From Espionage to History
by Debashine Thangevelo | Cape Argus / IOL / International | November 4, 2019
Damian Lewis is a recognizable face on the big and small screen. Of late, he has been praised for his roles as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bobby Axelrod in Billions. He was also cast as Steve McQueen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood. And let us not forget his role as Nicholas Brody in Homeland.
Having covered a gamut of genres, from espionage to history, it does make his latest stint as a narrator for History’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars almost surreal.
“This Mossad mission, I’m sure 98% of people watching won’t have heard of this story. So, I think it’s a little glimpse through a window of what they did; it’s an incredible story. You will sit and watch and be utterly engaged. I think that’s true of all our stories. Even the Argo story – we come in from a slightly different angle with a bit more backstory, from the intelligence part of it rather than the film making aspect of it.”
On being a part of this project he adds, “As soon as you put yourself in front of a camera, or in front of an audience, as a performer, there’s a whole intricate web of thoughts that run through your head – how you want to be presented and how can you successfully be a credible part of your show, your story, whatever it is – and we had to work quite quickly.”
“I was flying in and out of New York from Billions and we had a budget, obviously, we had to be aware of.”
Continue reading Lewis Pulls Covers Off Espionage – Nov 4, 2019
Spy Wars: kNOw More Secrets
by Nicole Lampert | Weekend Magazine | September 27, 2019
Damian Lewis thinks he would probably make a good spy, partly because of his schooling. Some of Britain’s best known spies – and traitors – went to public school, and the Eton- educated actor isn’t surprised.
‘If you’re sent away from home at the age of eight and you’re asked to cope with that situation, I think there’s an instinctive compartmentalising of one’s emotional life,’ he says.
‘That’s very helpful to a covert life of espionage. It helps you develop a mild sociopathy, which is clearly what spies need to have. Often they’re living multiple lives, not just double ones.
‘I think I’d be a good spy, better than James Bond, who’s a rubbish spy,’ he adds, despite being one of the favourites to take over the role from Daniel Craig.
‘What’s brilliant about Bond is his recovery. Each movie is two hours of him getting himself out of a massive mistake he made quite early on.’
It’s little wonder he’s fascinated by spies. He won acclaim as soldier-turned-potential-terrorist Nick Brody in Homeland, and was cast as MI6 agent Hector in the film adaptation of John le Carré novel Our Kind Of Traitor.
But as outlandish as those stories were, they don’t compare to the twists and turns in the real spy dramas he explores in his first documentary series, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.
Continue reading The Real Stories Behind Some of the World’s Most Intriguing Espionage Cases – Sept 27, 2019
I Spy With My Little Eye…
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | August 21, 2019
UK’s History Channel has updated their website to indicate Damian Lewis: Spy Wars will air it’s first of eight episodes on Monday, October 7, 2019! The factual series will reveal the remarkable true stories behind some of the most gripping and important international spy operations of the last forty years. Packed full of espionage, surveillance, undercover work, and covert operations, the series brings forth these real events as well as the profound personal and geopolitical consequences for all involved. Utilizing innovative and highly stylized reconstructions, Spy Wars was shot on location in London, Moscow and Israel.
Be sure to visit our Gallery here for not only promo photos, but some behind the scenes photos as well!
Episode Titles/Plot Descriptions:
EPISODE 1: THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD
This is the story of Oleg Gordievsky, one of the West’s most valuable Cold War agents who risked everything to avert a third World War. Appearing to be an ambitious diplomat stationed at the Soviet embassy in Denmark, Gordievsky was actually a Russian spy and a rising star of the KGB. After a few years in Copenhagen, he was recruited by the British and posted to London by the KGB. Whilst in London, President Reagan authorized the largest NATO war game in its history: Able Archer.
From the KGB’s station in London, Gordievsky passed key intelligence to the British which many believe single-handedly pulled the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation before being summoned by the KGB to return to the USSR immediately. Uncertain if his cover had been blown, Gordievsky was accused of being an MI6 spy. Refusing to blow his cover, he set in motion his MI6 extraction plan, leaving behind his wife and children. It would take 6 years and the collapse of the Soviet Union before his family could flee Moscow to join him. In 2007, Gordievsky was appointed ‘Companion of the Most Distinguished Order’ for services to the security of the United Kingdom by the Queen. Monday 7th October at 9pm.
Continue reading Spy Wars Teaser Trailers, Air Dates, and Episode Titles/Descriptions – Aug 21, 2019
Factual: Covering Stories From the Past 40 Years
by Broadcast Now | April 9, 2019
As reported earlier, Damian is turning his talents to factual in Damian Lewis: Spy Wars. The Billions star has signed on to produce and front the eight-part docu-drama series set in the world of espionage.
British producer Alaska TV is attached to co-produce the series with Lewis’ new firm Rookery Pictures, with first-run rights going to A+E Networks UK-owned pay-TV channel History. A+E Networks International is co-funder and has sales rights.
Former Miramax exec Richard Tulk-Hart was hired as managing director of international content sales and co-productions at A+E Networks International in 2017 to lead a push into co-created shows, and this series is the first factual fruit of that strategy.
Continue reading Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – April 9, 2019
Richard II or Bolingbroke: Potential Work Lined Up for Damian?
by Jake Coyle | SF Gate | February 2, 2018
by Dalya Alberge | The Guardian | August 12, 2017
L: Richard II of England – R: Damian Lewis
Veteran director James Ivory claims financiers think he’s crazy for attempting the Shakespeare adaptation of Richard II. Despite 50 years of critical acclaim and Oscar recognition, plus British actors Tom Hiddleston and Damian Lewis lined up to star in his production, financiers are refusing to part with their money. “They look at you like you’re crazy,” he said. “There is an assumption that there is no money to be made from such an investment. A Shakespeare film does not grab the hearts of financiers, I can tell you,” he says. “At the moment I’m very optimistic it will happen.”
For the past several years and after stalled efforts, Ivory still hopes to direct a film version of Shakespeare’s Richard II, with a script penned by Chris Terrio (“Argo,” ”Justice League”) and envisions feature roles for Tom Hiddleston as Richard II and Damian Lewis as Bolingbroke. Not all that unheard of since according to Damian’s filmography, he voiced Bolingbroke on a Richard II radio broadcast. In fact, James Ivory proposes Damian for the role of Bolingbroke in this March, 2018 video.
Both actors have extensive experience of Shakespeare. Hiddleston, who starred in the BBC’s award-winning The Night Manager is playing Hamlet this month in a Branagh stage production. Lewis appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company before television dramas such as Homeland, Wolf Hall and Billions.
Continue reading Richard II of England: Potential for Damian? – Feb 2, 2018