- Damian Watcyn Lewis
February 11, 1971 (age 50)
- Actor, Film Producer
- Helen McCrory
- Charlotte Mary Lewis, J. Watcyn Lewis
Damian Watcyn Lewis, OBE (born 11 February 1971) is an English actor and producer. He is best known for portraying U.S. Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland (which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award), Soames Forsyte in the ITV remake of The Forsyte Saga, Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life, and U.S. Army Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He appeared as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, which earned him his third Primetime Emmy nomination and fourth Golden Globe nomination.
Lewis was born in St John's Wood, London, the son of Charlotte Mary (née Bowater) and J. Watcyn Lewis, a City broker. His paternal grandparents were Welsh. His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Sir Ian Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Lord Dawson of Penn (a doctor to the Royal Family) and the philanthropist Alfred Yarrow. He has stated that he "went to English boarding schools and grew up around people very much like Soames and in a milieu very much like the Forsytes'".
As a child, Lewis made several visits to the U.S. to visit relatives during his summers. He first decided to become an actor at age 16. He was educated at the independent Ashdown House School in Forest Row, East Sussex, and at Eton College. He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993, after which he served as a stage actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company. During his time with the RSC, he played Borgheim in Adrian Noble's production of Henrik Ibsen's Little Eyolf and Posthumus in William Shakespeare's Cymbeline. He also starred in another of Ibsen's plays, as Karsten Bernick in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre in November 2005.
Lewis once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he detested. He appeared in Robinson Crusoe (1997) as Patrick Conner. He appeared in Jonathan Kent's production of Hamlet, playing Laertes. This production was seen by Steven Spielberg, who later cast Lewis as Richard Winters in Band of Brothers, the first role of several that required him to have a credible American accent.
Subsequently, Lewis portrayed Soames Forsyte in the ITV series The Forsyte Saga which earned him rave reviews. He returned to the US to star in Dreamcatcher, a Stephen King film about a man who becomes possessed by an evil alien. The character is American but when possessed he takes on a British accent. On the heels of this role, he starred in Keane as a Manhattanite with a fragile mental state who is searching for his missing daughter. Despite the film's poor box-office performance, the role won Lewis rave reviews.
He played Jeffrey Archer in the TV special Jeffrey Archer: The Truth. Since 2004, he has appeared in a number of films, as well as the 2005 BBC TV adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season. Lewis played the role of Yassen Gregorovich in the film Stormbreaker. In 2006 he appeared in Stephen Poliakoff's BBC drama Friends and Crocodiles. He has appeared on BBC's Have I Got News for You as guest host several times; on 10 November 2006, 1 May 2009, 18 November 2010, 27 April, 9 November 2012 and 31 October 2014.
In 2008, Lewis starred as the main character Charlie Crews in the US television series Life on NBC. The show premiered in the U.S. on 26 September 2007 and was affected by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Only half of the first season's shows were produced. Regardless, the show won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series. Although the show received critical acclaim, when it returned the following television season, it was shuffled from night to night, and eventually cancelled by NBC to clear its time slot for the less expensive nightly programme, The Jay Leno Show.
Lewis appeared, the following year, in the lead role in The Baker, a film directed by his brother, Gareth. Damian took a supporting role of Rizza in The Escapist, which he also helped produce. He led the cast in Martin Crimp's version of Molière's comedy, The Misanthrope, which opened in December 2009 at the Comedy Theatre, London. Other cast members included Tara Fitzgerald, Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan.
Since 2010, Lewis has played Tory Prime Minister Simon Laity in two seasons of Number 10 on BBC Radio 4.
He played Gareth, the father of an 11-year-old Liverpool F.C. fan, in the 2011 film Will.
From 2011 to 2013, Lewis had a starring role as Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland. In 2013, he narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an "interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri". In 2016 he stars in the Showtime series Billions.
Lewis was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to drama.
On 4 July 2007, Lewis married actress Helen McCrory. They have a daughter, Manon (born 8 September 2006), and a son, Gulliver (born 2 November 2007). They live in Tufnell Park, London, and Los Angeles.