Damian Lewis stars as bespectacled MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott in new Cold War drama
Damian Lewis stars as MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott in new notorious Soviet spy cold war drama Kim Philby as an actor takes his first job since leaving Billions
Damian Lewis plays a true MI6 spy in a new Cold War drama based on the defection of British double agent Kim Philby to the Soviet Union.
The actor stars alongside Guy Pearce in the upcoming Britbox series Spy Among Friends, with a camera spinning in central London Pimlico last week as he filmed his first scenes.
Lewis, 50, plays Nicholas Elliott, a British MI6 intelligence officer known for working closely with Philby, who fled to Moscow before he could stand trial on espionage charges.
Lead man: Damian Lewis stars as a real-life MI6 spy in new Cold War drama based on British double agent Kim Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union
The new show is based on the bestselling book of the same name by author Ben Macintyre, and will focus on Elliot’s friendship with his former colleague Philby, who will be played by Pearce.
Philby gained notoriety in 1963 after being exposed as a prominent member of a British spy ring responsible for sharing British secrets with the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War.
Known as the Cambridge Five, the group also included Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross – though none were ever prosecuted for espionage.
Real Life: Lewis, 50, plays Nicholas Elliott (pictured), a British MI6 intelligence officer known for working closely with double agent Kim Philby, who defected to Russia in 1963
Philby fled to Moscow in 1963 before being tried and spent the rest of his life in Russia, where he would die at the age of 76 in 1988.
Anna Maxwell Martin, Stephen Kunken and Adrian Edmondson are also set to star in the new drama, with Nick Murphy as executive producer and director.
The new show is Lewis’s first role since confirming his departure from the hugely popular Showtime Billions series and sees him reunite with Alexander Cary, another executive producer who previously worked with the British star on Homeland.
Success: New series is Lewis’ first role since confirming his departure from the hugely popular Showtime Billions series
“How could I resist the opportunity to dramatize the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby – two longtime spies and friends, one of whom had betrayed the other from the start?” Cary told Deadline.
âA friendship that led to the gutting of British and American intelligence services at the height of the Cold War and shaped the playing field for the dangerous game against Russia that we are still trying to win today.
âMacintyre’s books on spies of recent history are relevant and exciting because they examine the broader universal themes of human behavior that cause individuals among us, and like us, to excel in the murky world of espionage and , for better or for worse, impact the world.
Old times: Philby (pictured) gained notoriety in 1963 after being exposed as a prominent member of a British spy ring responsible for sharing British secrets with the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War
Lead role: Australian actor Guy Pearce to star Philby in upcoming new drama
Filming for the new series began in London last week, with a Pimlico Street transported back to the 1950s as Lewis filmed scenes wearing a vintage striped suit and Elliot’s round glasses.
The actor previously played a spy in John Le CarrÃ©’s Our Kind of Traitor, while also expressing a keen interest in playing a “better” spy than fictional MI6 agent James Bond.
A Spy Among Friends is slated to air in fall 2022 via Britbox in the UK and Spectrum’s on-demand platform in the US.