NotLinda Interviews Damianista about Fan Fun with Damian Lewis

Dear Damianista!

Thanks so much for the gift of Damian! I enjoyed your interview with him and that gave me a fun idea for Fan Fun! I’ve composed interview questions for YOU!

I’m certain we fans are also curious about the woman who curates the website.

So here is my interview “Fan Fun With Damianista.”

Hello Damianista, thank you for sitting down with us for a few questions. First I must point out that I was positively prescient when I described you years ago as a “pal” to Damian, over your objections!  “Of course I’m right, Bahar.”

Shall we?

Not Linda: I, of course, was pleased to hear you chime in “Brody!” when Damian was referring to favorite characters; that leads me to wonder how has that character changed for you with time? How has your relation to him changed?

Damianista: Firstly, my dear NotLinda, thank you so much for being such a good friend to me and a constant supporter and a brilliant contributor to Fan Fun over the years. You and I bonded over our love for Brody and long-time Fan Fun readers know that everything started with him for me. Oh, yes, Damian knows it, too!

I LOVE Nicholas Brody. He is, by far, my all-time favorite fictional character. A character that could get close is Sydney Carton in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Now that I am thinking about it, it is quite incredible both characters meet their ends in similarly heart-breaking circumstances. I think Brody’s last thoughts could well be very similar to Carton’s last words: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

I don’t think my relationship with Brody has changed over the years. I still haven’t watched the execution scene despite many fans and Damian telling me to do so and I’m totally in denial about Brody’s death. Yes, I know that Javadi tells Carrie that he picked a shady nice spot in a forest of pine trees for Brody’s remains in Season 6 but we’ve never seen a dead body, have we?

So, as I also shared with Damian after his gig in Leeds back in October, I believe that Brody is alive and well. He lives in Iran. And guess what? He has found new love 🙂 Her name is Bahar, a perfectly legitimate Persian name, and she looks exactly like me… end of story! And here is yours truly telling Damian this fantasy as he is signing my favorite Brody photo in Leeds (thank you, Darlene, for printing that photo for me!)

Look at the signed photo below. Is there any chance my relationship to Brody may change in the years to come? I’m stuck 🙂

NotLinda: Has Brody ever been in danger of being supplanted by another perhaps longer running character?

Damianista: NEVER.

Bobby Axelrod is the longest-running character in Damian’s acting career. And I was super excited when we called it before everyone else that Damian would return to Billions for Season 7. Because I love Billions. It’s such a smart and entertaining show. I had so much fun catching Damian on the set over the years, I had so much fun writing episode reviews every week – pulling all-nighters for the first couple of seasons. I even wrote a Billions book for God’s sake! I genuinely believe no other Billions fan had as much fun as I had with the show. But I’ve never had the kind of feelings I have for Brody for Bobby.

Bobby is such a larger-than-life character, most characters in Billions are, and this makes the show delightful. And there are more than a few things that I like about Bobby: His blue collar background, his loyalty to his friends and his respect for his adversaries, and above all, the fact that he knows who he is and does pretend that he is a great guy. But he is not someone I would ever fall for. I am as surprised as Damian that many viewers idolize Bobby.

Let me put it this way: I don’t think there would have been a Fan Fun with Damian Lewis if there had been no Nick Brody. Brody changed my life.

NotLinda: How do you arrange your schedule to be present at so many gigs and performances?

Damianista: As the very wise Bobby Axelrod has said, “you get one life, so do it all.” I have made it my life motto 🙂

Joke aside, I’m a nerd, I take everything I do very VERY seriously. Fan Fun is no exception. I’m honored that Damian and his people make me feel part of the team and I am trying my very best to support him.

Damian playing at Union Chapel, London, July 2023

Most of Damian’s gigs taking place in the UK requires a bit of planning! But thank God I don’t have a 9 to 5 job. Teaching at university is not trivial but it is flexible. It allows you to take short trips anytime except for when you need to be in the classroom. I have been extremely lucky that I never had to travel on a day that I needed to teach, but it may of course happen in the future. But we typically know about the performance dates a month or two earlier, so I think it would be possible to make some arrangements in that case, too.

NotLinda: Is Lewisto the saint he appears to be or have you worked a spell on him?

Damianista: I would never have started fan Fun if Lewisto had not encouraged me. I will never forget him saying:

“Some people love golf. You love Damian Lewis. What’s the difference?”


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 is the best thing that has ever happened to me. You call him a “saint” I call him “the love of my life and my best friend.” I can’t thank him enough for always accommodating me, even in my craziest endeavors like Fan Fun, making everything in life better, funnier and happier! We’ve been together for almost three decades now and I want so much more!

My two favorite boys!

NotLinda: How would you rank Damian’s performances high to low just in terms of your personal preference?

Damianista: This is a very difficult question since there are so many performances to choose from. So maybe I should just rank Damian’s top five performances in terms of my personal preferences.

Nick Brody in Homeland – surprise, surprise 🙂

William Keane in Keane , a heartbreakingly beautiful performance that gave us Brody!

Henry VIII in Wolf Hall – I seriously think Wolf Hall is the best thing that ever happened to TV. And I can’t wait for Damian to return as Henry VIII in The Mirror and The Light! Look at those crazy eyes!

Martin Gray in The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? It is a huge challenge for a stage actor to convince live audience that he’s in love with a goat and Damian was utterly believable as Martin!
Soames Forsyte in The Forsyte Saga  Making the unlovable likable is a true accomplishment in my book. I love Soames!

I feel like I need to make an explanation for not including Dick Winters in Band of Brothers in my top five because he is probably the most popular character Damian has played. I truly appreciate that Damian brings Dick Winters, a real-life WWII hero, to life seamlessly in one of the best mini-series in TV history. But, again, Winters is a hero – a military leader whom his soldiers are willing to follow to death. And I’d take flawed, broken, conflicted characters over heroes anytime… Have I ever told you I fell in love with Brody? 🙂

NotLinda: How do you choose material for blog posts?

Damianista: What a great question – this is like me asking Damian how he writes his music, isn’t it?

Now, some of the material is straightforward. I write reviews for the TV shows, movies and plays Damian performs in. I also read the books any of his current projects are based on, e.g. The Mirror and The Light, A Spy Among Friends, and The Radleys, and write about what we should expect from the project. I now write reports from his music gigs as well.

In addition to his acting and music career, Damian does so much extracurricular stuff from sports to charity to readings that he gives me a lot of material to work with. The fact that he and I grew up at the same time and that we like similar things like jazz and soccer help, too. It is sometimes a news piece that I connect to Damian, and in my world, all roads lead to him somehow 🙂 For example, PBS Masterpiece has announced a new “re-imagined” production of The Forsyte Saga and there you go: I share a post about Soames. It is sometimes a little moment with Damian that inspires me: For example, when he signed my setlist from his first ever gig in London in Turkish, Damian made me think about all his projects connected to my native land, Turkey, and I sat down and wrote about Damian Lewis and My Homeland. Or when Diego Maradona, the best soccer player of our childhood died, I immediately remembered that Damian played with Maradona in Soccer Aid in 2010, and that Damian’s own nickname was “Diego” at Eton, I turned all of that plus my love for Maradona into a post. Damian is my muse. As I have already told him, I don’t know how exactly he does it, but he brings out the creativity in me.

And while it is great to make as many fresh posts as possible, I believe it is quite important to regularly re-visit the brilliant body of work Damian has done to date. Accordingly, Throwback Thursdays are perfect to revisit older projects and so are special days! For example, D-Day is perfect to re-visit Band of Brothers or Valentine’s Day is perfect to re-visit Damian and Helen reading love poems to each other at Cheltenham Literature Festival, or Ramadan is the perfect time to re-visit our beloved Brody and his Muslim faith.

Oh, and last but not the least, I have my excellent blog mates, former and current, who have always come up with brilliant ideas that we’ve turned into collective posts or post series. Our first Fun Fun community project “How did you become a Damian Lewis Fan?” came out of a subway conversation with Lady Trader.

source: Damianista

It was Hollidazzle who offered to write a “Fan Fun Holiday Gift Giving Guide“. You and JaniaJania digged deep into Brody and Carrie relationship in a series of posts and also contributed Homeland fan fictions. Gingersnap came up with the wonderful idea of choosing Billions episode MVPs which we collectively did on Wednesdays for a couple of seasons. And she recently came up with the idea of a post in which we collectively talked about our favorite songs on Damian’s debut album Mission Creep. And, hey, you have just come up with these brilliant interview questions! The list is endless. I am very lucky to have the best teammates ever!

NotLinda: What message do you want to send to all your fans?

Damianista: My fans?!?! Come on, I don’t think I have fans. But I know that I am surrounded by so many wonderful Damian Lewis fans who have been reading us, following us, reposting us. I have had the pleasure of making friends with many of them over the years and I have been lucky enough to meet some of them in person at Damian’s theatre performance and lately at his music gigs.

With lovely fan friends at Damian’s gig in Brighton, UK, September 2023

Their kind words, encouraging remarks, beautiful messages keep me going and going. So I thank the fandom from the bottom of my heart for making my wildest dreams come true – making Fan Fun a success story! I feel VERY lucky.

NotLinda: Thank you for sitting down with us, Bahar, and for all you’ve done for the many years and for the many fans of Damian. And for the man and his family.

Damianista: It’s been a pleasure to answer your questions. And it’s been a pleasure doing all the work. It has given me so much joy!

2 thoughts on “NotLinda Interviews Damianista about Fan Fun with Damian Lewis”

  1. “You are my Carrie”! How excellent! Minus the crazy but just as totally devoted. Your wit, humor and intelligence shine through in this interview. Of course you have fans! The excellent website gives us all the information we could possibly want; Fanfun features your brilliant spin and perspective. Thanks for taking the interview!
    Your biggest fan in Florida, Notlinda

    1. I can’t believe I’ve just seen this comment you made 12 days ago! But when I make the calculation, it turns out it was May 20 when you made the comment and I was frantically packing for my evening flight to London. So apologies for getting back to you late, my friend! Thanks so much again for this interview! It’s actually got a lot of clicks, it still does. I guess fans really wanted to find out a bit more about me, my devotion, and how we do things on Fan Fun!

      One thing though… “You’re my Carrie” probably includes crazy in it as well! I’m sure Damian thinks I’m crazy, and probably I am, but hey who wants the boring normal anyway?

      Much much much love and big big big hugs to my number 1 fan in Florida! Love ya!

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