Best Limited Series First-Round Emmy Contender
by Hugh Hart | Los Angeles Times | June 16, 2023
He’s portrayed intense terrorist Nicholas Brody in “Homeland,” domineering mogul Bobby Axelrod in “Billions” and mercurial King Henry VIII in “Wolf Hall,” but Emmy-winning British actor Damian Lewis rarely plays the fool. Breaking type in the fact-based Cold War thriller “A Spy Among Friends,” Lewis chose to portray MI6 operative Nicholas Elliott, who’s stunned by the realization that his best friend Kim Philby is a traitor working for Communist Russia.
The MGM+ limited series, based on Ben Macintyre’s book of the same title, casts Australian actor Guy Pearce (“L.A. Confidential,” “Memento,” “Mare of Easttown”) as the lethally charming Philby. Set in 1963, “A Spy Among Friends” hopscotches through three decades of flashbacks that culminate inside a Beirut safe house: Elliott’s supposed to bring Philby back to England, where he’ll face the consequences of his treachery. Instead, Philby flees to Moscow.