HomeSportI worked with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, won an Emmy and...

I worked with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, won an Emmy and once made Zinedine Zidane angry by clattering him


Damien Lewis has worked with them all. Not just on film sets but the football pitch too.

The instantly recognisable English actor saw his career take off with a role in the legendary HBO series Band of Brothers in 2001, and has been gracing our screens ever since.

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Lewis is a TV greatCredit: Getty
And also a Soccer Aid legend

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And also a Soccer Aid legendCredit: Getty

Emmy and Golden Globe wins for his leading role in CIA thriller Homeland earned him certified a-list status, and with it the sporting perks that come with being a Hollywood superstar.

The Royal Box at Wimbledon or grid access at the Monaco Grand Prix are staples for any celebrity sport lover, but for those with a football persuasion, nothing comes close to Soccer Aid.

Liverpool fan Lewis was lucky enough to time his rise for the first edition of the charity match in 2006, and even got to tail who many consider the greatest of all time, Diego Maradona.

“I was in the first one,” Lewis told talkSPORT. “Diego shows up, he’s a little bit overweight, he’s older, but he’s actually looking quite good. 

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“Everyone, all the producers, say ‘look, just don’t touch Diego, don’t tackle him too hard, he’s had a stomach tuck and all of that and we don’t want him to burst open’.

“Even though he’d lost his pace and you probably could have caught up with him to tackle him, I remember running alongside him a few times and you just didn’t want to touch him. 

“The balance, and the ball, just leading it on his left toes as he always did, and it was just an absolute pleasure to be there and a pinch me moment.”

Moving into cinema, the car-loving 52-year-old got to play the ultimate role of Steve McQueen in 2019 in Quentin Tarantino’s blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and starred opposite Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie.

Lewis has worked with the best

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Lewis has worked with the bestCredit: Getty
And played with them too

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And played with them tooCredit: AFP

None of those cinematic legends can quite compare to the classiest footballer of all time, though.

Liverpool fan Lewis recalled: “Zinedine Zidane, Zizou, I played against him in the middle of the park.

“Going out at Old Trafford in front of 72,000 people, Bryan Robson taps me on the arse as I’m going out and says ‘right Damo, you’re on Zidane, keep your legs closed’. 

“After about 15 minutes I clatter into him, and it’s late, he goes down and says ‘expletive, expletive, expletive, it’s a charity game man, why are you so stupid?’

“Then Jamie Redknapp chases me around the pitch and I said ‘yeah fair enough’. 

“But 15 minutes after that Zizou is rolling his foot over the ball and I go chasing him down to the touchline trying to stay close, he looks up and gives me a look in the eye and he sticks it straight between my legs in front of that whole stand who all spontaneously burst out laughing at my expense.

“The best thing was Andy Townsend on the commentary just said ‘bye bye’.”

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