It wasn’t love at first sight. Damian Lewis grew on me 🙂
I vividly remember the evening we met. I was in my living room. He was on TV. I was watching the Primetime Emmy Awards and rooting for Jon Hamm (Don Draper, anyone?) to win the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Me: “Come on, Jon, come on!”
Julianna Marguiles: “…and the Emmy goes to… Damian Lewis!”
Me: “Who the hell is Damian Lewis?”
Damian Lewis comes to stage, receives his award and makes a fun speech… We find out he’s, in his own words, “one of those pesky Brits.”
Of course, by the end of the night, Homeland swept all the awards, and we now knew that it was a new Showtime series that had been making a lot of buzz that fall. They were even filming in Charlotte, North Carolina, two and a half hours from our house. It was our local TV show for God’s sake! And, you know what, I never made it to the set. Yes, shoot me!
We love good TV, but we are busy people so usually watch the shows once they are “approved” with awards. So, we thought, it was now time to watch Homeland. And we did. THREE TIMES. Ok, ok, my husband watched two times only.
I believe it was the fifth episode of Homeland Season 2 “Q&A” —the episode that won the best writing award in the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013 — that sealed the deal. I never saw any actor that could do so much with his facial expressions. My jaw dropped. WOW. Just WOW. This guy was just so incredible. FANTASTIC.
Let me put it in a Carrie line from that episode: “That’s the Brody I fell in love with.”
BUT there was a little problem. Kevin. Oh no, Kevin is not my husband. Kevin is Kevin Costner, MY huge screen crush of 20+ years. Believe me, if you ask me to describe myself with one adjective, I’d say “loyal.” I am LOYAL. I have always been loyal to my family, my friends, my teams, my TV shows, and in particular my screen crushes. I have always been monogamous in that sense. So, there came the agony. I thought this over and over and over… and finally decided to do the ultimate test!
The test was to sit down and watch the Bodyguard! I LOVED that movie in college, watched it 8 times in the movie theater, and many many many more times on VHS and then on DVD over the years. Yes, I know, it’s not a great movie, but it was MY movie. So, I sat down and watched the Bodyguard. And… Oh my God, I did not feel anything… I did not feel anything even when Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston’s character) ran to Frank Farmer’s (Kevin Costner’s character) arms at the end…
I now had to admit it to myself. It was OVER.
The agony ended on a cold January night when I made my confession at home.
Me: “Ok. I am coming out of the closet. I am so over with Kevin. Damian Lewis is my new screen crush.”
My husband: “Wow, I never thought this day would come. “
He still calls Kevin “your ex.”
Then, of course, there were all those friends of mine that had bore with me about Kevin Costner all those years — especially the ones that I dragged to the movie theater with me to see those long Kevin Costner movies (the guy never made movies under 2 and a half hours!) that I had to come out to. So, the day after my birthday in January, I made the following announcement on Facebook. Seriously!
SCREEN CRUSH ALERT
As I am a year older today and not wiser in any way, I feel the urge to acknowledge the end of an era, an important one, in my life… Well, after some careful self-deliberation, I’ve finally come to resolve my stormy celebrity crush life. It’s now time to make it official for all interested parties!
Dear Kevin, Costner that is, it’s been a great ride for the last 20+ years since Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and of course, the Bodyguard. But last time I checked you were playing Superman’s dad… it’s a bit too much… and not just that… you know, that red-haired Brit came along so unexpectedly and turned things upside down. I’m really sorry but it’s over between us.
My friends were truly stunned. Their comments varied from “I never thought this would happen” (ANSWER: Me, either!) to “I am claiming Kevin Costner now that you are releasing him” (ANSWER: He’s all your, hon!) to “Wow, congratulations, Damian!” (ANSWER: Yes, I’m sure, he’s so proud :D) to “Man, these two awfully look alike, Damian can play Kevin’s son.” (ANSWER: Really? But I now feel bad for Kevin, let’s make him the older brother.)
And, the rest is history! Here I am, a huge fan and sort of a walking Damian Lewis encyclopedia 🙂 And, cheers to many, many years of that!