Fan Fun with Damian Lewis is seven years old today!
Here we are, a bunch of inspired fans, 2557 days, 1226 blog posts and over 3.15 million views from 229 countries later… absolutely thrilled and totally beaming about how far we have come!
I had a conversation with Lewisto as I was pondering, in the last weeks of 2014, whether it would be worth keeping an online fan diary about Damian Lewis. Being the rational guy that he is, Lewisto suggested I run with this only if I was confident I could commit for at least two years so it would be worth the effort.
We have just more than tripled that! 😀 😀 😀
Seven years may not be a long time in one’s life (even though there is a so-called 7-year cycle argument that every 7 years is a chapter in your life and that you become a new person every 7 years!) But it is definitely so in a blog’s life especially if it is maintained and updated on a daily basis. I take pride in not missing a day on the blog even when I was under the weather (rarely), on vacation (sometimes), or buried under work (always). And Fan Fun has certainly been my sanctuary during the pandemic (who knew the damn thing would still be here now?) It provides me a purpose and gives a big hand in coping with life during Covid.
I vividly remember that I was burst with excitement as I made the first ever post here. And now, seven years later, I am happy to report that I show no symptom of a seven-year itch 🙂 I feel deeply satisfied with the community we have collectively created here and am deeply committed to blogging about the one and only Damian Lewis <3
Now, please bear with me as I reflect on the last seven years, get pretty emotional about this anniversary, and give thanks to all the people that made Fan Fun with Damian Lewis a success story. And, oh yes, I will brag about it, too! 😀 OMG we had very close to 800K visitors (our highest ever!) in 2021! This means, we received, on average, more than 2,000 daily visitors on Fan Fun! This is simply amazing for a blog that focuses on a single actor and his work.
When I kicked off the blog on January 5, 2015 I knew that 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 say it better: “Everyone is smart, witty, and a little bit better than the last person.” 🙂 Thank you, team! I love you all to the moon and back.
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 he have not encouraged me. I will never forget him saying:
“Some people love golf. You love Damian Lewis. What’s the difference?”
And have I ever told you Lewisto named the blog, too? He said:
“You are a big fan and you will be doing this for fun so why not call it Fan Fun with Damian Lewis?”
And I ran with it.
Lewisto, you are absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me. THANK YOU for playing ball with me, even in my craziest endeavors like Fan Fun, making everything in life better, funnier and happier!
I cannot thank Damian enough for his kindness, trust and generosity towards us. I do not know about other fandoms but I do not think actors typically introduce the fans who manage their fan sites / blogs to their agent, PR person and their personal assistants, invite them backstage after their stage performance, make a “thank you” video for them, treat them like a friend on a film set, or call them “a lovely, smart woman” in an interview with GQ magazine. Damian, you are one in a billion and the best procrastination ever. Thank you for the inspiration! <3
These seven years have brought so much love and laughter into my life also thanks to our wonderful readers! And this anniversary is a great opportunity to thank YOU, our readers – some of whom have become dear friends, you know yourselves! – for the overwhelming love and support you have given us! As we have collectively shared Damian Lewis FUN, you have made our dreams come true. So 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 about the blog.
And as I review the blog’s year, like I always do in anniversary posts, I will not be able to pretend that everything was fine.
While I am old enough to know that life is unfair, I still cannot wrap my head around Helen’s passing and the sadness Damian, their kids and Helen’s parents and siblings had to go through during her illness and her untimely death.
I have always known that Helen was a brilliant actress but now I also know she was such a class act in life and death. The way she chose to live, bravely, focusing on her family, work and charity rather than on her illness and death, is a lesson for us all about how to live and die. She was such a bright star that I know she will keep on living through her brilliant work and the two wonderful children she raised with her beloved husband. I am hoping with all my heart that Damian and the family find comfort in the beautiful memories they created together.
I was lucky to meet Helen once. She was calling a cab at the Theatre Royal Haymarket stage door as JaniaJania and I were trying to drop off our gift for Damian with the stage manager. And in a couple of minutes, Helen told us why she wanted to take a cab but not an Uber, taught us how to take a selfie from above so that we could all look like seven year olds (evidence below!), helped us to pronounce Manon’s name right and told us that Manon wanted to take singing lessons! Her eyes were lit up when she talked about her children. And we were in the receiving end of her ‘Thank you. You’re so kind” that Damian talks about in his beautiful tribute to her when we told Helen about the poster we had made for Damian. I was already a fan of her work but those five minutes with Helen was enough to get to know the down-to-earth woman that she was.
I am incredibly touched by Damian and Helen trusting us with the task of creating Helen’s legacy site. They could have easily asked a professional but they turned to us and Gingersnap and I will treasure this all our lives. While I am very heartbroken about Helen’s passing, I find peace in the fact that we were able to build the site in a few days and that Helen was able to see it. And we had no idea that she was sick. We only knew that Helen asked Damian if his girls would create a fan site for her and that it was urgent. We set up helen-mccrory.com with love. And we were truly immersed in the life and work of Helen as we worked on the site that we formed such a strong bond with this brilliant woman, actress, mum and philanthropist. Special thanks go to Gingersnap for working so hard, even in the wee hours, to get the site ready as soon as possible. Thank you, sister, I do not know what I would do without you. And it is our promise to Helen’s family and fans that we will maintain her legacy page to the best of our ability.
Despite the big sadness they had in the family, Damian returned to Billions set to finish his part for Season 5 in the summer. And I believe even those who are living under a rock now know that he has exited the show which marks the end of an era for this blog and for yours truly in particular.
Fan Fun with Damian Lewis has had an organic relationship with Billions. I launched the blog at the same time they started filming the series pilot and Damian found out about the blog on the day they filmed the iconic ‘Fuck You Money’ scene.
I have written a recap for every single episode and we collectively published more than 470 Billions articles varying from weekly reviews to analysis of characters and relationships to the music, books as well as locations and restaurants that appeared on the show in the last six years. My blog mates and I are obviously among those that have been most invested in Billions and its larger-than-life characters.
And now that it is sinking Damian is not a regular in the show anymore, I feel way more emotional than I thought. I am not crying, you are crying! 🙂
I came to Billions for Damian but I stayed for the show. The brilliant people behind and in front of the camera have collectively given us the smartest show on TV. I am proud of the fact that I have written a review for every single episode of Billions. And I have been extremely lucky over the years to catch Damian on set, witnessed some of the lovely, fun and thrilling scenes in the show being filmed, as my favorite actor in the world made me feel like his guest on set. I do not think we will be able to have access to any of Damian’s future projects like we had to Billions.
Now, as we re-adjust to a world without Bobby Axelrod on our screens (and hope for a cameo at some point – pretty please!) Gingersnap, Lady Trader and yours truly pay our tributes to this iconic character in our own ways: Each of us has had a different relationship with Bobby Axelrod and so each tribute is unique.
Some of the most popular posts we have on Fan Fun are Billions dining guides that I put together starting in Season 1 – so much so that we got links from Food Network and Forbes Magazine. I particularly love what Forbes says:
“There are posts on actor Damian Lewis’s official website, that diligently track, with screenshots, all the food locations featured in every season. These posts even manage to name-check the take-out Chinese in one scene as the beloved eatery Wo-Hop.”
Well, I am a forensic fan, you know! 🙂
Yet, I never dreamed of turning these guides into a book until I got an email from Skyhorse Publishing asking if I would consider writing a book about the restaurants featured on the show… Well, three years – many drafts, countless texts and emails, numerous lunches and dinners some of which took place at Billions restaurants, more than quite a few drinks, and a lot of brainstorming – later, here we are.
Appetite for Power Guide to Eating, Drinking and Dealmaking in NYC: A Billions Guide was released in parallel with the rest of Billions Season 5. You can check the book out and get a copy on the publisher’s website, Amazon or Barnes & Nobles. The book is available on all major online vendors. And in case you are interested in the extraordinary journey I had as I wrote a book about my favorite TV show here it is. I have to add that this book is a true love of labor and I am not making a cent out of the sales. I wrote the book first to claim my territory (I realized the significance of food and food talk in thee show way before than the professional outlets) and give back to a show that made me extremely happy for the last seven years!
We cannot wait to see Damian as real-life MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott in A Spy Among Friends, a Cold War mini-series based on Ben MacIntyre’s best-selling book with the same title. Damian is also a producer on the show and they are currently filming in London.
Having read the book twice already, I wrote about all I knew about Damian’s new project here and Gingersnap published the photos from the set on our sister site’s gallery. We are following the shoot as close as we can from the opposite side of the pond so please watch this space and damian-lewis.com for any news about A Spy Among Friends.
Another piece of good news is that Keane, a raw, heartbreaking and intense film that Damian is proud of having made with director Lodge Kerrigan, is getting 4K restoration and will be coming to a movie theater near you sometime in 2022. I cannot wait to see Damian Lewis as William Keane, the character that gave us Nicholas Brody in Homeland, on big screen! We will provide information about screenings as we know more.
In addition to these confirmed news, I also have a few hopes for the new year that I want to leave here!
BBC confirmed that they would adapt The Mirror and The Light, the final volume in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, for TV as early as in May 2019. The Guardian recently reported that the BBC adaptation is expected in 2023, with director Peter Kosminsky and screenwriter Peter Straughan resuming their partnership from 2015. But we have no word on the actors. We know that Hilary Mantel is hopeful about Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance resuming their roles as Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, respectively. And SO DO WE.
Damian picking up the guitar again during the lockdown, meeting the fantastic jazz musician Giacomo Smith and his Kansas Smitty’s band and playing music with them…
…has been thrilling news for the fandom. And Damian saying that he and the band have put a bunch of songs together, and they are talking about maybe putting some tracks down in a recording studio is the most delicious cherry on the pie. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Damian and the band can find the time to go into the studio and record a few tracks for us.
As I leave the stage to some of my fellow bloggers so they can share their thoughts about Fan Fun’s seventh birthday with you, I hope you stay with us and that we keep following Damian’s brilliant career together! Cheers <3
Happy 7th Birthday to Fan Fun with Damian Lewis and the wonderful team we have. I jumped at the chance to be a part of this team and the rest, as they say, is herstory!
It has been a joy posting the news over at our sister site damian-lewis.com since 2017, 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. Staying in touch with the fans and projects for the blog have kept me balanced during this pandemic. I’ve been in quarantine since March, 2020 and I don’t know how I would have kept busy or entertained without it! I’m semi-quarantined now, which is just a fancy way of saying I’m mega socially distancing from everyone except a close circle of people I can count on one hand. The variants like to keep us on our toes, don’t they?
And if living during a pandemic wasn’t enough, in April 2021 we lost our beautiful one, Helen McCrory. Building her legacy site helen-mccrory.com was bittersweet. At the time Damianista and I didn’t know why we were asked to build Helen’s fansite in record speed (3-4 days) but Damian got word to us to complete the task and we happily obliged. He turned to us in need and I will treasure that forever. I learned so much more about Helen and her work – doing a deep dive back to the late 80’s early 90’s will do that. Then came the news we were indeed building a legacy site. Gutted. Through tears and absolutely heart wrenching late night hours we pushed through the pain in time for Helen to see the website. Please visit the website, read all the beautiful tributes in the upper right-hand corner and spread the word. Most importantly, I must re-iterate what Damianista wrote:
“The way Helen chose to live, bravely, focusing on her family, work and charity rather than on her illness and death, is a lesson for us all about how to live and die.”
I must also mourn the loss of Damian on our screens in the US, as I don’t think we will have as much access to his acting projects, especially if he does more producing or theatre work in the UK. And he is first and foremost, a father.
I’m still hopeful for a brighter 2022 and the next stage this blog will take us on the ginger journey.
Happy 7th Birthday FanFun!
The past 7 years seems to have just gone by in a blink of an eye! But, as the saying goes “Time flies when you are having FUN”, and that certainly is what we here at the blog are having. At it’s core, it’s what this blog is all about: the FUN of all of us writing and interacting with each other and our readers and all the FUN of writing and exploring the amazing acting and philanthropy of Damian Lewis!
2021 was a (another!) challenging year, but for a lot of us and our readers, having the constant that was the blog really helped get us through it.
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!
2021 saw us say good-bye to Bobby Axelrod during of Season 5 of Billions and “From the Trader’s Desk” gave him a fine send off. Even though we will no longer see our favorite ginger as a hedge fund titan, we can’t wait to see A Spy Among Friends on our screens soon!
So Happy 7th Anniversary! Just like a fine wine, we are getting better with age!
I think I discovered Fan Fun in 2017. Season 6 of Homeland was premiering and I started to stream Season 1. You know how that story went! My love for Sgt Brody led me to search forums to discuss the fabulous Damian Lewis…..
……. Fan Fun! Here I was able to enter discussions not simply “ask”. My comments were valued and responded to!?! I’m crazy in love not just with Damian but Damianista, JaniaJania and all the ladies of Fan Fun with Damian Lewis! Happy Happy 7th Birthday!
Coming in as late to this love fest, as I came in early to the blog. I knew a good thing when I saw it! Where else can you get such complete immersion into your fav? Still waiting in vain for other fan groups to step up their game to be anywhere near as full of words and pics and news as this site is.
Maybe you visit to scroll through and not read every word. Maybe you visit to skip right to the comments and have your say. Whatever your reason and level of engagement with this blog, we value you and want to engage as much as possible. Because we, like Damian himself, are in love with all the possibilities.
Thank you for visiting and engaging. Here’s to many many more years following this bloke (from a safe distance ;)) around the world. He’s worth it, and so are you!