge at Newark Airport.”
The year started as usual for the Lewis-McCrory household as Damian was filming Billions Season 5 in New York and spending a good chunk of his time at the departure lounge at Newark Airport! And when he caught a flight to London, Damian and Helen were out and about in London attending the Uncle Vanya Press Night at the Harold Pinter Theatre…
…or the annual Charles Finch and Chanel pre-BAFTA Dinner Party at 5 Hertford Street in London.
Damian was filming Billions in New York and Helen was filming Peaky Blinders in Birmingham mid-March when the pandemic hit the US and the UK, respectively. As the productions took a break from filming, Damian and Helen came back home and stayed home like the rest of us.
The thing is that our favorite couple did not just stay home quietly and enjoy the family time they do not typically get during the school year (either one or the other or both have to film outside London) but instead they launched FeedNHS, a nonprofit campaign to raise as much money as possible to help feed NHS workers one healthy meal each day. Partnering with Leon CEO John Vincent, and comedian Matt Lucas, Damian and Helen started the campaign in London hospitals and soon after took it nationwide. They raised over 1.4 million pounds to feed the front line heroes! Hats off!
When they had the opportunity to formally launch FeedNHS on Good Morning Britain, Damian and Helen shared that they were in their second home near Sudbury in Suffolk when the lockdown began and so they stayed there. While Helen talked about the emotional ups and downs she had during the pandemic (I am right there with you, girlfriend!) Damian joked he did not know she looked like that 🙂
Then they appeared on BBC Breakfast the following morning where Helen made a strong and an absolutely true statement about how the pandemic has brought the country together.
“We’re only as strong as each other.”
The couple also openly expressed that they valued the quality time they have had together as a family.
Damian talked about doing things together:
“Playing Monopoly, playing Risk, planting a hedge, doing some cooking together. The day goes by in a flash when you’re in one place.”
Risk? Oh yes! I’m such a poker-face Risk player that I would give a non-essential organ to play against Damian… and WIN of course 🙂
Helen called spending time with family during the lockdown a fantastic privilege in her brilliant Desert Island Discs:
“I’m here to tell you I haven’t taught myself any languages, I haven’t read any book of any worth, I’ve never had so long to sit and think. That’s been strange for Damian and I. I’m mean we’ve never…I’ve only just met him. I’ve no idea he was an American until about a week ago! We’ve been with the children who are now 12 and 13. That’s been a fantastic privilege to be with them.”
And when the couple was asked in an interview with The Telegraph about how home-schooling was going:
Helen: “Oh f***, I mean, the kids are feral. Mud in their hair. We would definitely have been shut down by Ofsted by now. But they’re doing well… I think, I’ve no idea actually. Damian, are they doing well?”
Damian: “They’re all right.Their Tik-Tok skills are coming on no end.”
Well, well, well… It seems Damian left out the part about himself working on his Tik-Tok skills in this interview. Because, according to this tweet, Damian has starrred in Manon’s Tik-Tok 😀
STOP THAT DAMIAN LEWIS pic.twitter.com/1nnecfFx7O
— Anastasia (@MILFMCCRORY) November 8, 2020
Helen shared more about coping with Covid-19 on the BBC Coronavirus Newscast…
…while Damian revealed his wife’s new screen crush!!!! Yeah it is possible for a woman to have a screen crus even when she is married to Damian Lewis 🙂
And Damian talked to Bloomberg about the vulnerability the pandemic has brought:
“I find myself within the course of a day launching from great assuredness and certainty about how we are all going to pull through this, myself and my family. And launching from that to great teariness and vulnerability and a sense of not knowing, which is very undermining, and wanting to give comfort to people around you, just launching back and forth. Anyone who knows grief will know how this feels: Being OK and then crying. This is a small version of that, or maybe a larger one.”
A fun moment from the family’s stay in their country house was when Weston’s Bakery, a family run bakery and coffee shop in Sudbury, posted on their Facebook page and called locals to let Damian know that he has to come back for his discount! 😀
Oh, and you may ask… “hey Damian, where is the mask?” We believe he removed it so he can promote the bakery as a celebrity should!
We have then seen our favorite couple on TV again on Victory Day where their living room was decorated probably by the whole family to celebrate V-day. They talked about their grandfathers in the WWII as well as about their Feed NHS campaign.
Well, everyone needs a bit of normalcy in these times where nothing is as we know it anymore…
So seeing Damian and his kids Manon and Gulliver having a stroll on Oxford Street, one of the main shopping streets in London, made me smile. Note that as Gulliver also turned 13 this November, the household now officially has TWO teenagers. We wish Damian and Helen best of luck with that! You can see more pictures from this outing on our gallery.
Damian and Helen were the wedding singers – Damian playing the guitar and the two of them singing Irish songs – at their friends’ wedding at the Kensington and Chelsea Register Office! I imagine the event felt nostalgic for our favorite couple since they tied the knot right there 13 years ago! We have lots of pics from the celebration on our gallery.
And Damian had some quality dad and daughter time with 14 year old Manon at the National Gallery as they had a private view of the newly opened ‘Artemisia’ & ‘Sin’ exhibitions.
I want to finish this post on a sweet note: We found out about our favorite couple’s favorite dance song thanks to Helen’s Desert Island Discs earlier this year.
“One of my happiest moments, and still is, (and we danced to this when I was selecting for this program) is dancing with my husband. Damian is a superb dancer. And that’s very important to me – I love dancing. This [selection] just brings out all the naughtiness and I know that if ever I want him at a party and I can’t see where he is – and ladies and gentlemen it won’t surprise you to know that’s quite often – I will go up to the DJ and I will say ‘Put this song on.’ And I know if I’m in another building he will find me and we will dance to this.”
I am hoping that Helen and Damian have found the time to dance to “Pull up to the Bumper”during the pandemic quarantine. And we wish the Lewis-McCrory family and all our readers a WONDERFUL New Year.
See you in 2021!