HE is an Eton-educated English actor, she’s an American punk princess. So Damian Lewis enjoying what looks like a burgeoning romance with Alison Mosshart cut a surprising image.
They have been pictured on three dates — at this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, at the Serpentine Gallery’s summer party in Kensington on Thursday and at a fundraising bash at the National Gallery in London a week earlier.
Homeland star Damian and the US rocker dubbed Baby Ruthless on stage have also been spotted laughing and joking together on the capital’s Underground.
The Peaky Blinders leading lady had insisted her husband find love again after her passing.
Now, those close to Damian say Alison, 43, frontwoman for two bands, The Kills and The Dead Weather, might just be perfect for him.
One pal said: “People who care about Damian think she might just give him the spark he needs after 14 months of misery. Of course there’s no escaping the fact that they do come from very different backgrounds.
“He may have this image as a typically British, straight-laced, public schoolboy type, but in reality he’s much more down to earth than that. Meanwhile Alison is far from your stereotypical rock chick and actually has a level of sophistication that means they can make a connection.”
They added: “It shouldn’t be a surprise if he is now drawn to a rock star because in many ways Helen was quite rock and roll. She wasn’t always swanning around quoting Shakespeare — she loved a good time, laughed like a drain, swore like a trooper and always spoke her mind.
Damian said at the time: “I’m heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.”
Devastated Damian withdrew from public life for months to take care of his family. Though occasionally he would pay tribute to his late wife. He also revealed how straight-talking Helen, best known for playing gangster matriarch Polly Gray in BBC1’s Peaky Blinders, gave him her blessing to find love again.
She said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive.
He recalled: “Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures. She said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive.
“But you know, Damian, try at least to get through the funeral without snogging someone.”
A close friend of Helen’s said: “You can absolutely imagine those words coming out of her mouth — because she would have wanted Damian and the kids to get on with their lives.
“That comment about not snogging someone until the funeral was over was typical of her wicked sense of humour.”
Despite having Helen’s blessing, Damian wasn’t seen with any potential love interests and only started venturing out in public more earlier this year, still wearing his wedding ring. Though it’s not clear how he and Florida-born Alison met, the idea of Damian, the son of a top Lloyd’s Bank broker, and the rock singer crossing paths isn’t that far-fetched.
Alison, the daughter of a used car dealer, was born and raised in Florida and spent much of her career in the States.
‘Big on culture’
But she now divides her life between her two homes, in Nashville, Tennessee, and London. She regularly hangs out in the capital’s West End, dining at her favourite restaurant, J Sheekey, which nestles between the Noel Coward and Wyndham’s Theatres — both of which Damian has performed in.
The two were so close Alison was “best man” on their big day in 2011. The supermodel was pictured out with her on her hen do — at the Isle of Wight Festival, of course — along with fellow socialite Meg Matthews.
Alison was regularly snapped rubbing shoulders with Noel Gallagher, Harry Styles, Jade Jagger, Sadie Frost and Daphne Guinness. She’s also a darling of the fashion scene with the likes of TV host and model Alexa Chung proclaiming her a style icon in Vogue magazine.
Her younger brother, chef Matthew Mosshart, dated Kelly Osbourne — daughter of Ozzy and Sharon — from 2011 to 2014. The same close friend said: “Alison very much has one foot in American life and the other in British life, having worked and lived in London for years on and off. And her circle of friends are mostly within music, filmmaking and production, so like Damian, she is big on her culture.”
Damian has always divided his life between the UK and the US, partly because he used to visit relatives in Connecticut as a child. He admitted: “I’ve always kind of felt pretty attached to America.” But that only grew when his TV career took off in the early Noughties.
Steven Spielberg saw him perform on stage in London and cast him in 2001 TV war drama Band of Brothers, which led to a role in another US series, Life, from 2007 to 2009. Following that, he landed his biggest and best known part to date, as Sgt Nicholas Brody in Homeland from 2011 to 2014. Then came another US series, Billions, from 2016 to 2021.
He once recalled how entrenched he became in US culture, saying: “When I was living in LA for two years, and because in LA no one’s heard of a British accent — although God knows why, there are Brits all over the place there — I just got tired of repeating everything in an English accent when I went into a store.
“So I would wake up sometimes and just be an American with my American accent, and it felt like the most natural thing.”
And despite coming from an upper-class background, he isn’t just interested in blue-blooded pursuits such as vintage cars or polo. A close friend said: “Damian loves football — he’s a Liverpool fan and takes part in Soccer Aid — and years ago loved motorcycles, before he had quite a nasty crash.
“And he loves nothing better than going to music festivals too, not to mention Formula 1 Racing. So it’s not just the ‘posh stuff’ you might imagine.”
Growing closer to rock star Alison coincided with rediscovering a long held passion for music — one that once saw him perform at a friend’s wedding in September 2020.
He admitted that during lockdown he had revived his love of guitar-playing and got in touch with music manager Steve Abbott to create some work together.
He said: “We’ve put together a bunch of songs and there’s chat of trying to put some tracks down in a recording studio . . . seeing if there’s something there that people might want to listen to.”
But he realises some people might not like the idea of the guy from Homeland branching out. He added: “I am cautious. Of course, they will be lining up to take shots as I stick my head above the parapet because no one is an easier target than an actor who thinks he can be a bit of a musician.”
At least with Alison now in his life he can be assured of some sound advice.