Damian Lewis on Homeland fame: ‘Being a star is much better than not being one’

Get an exclusive first-look at the Homeland star's covershoot and interview with Hunger magazine

Some actors seem desperate to convince us that their lives would be better were they known purely for their roles on screen, and not for the celebrity persona their chosen career paths have afforded them.

Damian Lewis, however, is under no such illusion.

“The first thing I’d say is that being a star is much better than not being one,” he says in the latest edition of Hunger magazine revealed exclusively to The Independent. “It does elevate your life in extraordinary and wonderful ways. For example, I was invited to have dinner at the White House and I chatted with President Obama.”

But you’d be mistaken if you thought the stardom he so readily enjoys comes before the serious thespian trundling off monologues deep within him.

“I'm proud of the fact that I think of myself as an actor's actor, before being a star, but I have become one and that really is down to luck. I'm not doing anything different than anyone else; it's just a question of landing the right project. I don't think I'm better in Homeland than in other things. It just became an enormous hit.”

But being an internationally recognised famous type hasn’t stopped the self-proclaimed star from doing average, man-about-town things in his home city of London. Like taking the Tube:

“I feel very proprietorial about London. It’s my town and always has been. I’m resolved to using public transport. I simply refuse not to use the Tube because I might get bothered by people. It's slightly mad to walk through the West End during peak tourist season – the Italians and Spanish can be quite persistent!  I'm not going to lie, some days I don't deal with it very well because I’m in a hurry.”

Lewis – one of 20 British stars to grace the multi-cover special Mighty Blighty issue of Rankin’s fashion-meets-celebrity magazine, which celebrate the overwhelming impact creative artists are having abroad at the moment – also discussed his equally famous self-confidence, and where his unwavering inner-belief seems to have stemmed from.

Read more: Celebrity photographer Rankin sympathises with ethical dilemma that faced Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson
Rankin Interview: In Defense Of Britain, Miley, Scarlett and the right to take photos of absolutely anyone

“I think it comes from my family, from my parents, from the certainty that one is loved,” he continues.

“It’s very important to give that to your children. I think it gives them a sincere confidence. A good experience of childhood sets you up for life. I went to boarding school, and if you have certain attributes you thrive in those places, and I think I had those attributes. So I succeeded at school, and it was a happy time for me.

“I was a natural schoolboy, if you like. I loved sport and theatre, doing school plays, but I didn't work very hard, and in time that came back and bit me in the arse – I loped through my A-levels so fruitlessly!  Luckily I was bright enough to just wing it though. It was a lot to do with luck.”

Read Damian Lewis’ interview in full in the Mighty Blighty issue of Hunger magazine, out across the UK on 20 February 2014

Read More: Damian Lewis Apologises To Ian McKellen Following Fruity Claims
Damian Lewis Photographs Wife Helen McCrory In White House Toilets
Homeland Accused Of Damaging Relations Between US & Hostile Depicted Countries
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Ashdown Group: HR Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A mainstream Secondary school in C...

Guru Careers: HR Administrator / Training Coordinator

COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: An HR Administrator / Training Coordinator is requi...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'