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?
This post is long overdue. We always hear fans say, and cannot agree with them more, that Damian Lewis can read the phone book and they can listen to him all day. Having said that, why would we have to hear Damian read the phonebook to us as we have much better books out there he could read for us?
YES! Damian narrates Audiobooks! If you have not tried it before, it is a total pleasure to have him read you a story. It feels like the equivalent of CBeebies for adults, highly recommended for bed time but also for anytime, doctor’s orders! And Damian has narrated a good variety of books that it is really easy to pick a favorite.
Ah, the romantic comedy: A genre when presented as an evening’s viewing option has sent many an otherwise lovey-dovey couple to opposite ends of the couch. I have to say the romantic comedy has never been my first stop when Netflix surfing. Actually, it’s rarely my choice at all, unless When Harry Met Sally is on (the last great romantic comedy, IMO) or the least appreciated but my personal favorite of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles: Joe vs. the Volcano. [The guy falls for different versions of the SAME woman; how much more romantic (and comedic) can you get?]
William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romantic comedies. In fact, he invented the genre! The formula of boy meets girl, they run up against some obstacles, surmount said obstacles with the help of a jocular coterie of friends, and live happily ever after: That’s Shakespeare! And perhaps the most seminal of his romantic comedies is Much Ado About Nothing. The plot and characters gave rise to many adaptations and permutations. There was the beautifully hilarious big-screen adaptation in 1993 with real-life couple-at-the-time Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. More recently, in 2012, there was another lovely big-screen adaptation, this time by Joss Whedon, set in modern times but true to Shakespearean language. And between those two, in 2005, our very own Damian Lewis starred as Benedick in a BBC adaptation of the story, set in modern times with modern language, for their series Shakespeare ReTold.
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.
Today’s throwback takes us to, probably, the most famous star-crossed lovers in history… Oh, no, sorry, I am not talking about Carrie and Brody 😀
Damian Lewis is no stranger to Shakespeare. He played Romeo in Birmingham Rep’s Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet in Hamlet in the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London in 1993 and 1994, respectively, as a fresh graduate of Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Then he did his Broadway debut as Laertes to Ralph Fiennes’ Hamlet in Almeida Theatre’s production in 1995. Damian also performed as Posthumous in Cymbeline and Don John in Much Ado About Nothing with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also brought to life a lovely Benedick on BBC’s Shakespeare Retold: Much Ado About Nothing. Damian took on the role of Lord Capulet in a 2013 big screen adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Damian kicked off Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday Celebrations in 2014 at Guildhall Library reading the great man’s first five sonnets and he gave a wonderful performance of Mark Antony’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech from Julius Ceasar in The Guardian‘s Shakespeare Solos in 2016. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Romeo & Juliet *UPDATED*”