Lewis was already a stage star in London when he was asked to read for 'Band of Brothers.' He auditioned for months and months. Then the casting director called and asked if he would fly to Los Angeles to meet with the show's producers. He did another reading, thought he was done, and proceeded to stay out in L.A. until 4 am.
The phone rang a couple of hours later, and Lewis was requested to meet Steven Spielberg at his office at 8 am. After a pot of coffee and multiple showers, a still-soused Lewis made it to his appointment. "I was still drunk," he says. "I was sweaty palmed and shaking when I went in." Spielberg congratulated him on being cast as the lead.
Lewis' portrayal of Winters scored him a Golden Globe nomination, but he inexplicably lost to James Franco playing James Dean. The entire experience was simultaneously breathtaking and heartbreaking – Lewis' mother was killed in a car accident in India while 'Band of Brothers' was in post-production. "She was a real tiger mum in some ways; I wanted to dedicate the Golden Globe to her," says Lewis, who took home both a Globe and an Emmy for the Brody role. "I just had to wait 10 years."
Lewis has tried not to let any false moments creep into Brody, though 'Homeland' has already taken a sharp left turn because of his popularity. Originally, season one was supposed to end with Brody detonating a vest bomb, killing himself, the vice president, and his advisers.
The relationship between Brody and Carrie proved wildly popular with fans, and at the last minute, the show had Brody chicken out, not detonate the bomb, and live to fight for another television season.
"I think simply for creative and artistic reasons, the writers want to kill me," says Lewis. He speaks frankly, as if the CIA has just poisoned his OJ with truth serum. (That totally could be a plot twist this year.) "There are so many compelling and devastating story lines that would just be great TV and theater," says Lewis with a smile. "The more compromised storytelling is to keep him alive and to keep him bubbling along somehow. It's the executives who write that version."