Many viewers were surprised, as they watched the BBC Broadcast of the fabulous Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Gala, to see Damian appear as the Wolf to Bernadette Peters’ Red Riding Hood from the musical Into the Woods – one of Sondheim’s greatest musicals.
But the thing is that Damian is not a stranger to the role at all. In fact, he was the Wolf in Into the Woods at the London revival of the musical back in 1998! So why don’t we travel back to that time and visit a 27 year old Damian on stage?
Damian was recently the guest on actor Jonathan Cake’s Stage Door Jonny podcast where the two actors had a long, lovely and intellectual conversation about theatre and life. As Damian shared several interesting anectodes from his acting career, one highlight was from when he made his Broadway debut in Hamlet in 1995.
So why not travel back to that time and chase a 24 year old Englishman in New York? 😀
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.
Damian took a long break from stage – 6 years – after he did The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley and Tara Fitzgerald at Comedy Theatre in 2009. And three seasons of Homeland, a season of Wolf Hall, three movies, an Emmy and a Golden Globe later, in 2015, he made a wonderful comeback to West End as Walter “Teach Cole” in David Mamet’s American Buffalo which went into history as the first (and second) time I saw my favorite actor on stage. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in American Buffalo”