We have a slightly different blog for you this #FictionFriday as we are given thanks to Damian Lewis for the characters he brings to life and the resulting potential in the world of #Fanfiction.
Mark Rose (Hearts and Bones)
Mark is a husband, father and school teacher. He is happily married…but his wife isn’t. Season one focuses on their relationship with their group of friends and each other. Increasingly Mark’s wife becomes interested in his brother who is far more exciting to her than Mark is now. There is a false dawn of Mark and his wife renewing nuptials before it falls apart completely and Mark leaves at the end of season one. Broken hearted Mark does not return for season two because Damian got the part of one Major Dick Winters.
The character of Mark allowed Damian to showcase his ability to play a clueless and sweet man who has his trust betrayed by the two people he loves the most. Watching the confident man from the first episode wither away to the broken hearted man at the end of the last episode is bitter sweet. It is great to see Damian acting his socks off, but you have to feel for Mark whose only crime is that he isn’t his brother.
There is potential here to pick up and follow Mark after the season one finale. How did he get over the betrayal of his wife and his brother? Did it make him a colder person?
William Keane (Keane)
The first reason to be thankful for William Keane is that this is the performance that ensured Damian would get the part of Nicholas Brody and, given how Keane deals with psychology, it is no wonder. William Keane is a father struggling to come to terms with the abduction of his daughter. JaniaJania recently wrote about Keane in great detail.
Todd McCarthy of Variety remarked that “one can only wonder how an actor can live with such a character for weeks and weeks and maintain a semblance of sanity and contact with real life.” This is something I found myself wondering while watching Damian in season one of Homeland. Keane is perhaps even more harrowing to a degree. Damian’s performance will break your heart in two. There is a respectfulness about the performance because Damian has clearly done his research for the role…something we know he is rather good at. Keane does not shirk dealing with showing us how fragile our own mind can be and Damian projects this right on to screen.
Though Keane shares some obvious similarities with Brody, his character is perhaps harder to write simply because dealing with the subject matter of the abduction of a child is distressful. It could be interesting to approach William Keane months afterward and see if he has picked himself up and begun to move on. His ensuring that Kira was returned to her mother at the end could be the beginning of that journey.
Norman Harris (Brides)
Norman is an American photographer on his way home aboard the SS King Alexander. Nikki Douka is a mail order bride on her way to her new husband in America. Nikki gives Norman hope during the journey. She is a distraction from the fact that he is on his way home to a failed marriage. They inevitably fall in love with one another even though they know they can never be. Nikki cannot back out of the arranged marriage because of the consequences for her family back in Greece if she does. Norman has to reluctantly let her go, but not before giving her a kiss she is un-likely to forget. She in turn gives him one of her earrings to keep. There is a bittersweet moment at the end where Norman picks up a magazine with Nikki on the front showing that she has turned her considerable talent in sewing into a business and appears to be doing well. There are no words here as Damian’s face is allowed to do the work showing us both Norman’s heartache, but clear happiness that Nikki seems to be doing well.
We happen to know that Damianista has a soft spot for this character. There is a certain dreaminess to him and no end of passion. It is in the eyes. He has actually given up his profession as a photographer, but on the journey home is inspired to take pictures of the brides. His passion shines through when he is doing this and most noticeably the character’s passion is on display when with Nikki.
Damianista suggested a #fanfiction where they are reunited. Lots of potential there given the unresolved tension between the two of them that not even that kiss towards the end could satisfy completely.
Nicholas Brody (Homeland)
Tragic anti-hero doesn’t quite cover it. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody taken captive in Iraq in 2003. Tortured, isolated and ‘rebuilt as someone else’. MIA, for 8 years, presumed KIA, he is ‘found’ and returns home in 2011. Home to a family that has moved on without him and a world that makes no sense at all. One of the most conflicted and complicated characters on TV brought fantastically to life by Damian Lewis.
Season 1 is a lesson from Damian in how to say so much while moving so little, and purposefully being very rigid and still. There are a number of great scenes, but the ‘heart-to-heart’ between Carrie and Brody at the end of The Weekend is incredibly well done. Damian sits with his arms flat on the table reaching out towards Claire, looking almost as if Brody is using that table for support in order to allow him to lay out the lies.
The complexities and layers of Brody allows for a lot of potential in #fanfiction. There is the pre-series Brody as well as his run up to deployment. How that stable man, husband and father compares and contrasts with the mess he would become after going to Iraq. There is Brody during captivity and mapping out how he came to be who we meet. Best of all (in TBkWrm’s opinion, and the Misfit’s) is completely ignoring the finale of season three and allowing Brody a chance to re-arrange the mess and dig himself out of the hole his life had become. At least we can ignore and move past it in the wonder that is fanfic.
Here is a link (or possibly re-link) to Suddenly, a lengthy work in progress fic by Misfit that explores a different path for Brody in the aftermath of the Langley bombing.
Charlie Crews (Life)
It is fitting to finish this month’s blog with Charlie Crews. Wrongfully imprisoned for 12 years for triple homicide, Charlie is thankful for every day he gets.
Damian portrays Charlie with playfulness and a cheery disposition, but the undercurrent of how dangerous this man can be is constantly just beneath the surface. The chat he has while breaking someone’s finger being a prime example. His wrongful imprisonment is so personal to him, not just because he lost twelve years of his life, but because the murders he was imprisoned for were of his best friends and one of their children. This adds an extra dimension to his character as his ability to grieve for them is hindered by his own situation.
There is plenty to explore in the aftermath of the season 2 finale specifically around the conspiracy around Charlie being set up. Roman may be dead, but Micky Raybourne is very much alive.
Misfit & TBkWrm
6 thoughts on “Thanks Given”
I love all Damian movie, of which you speak, I loved Keane, especially for the prodigious performance Damian!
Loved, Brides, for softness, desperate love Norman, has to Nicki!
What a desperate look when Nicki is obliged to reject him!
And I also love, Homeland, Damian really is this broken man, lost in this new world, he no longer knows!
Similarly for LIFE! Why we love these movies?
Because Damian, being a great actor, he is no longer Damian, in his films, he became the character!
We like the world’s greatest actor.!
we are women, with taste!!
Yep, the look Niki gives to Norman when she has to reject him is so sad. And that’s exactly why I really think there should be some fan fiction to correct what happened in Brides 🙂 Niki and Norman should be able to see each other, maybe years later; Norman is divorced, Niki is probably widowed (apologies to her husband) and sparks fly in blue Chicago skies!!! <3 We definitely LOVE Damian because he brings us all these characters — mostly flawed — that are so compelling and so real that we just can't help LOVE them… and yes his good looks help, too; but I agree we like the world's greatest actor – we are certainly women with some great taste! Period.
Monique, thank you for your lovely comments. We do indeed have taste!
Damian gives such a wide range of performances and always brings his A game. I love hearing about the research he does. He puts a lot of effort in and it shows.
My dear Bookworm and Misfit! I just LOVE this! And I love it that fan fiction can correct what should have happened or not have happened in the first place! You two should really do a fan fiction on Norman and Niki — those two deserve another chance! And, hey, I would also love to have Soames have a different life — in my version he never goes to the opera that night, and so he does not meet Irene. Hehe. Who knows maybe I will sit down one day and write about the woman with whom Soames would have the Forsyte Fairytale? 😀
Norman and Nikki absolutely deserve another chance. Need to find time to go there.
Oh, I’m determined we are going to get one out of you and so Soames os all yours!
I really think, me being me, I could try my hand at least once in fiction. I am nowhere as talented as you or LilMisfit when it comes to fiction but I would try just for the fun of it… why not, right? And it could be Soames — that night he’ll just not feel good and not go to the opera… and then my imagination goes into work for a new love interest for him… Or it could be Norman… but if it’s Norman, I could even try a completely different angle and have him go back to Izmir (Turkey) after the war… and make him meet some Turkish woman and fall in love. Hehe.