It all starts for me when a good colleague with whom I share true love for theater asks me to name my favorite male and female stage performances in 2015. Easy. Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts and Damian Lewis in Mamet’s American Buffalo (with Mark Strong in Miller’s A View From the Bridge as a close second). And what is it about these performances that made me fall in LOVE with them?
One word: Precision.
Then I think about the heart-breaking performance Lesley Manville gives in Ghosts which, in fact, has brought her an Olivier Award in 2014 (I saw the play much later when it visited Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015). I know Manville mostly from her work on big screen such as Secrets and Lies (1996), Vera Drake (2004), Another Year (2010) and Mr Turner (2014) all of which were some of my favorites in the year they were released. But I really do not know about her stage work. So I google her. And here is the first image I hit! Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Pillars of the Community”
Big thanks go to Damian’s pal Jonsel Gourkan for tweeting the lovely picture below and inspiring today’s post.
Spot a certain ginger among a bunch of young actors playing in a celebrity football tournament around, according to Jonsel, 1995/96. Both he and Damian were playing for Royal Shakespeare Company and it is clear from the tweet that the competition on the football field was real. Well, we all know Damian knows his footie, don’t we?
It was 2009 when Damian played the lead role of Alceste in Martin Crimp’s modernized version of Moliere’s 17th century comedy. After his appearance in The Misanthrope he was not seen on stage again until American Buffalo six years later. Dare we say, The Misanthrope marked a turning point for Damian, the last one where he was the nearly A-list actor playing against decidedly A-list’er Keira Knightley. NOW, of course, he is not nearly anything but a full-blown highly sought commodity on stage and screen. In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the play, then, beg your indulgence as I wax philosophical about the extent to which the themes of the play translate to Damian’s own career trajectory.
Matt Wolf, a theater critic who interviews Damian Lewis at Times Talks London in May 2014, spends quite some time talking to Damian about each and every play he has done to date at length, well, except for one: When it comes to Five Gold Rings, Wolf mentions it briefly and as more of a personal highlight than a professional one for Damian!
Matt Wolf: “One production at The Almeida called Five Gold Rings was perhaps not that successful except that it has the woman whom you ended up marrying so I would assume it was a success in that way.”