Damian Lewis | Interview | TimesTalks London


mmm on 1 it on from 1 you course began like most projectors in
the theater when you were growing up in Abbey Road
were you going to the theater lot where you belting down the Jubilee line to the
National arm I was a member a junior member at
the Hampstead theater Hampstead Theatre Club that time has that it was like a little
postage stamp it was it was like a shock it was I going to
watch you know theater in the back some got shed on but great-great a wonderful in a bit in if it innovative
writing good job I’m not a writer an innovative writing came came out of
that sister when Jenny topper was running at
I’m and yeah I was becoming increasingly
interested in theater through my teenage years arm my father grew spent five years in Chicago actually in
the sixties as a single man really fell in love with on the old american musicals as
fantastic musicals at the thirties forties fifties
on your toes guys in those forty second street said so whenever they were revivals those
that was a sort of holiday tree before we’re packed of back to school
and have sorta ha courts like way for from some train platform in Victoria station and
we would we would always go to theater so that was very much that was very much also the cultural doll as a as a family so when did you
actually think acting would be the profession was there
a period I mean where you thought I’m do you something totally
different reforming some other line now on is when I won the acting prize
for my bottom I when I was 12 years old and we did a
very pared-down version A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I tasted for the first time that’s love that’s got that sort of taste of
success and people clapping and laughing and which
is is is intoxicating and then when I was
16 we we were encouraged at the school I was
at to rent the theater from the school see you
could set up an independent theatre company then you would go to the school rent the
theater rent the costumes rent the sets and the scenery so %um encouraged to create your company’s we
go away raise money in reality of course that was calling you know uncle Jerry
and sank in japan is a hundred quid and hoping you had enough uncles to make add
up to you know about thousand quid 1500 quit and and I suppose it was then it was then sigh I
was 16 arm I decided that I’d had enough sitting down during exams and I was spending more and more time daydreaming
looking out the window and I and I just thats took route that and in a very real way and of course so much your career sense
has been acting characters from the other side of
the pond I’m just curious will get onto that later at Guildhall ditch you play lotto different nationalities then did you
play Americans did you study accents with a classical training through and
through down you know the this incredible a age all cross-fertilization we live in now between TV film and
theatre between America and Europe because I’m so old didn’t really exists then even i’m
talking about. the mid 90’s doesn’t seem a very long
time ago but even then you know the the British actors in our an American TV is universal Pierce
Brosnan remington steele you know here you know a home that they
didn’t seem to be too many of them and um so we won
encouraged were encouraged to do dialects and
accents but you were just as likely to learn a tried to Geordie accent or a Cornish
access as you were an American accent because it was an expected that you
would go and play Americans there are plenty of brilliant American actors are enough of
them over there um probably something quite sent foale
now a but sup but we’d we’d we’d try to we try to exchange we invite them back
here and they come here and do great work you may or may not remember him but we
first met on the set a band of brothers when obvious E I’ll during filming so far
before the release and you worth order stupefied in the
most wonderful way by the fact that it even happened and I
remember you said my gonna be found out I’m is this
going to be believable and of course I went on to be an
enormous success how to solve that seen looking back on it the band of
brothers experience well it was a.m. first the audition
experience was you know long and and you know I kept
being dragged back into damp basements and soho to to another
speech from another bit of a script that none of us have been allowed to see so was brit we went pretty sure we were
signing up for but Tom you know then tony tells this
that the dynamic produces just one day said so damian how’d you like to fly to LA
meet steven Tom and stephen Thomas skilled I can hanks and I said let me check my diary and a and their now you know them you know a week later I was I was
staying and shutters on the beach in Santa Monica and thinking about this is kinda made and
then and I was given the role and arm and then really the the the preparation for it we we’re all set
to cap that that for two weeks that long war camp which
still has some world war two barracks actually from
that a red and we stayed in character for two whole weeks in Tom a Thanksgiving great speech actually a at the beginning
say yours is really a a social document and you should treated as such I’m going to
do everything we can to make this as true to life and on other memory of
these men a in the best way that we can the training was brilliant and true to
life and we had there was a marine actually who is one of our special
ability extras was one other 20 extra guys to bolster our numbers to
create Easy Company in he said it was as it was
as hard to basic training as anything that
he had been through so we were we were taken through it and it
was it was really am and that’s why you know and of course
I’m not gonna make any sort of claim to suggest that our bond is powerful orgasm as important
as as the real veterans that they have now
that for and jumped into non-indian 1944 but all of
us who are in bad about this we still have this annual reunion in there was a sense that we really word
came through something to get did she do have any idea
initially that common with perhaps the zeitgeist in the
way that it did no I was very reluctant to do another TV
show and in fact this was sent to me by by my American a teenager said just read
this one I know you don’t wanna go into a long-running TV that read this and he’s you know howard
corn and Alex cancer involved in they they ran 24
for the last five six seasons and and Claire Danes doing and Mandy
Patinkin they’re already on board you know this is the one that was
talking about and less let’s just read it so I read it and done and I very nearly didn’t do it for just
personal reasons going to live in and Charlotte North Carolina I was in
with the family and but you know there were just too
many compelling reasons a to do it people were certainly shocked
by the way in which Asian pretty is killed in homeland but actually looking at the archive the
series damian were %um surprised almost that pretty lived as
long as he did did you think he could have died early are and other circumstances you
know it was intimated to me very strongly that I would probably be in
this only for a couple of seasons no promises
were made because I would be that stupid but but Alexander at Howard spoke
to me on the phone when they were asking me to be in it
said you know we really know about to seize I when it became a huge head it became dare I say phenomenon I think all the executives at the
various studios Showtime Fox is a world Nikon Kelly that ok so I have a dream you’ve got you’ve got and
pick up some more story and noms and so they did and then that was that created two lever
for season three and just how they went about it in season three and I think they made a
really good decision through season three brave brave decisions about not seeing brody
initially and then just seeing dipping into him then coming
out but it was a way of sort of easing away from
Brody I think but still giving thats sort of grand finale if you like that I think people with
want bro bro

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