×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Damian Lewis in ‘Homeland’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actor

When presented with the decision of whether to play Nicholas Brody in Showtime’s hit thriller “Homeland,” Damian Lewis came to a rather definite conclusion: “I’d have been a bloody idiot if I said no.”

It wasn’t the sizzling pilot script with the riveting premise, or the crack staff of writers and producers, or the superlative cast that created the tiniest bit of pause. The only hesitation he had involved the schedule.

“I had a terrific experience working on (the NBC crime drama) ‘Life,’ but that was a network TV schedule,” he says. “I think my wife and I said we never say never, but with two small children that wasn’t the kind of work schedule I wanted. But if some very good cable TV show should come my way I’d be extremely interested.”

“Homeland” stars Lewis as a Marine sergeant who returns home to the States from Iraq after spending the past eight years in prison. But CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) suspects he may be a terrorist plant.

“That is a great setup,” Lewis says, “and I thought, ‘What a terrific opportunity to play ambiguity for as long as the writers decided to keep them ambiguous.’ I also thought there was the opportunity to play parallel roles in Brody. The mistake would have been to blend everything into one nebulous pudding. Actually there are different aspects of his life that are equally true.”

In real life, Lewis keeps his own secret: He’s British, but fans might be fooled by his flawless American accent, which also served him well in “Life” and the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

“I like nothing more than being called a good faker,” laughs Lewis, who grew up on Abbey Road and naturally is a huge Beatles fan. “It has become a source of pride, definitely. I got to tell you, it’s a total fluke. I don’t know why I can do an American accent. It’s just lucky, but it gets me this extra work.”

More TV

  • Presidential Race Cable News Donald Trump

    CNN Calls on Trump to Denounce Video Showing Violence Against Media

    CNN has called on President Trump to denounce a video that was shown at a pro-Trump conference last week, in which the president is depicted slaughtering figures representing media outlets. The New York Times reported that the video was shown at a conference for Trump supporters held at Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Fla. According [...]

  • RuPaul Variety Vanguard Award

    How RuPaul Paved the Way for the Art of Drag to Be Celebrated by the Masses

    It took years of hustle and hard work in high heels before RuPaul hit it big in TV. But while he was on the road to becoming a household name and multiple Emmy winner, the host and executive producer of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” never doubted that he was destined for small-screen success. “Everything I know [...]

  • Stephen Moore

    Stephen Moore, 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' Android, 'Doctor Who' Actor, Dies at 81

    Stephen Moore, best known for his roles as the paranoid android Marvin in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” radio series and the Silurian Eldane in “Doctor Who,” has died. He was 81. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” producer Dirk Maggs confirmed Moore’s death Sturday on Twitter, writing, “Our dear friend Stephen Moore has [...]

  • Baghdad-Central-Image

    Fremantle, Hulu Bringing 'Baghdad Central' to United States

    Fremantle is partnering with Hulu to bring the UK drama “Baghdad Central” to the United States, Fremantle announced Monday. The latest in Hulu’s growing slate of international content, “Baghdad Central” will launch on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and stream on Hulu in 2020. Based on the novel by Elliott Colla, the six-part drama [...]

  • Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet

    Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet on ‘Sing or Spin’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global production and distribution giant Endemol Shine is to duet with leading Chinese producer and broadcaster Hunan TV on primetime entertainment format “Sing or Spin,” which has an innovative spin: a revolving stage that lets singers know how well they are scoring. The show has been co-developed by Endemol Shine China and Hunan TV as [...]

  • 'Succession': Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen on

    'Succession' Stars Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen Break Down How To Make a Tomelette

    You can’t make a Tomelette without breaking some Greggs, and you can’t get through an episode of ‘Succession’ without a few rounds of riffing, at least according to Nicholas Braun (who plays Greg Hirsch) and Matthew Macfadyen (who portrays Tom Wamsgans). “We basically improv in probably every scene to some capacity,” says Braun. Though the [...]

  • Manchester City Football Club Animated Series

    Manchester City Soccer Team Animated Series in the Works (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Sky Blue Academy,” an animated series set inside the training academy of reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City, is in the works, Variety has learned. The Pep Guardiola-managed team has enjoyed numerous successes in recent years and broken into world soccer’s elite, becoming a global brand in the process. The show will follow a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content