Pongo Opener Finishes with an Impressive Half Century: Or, Damian Lewis Plays Cricket

Many actors have personal trainers and personal chefs keeping them in fit employable shape. Damian Lewis may have these advantages too for all we know. But more likely (and evidence confirms) that he maintains his footballer’s body by….playing football.

Damian Lewis and Zinedine Zidane 2010 Unicef Soccer Aid charity football match at Old Trafford; source: photobucket

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Anniversary of D-Day = Revisiting Band of Brothers

Damian Lewis Band of Brothers Dick Winters
On June 6, 1944, Allied forces entered German-occupied France from the sea and the air with a mission to secure a 50 mile stretch of the Normandy coast. They succeeded in connecting all five beachheads in 6 days, precipitating the liberation of France from a five year occupation, and eventually driving the Nazis out of mainland Europe. That beginning of the end of WWII was D-Day. The nerve-wracking horror as well as the incredible courage of the men parachuting down to enemy occupied land was captured in all its brilliant unbelievable glory in Band of Brothers. And leading those men was Dick Winters, played by Damian Lewis.

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JaniaJania’s Desert Island Discs

Taking a somewhat different approach to this Desert Island Disc challenge presented by my blog-mates. Conventionally, Desert Island Discs are those must-have pieces of music that would sustain you on a desert island. It’s music that you could listen to over and over again while you wait to be rescued. And it’s music that would give you hope that you would be rescued. But that music, for me, isn’t music that would necessarily be connected to Damian Lewis in my mind. So, rather than Desert Island Discs, my list is going to be a mixtape of music that reminds me of Damian Lewis specifically. It’s music that makes me think about characters he’s played and of him as a person too. As it turns out, it’s also music that I could listen to all the time. Some is sad, some is happy. Some is peaceful, some is angry. All the ways I like my art. This list is not just my personal list, but includes a lot of the best music ever made as determined by a lot of lists. One’s mind resists going anywhere less than the best when thinking of Damian Lewis.

So, let’s get to it: Continue reading “JaniaJania’s Desert Island Discs”

Charles Doughty-Wylie: Rogue Steeped in Romance

“Write to me there…while I am alone, let’s be alone.” – Charles Doughty-Wylie

Damian Lewis is set to hit limited big screens September 15, incarnated as Charles (Richard) Doughty-Wylie in Queen of the Desert. What can we expect or hope to see? As discussed in Georgina Howell’s book, Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, the love affair between CDW and Gertrude Bell was lived largely on paper and pen. The two rarely spent time together, and when they did it was often in mixed company. Among that mixed company they would be the ones last at the table or next to the fire, still talking after the party had drifted off, still exchanging ideas and observations about the places in the Middle East they both had the privilege to travel and explore. Before GB started her diaries for Richard, which I spoke of in my last post, they had a rich correspondence. In these letters, they spoke to each other and about each other with a lavishly poetic vocabulary that leads to all kinds of imaginings on what we’ll see between Damian Lewis and Nicole Kidman enacting this couple on screen. Continue reading “Charles Doughty-Wylie: Rogue Steeped in Romance”

Queen of the Desert, some notes

As a “hyper-engaged” fan, one truly enters a state of mourning when one’s favorite is no longer on one’s screen. We know what he’s working on now: American Buffalo on stage in London’s West End. And we (the royal we) know we won’t be able to see him unless the play comes to the States and the stars align for us to get to where it’s playing. (Damianista IS seeing the play though, lucky so-and-so she is…so stay tuned for her story on seeing Damian as Teach, live). And we know his next project to start filming June is Billions on Showtime. So there we are with what’s he doing now and what he will be doing soon.

Now for what he has already done and what hasn’t made it to screen yet. We know that Damian Lewis has completed several films that are waiting on distribution. A film recently announced to have a U.S. distributor and set for limited release in September is Queen of the Desert, the story of Gertrude Bell, the female counterpart to that great explorer who got not one but two (or possibly more? ) films made about him, T.E. Lawrence, who we know as Peter O’Toole’s first, then Ralph Fiennes’ (and now Robert Pattison’s) Lawrence of Arabia. This post will be some theorizing on what we may be seeing in the film Queen of the Desert. Hopeful, longing, desirous theorizing, much like the letters Gertrude Bell (played by Nicole Kidman) exchanged with Charles Doughty-Wylie (played by Damian Lewis) for the few years of their problematic courtship. Continue reading “Queen of the Desert, some notes”