Trivia Tuesday: Tom Hanks’ Surprise for Damian Lewis on his 30th Birthday


Welcome to the most special week of the year: Damian’s Birthday Week! We plan a cute little Birthday Party for our favorite guy on the blog on Thursday and Friday but why not kick off the celebrations today with a lovely trivia about Damian’s 30th Birthday?

We all know Tom Hanks played a major role in making Damian an internationally known actor. We blogged earlier about how Spielberg and Hanks cast Damian Lewis as Dick Winters in Band of Brothers.


Damian tells Independent that, once he was cast for the role, he had the opportunity to hang out with Steven Spielberg as well as Tom Hanks for a while, and in his own words, got to know, “what kids they are.” 🙂

Damian tells about Tom Hanks: “Tom was brilliant. When I took my parents to the set he was absolutely charming. .. He collects old typewriters – he’s got about 40 – and he typed me a lovely letter, telling me what a great job he thought we were all doing. I thought it was really special.”

source: HBO
source: HBO

He also narrates a compliment that he received from Tom Hanks that he has treasured to this day: “Tom Hanks said to me: ‘You’re going to be the first ever red-headed film star!’ If people with red hair can be perceived as sexy and land romantic leads, then that has to be good for redheads in general. It’s fun to be able to challenge the status quo.”

So… Damian is in Los Angeles for his 30th birthday and invites Tom Hanks to his birthday party.

Note: You can read Damian’s story here or scroll down and hear it from him as he tells all about it to Jonathan Ross. I am writing the transcript here since our fans from non-English speaking countries prefer to have it in writing since it is easier to understand. Thanks!

“… I invited Tom Hanks to my 30th birthday. I was 30 and in LA at the time. He said “I can’t come” and gave me a two dollar bill… Which is one of his things. He loves doing that…”

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

I need to jump in here! So, let’s see hands — who else has a two dollar bill? And, for those of you that are not familiar with it, two dollar bill is the rarest small denomination in US currency. Its rarity makes it special but does not really make it more valuable than its face value. If you want to learn more about it, here is a quick history.

Sorry, Damian, but I really needed to interrupt… please go on 🙂

“…And I get to the end of the evening and lots of people there and I try to pay the bar… And the bar man says: “Don’t worry… It’s been taken care of… Happy Birthday from Mr. Hanks… And I thought it was very cool. He just took care of the bar bill…”

Classy! I knew there was a reason for me to always have liked Tom Hanks 🙂 And, for some reason, I always loved him more in romantic comedies, and no romantic comedy can beat You’ve Got Mail in my book. It’s Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and Upper West Side — our neighborhood — what’s not to like?  The last scene gets me every single time. It’s 92nd Street Community Garden in Riverside Park. This is my tribute to Mr. Hanks.

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

6 thoughts on “Trivia Tuesday: Tom Hanks’ Surprise for Damian Lewis on his 30th Birthday”

    1. My pleasure, Monique! Another dear fan from France has told me it would be great if she could have a transcript of what he says on another video and I thought it would be a good idea to transcribe at least the short videos. Yes, he does speak very quickly (and beautifully) 😀

    1. Mine, too! I thought it would be sweet to share it in the birthday week, better yet, to kick off the celebrations! Same here, I always hear lovely stories about Tom Hanks. Seems to be a very kind human being!

  1. Damian Lewis Factor
    Dear Damianista,
    I was deeply touched by your earlier (may be the first) post “The day Brody died” … and felt I need to write about my route to Homeland and Damian Lewis…
    As you may know, the idea of Homeland is coming from the Israeli “Prisoners of War”, but even though it started there, there is no real resembles between those two dramas, there is no Carry , so, there is no Brody-Carry love story, only one fundamental idea, that “one of us” can be turned against “us”, and become a traitor and a terrorist. It was not suspicion, it was an astonishing fact raised by Israeli drama so impossible for comprehension by Israeli society ….then, somehow I skipped American Homeland directly to the Russian version, which was, unlike Israili Homeland, the exact mirror of the American drama (just switch Iraq to Chechnya and White House to Kremlin), even in a visual way all characters were very much alike, except for Brody who was played by one of the most popular and favorite
    Russian actors and therefor “Russian Brody” looked different, it short it was really remarkable Russian show with the best possible casting …….so I did not see The Homeland and at the certain point, I just decided just to catch the gaps toward Homeland 5 (Russian version includes only season 1)……just imagine, I knew the plot , I knew the characters, I just wanted to catch the gaps…. And without noticing how it happened I was totally trapped by affection to Nicholas Brody just after a few episodes…. So I watched these three series in a few days (and mostly few nights) and I experienced the deepest emotional shock of my life… I am writing this to say that you are right, there is a huge huge Damian Lewis factor in this drama, which was not planned by executives from the beginning and only realizable by them on the fly, it simply does not exist in other Homeland versions……I felt the reality shifted and I was inside of these events (not sure at which role ), but I felt it is happening to me, I was deeply stressed, even not comparing to other shows, but comparing to events of my real life. Just as you, I could not see the death scene, just could not, and when it was over, I was searching a lot of time for the answers, how they succeed to tear us apart and “make us feel this way”, and even though I learnt a lot, still I had a feeling that a great piece of this mystery is missing….and when I found your site and read your posts, so sincere and so real, I realized that in fact it is all about him and his acting. I mean this is great show with great CIS spy story, but Damian is the one who shifted frontier between illusion and reality and therefore he owns the entire credit …. You see, his acting was undeniable and in fact your site is the live prove for the existence of Damian Lewis factor ….. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Dear Veronica, first things first: Thanks so much for your lovely words and thanks for visiting and reading us! Your words make my day! I completely agree with you – and hey you know it already – that the show creators did not know what to expect from Carrie & Brody storyline, and Damian Lewis just turned the story around and owned the show even though he was planned as a two season character in the end. Thank you so much for your kind words saying that the blog posts sound very real and sincere. They are. All written coming from the heart – pure feelings, maybe cheesy at times, but that is exactly how I have been feeling. I still miss Brody… But Damian’s new show Billions has just started on TV, and it’s incredible to see how different he is from Brody, it’s like two different actors almost. Damian’s versatility is mind-blowing. Hope you enjoy this new show as well… having said that I know we will always carry Brody in our hearts <3

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