Categories Billions Charity Helen News Personal and Family Life Philanthropy Print Media Rookery Productions

Coping With CoVid-19 Crisis: Damian and Helen on Feeding Health Workers After Filming Halted – April 6, 2020

Helping Others: First Parking, Then Pizzas, Now FeedNHS.com

by Jake Kanter | Deadline | April 6, 2020

As coronavirus crashed through the TV business, husband and wife Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory were among those cast adrift. Lewis was making Season 5 of Billions, while McCrory was on the brink of going into production on Season 6 of Peaky Blinders. Now, both are holed up in their British countryside home in Suffolk. But far from quietly riding out the COVID-19 tsunami, the pair have leashed an anchor of sorts and are using their platform for a much-needed mission to feed frontline healthcare workers in the UK.

McCrory said she spent one-day doing hair and makeup and tests for Peaky Blinders, during which it dawned on much of the production team that “something very big is coming.” She explains: “The next morning I woke and told my producer I’m not comfortable doing this anymore… Cillian Murphy did the same. Together with the producers, we approached the BBC and said we’re going to pull this now before we have to do this down the line.” Production was halted on March 16, a mere three weeks ago. “That all seems like a very different world at the moment. Terribly unimportant,” McCrory reflects.

The couple turned to their friends in the National Health Service and asked where they could help. Their initial idea was to cover parking fines for the nurses and doctors who were getting caught out on long shifts, but the government soon moved to waive parking fees for health care workers. The next idea came from Bob Klaber, who works at the Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London. “He said the real problem is food,” recalls McCrory. With staff canteens in hospitals either not existing or shutting down, and nearby eateries closing amid the country-wide lockdown, some NHS employees were running on empty. Lewis and McCrory seized on Klaber’s idea and started getting pizzas delivered to intensive care units. The efforts were greeted by “lovely photos of smiling faces,” but it quickly became apparent that they needed something more sustainable — and nourishing — for those fighting coronavirus.

Continue reading Coping With CoVid-19 Crisis: Damian and Helen on Feeding Health Workers After Filming Halted – April 6, 2020

Categories Announcement In Development/ Pre-Production News Print Media Rookery Productions

Damian Launches ‘Rookery Productions’ – March 1, 2019

Plans to Develop Feature Film, Television and Theater Projects

by Peter White | Deadline | March 1, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Damian Lewis has launched his own production company, Rookery Productions, and plans to develop and direct projects across feature film, television and theater.

First off the block for Rookery is A&E Networks’ factual series Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, which he will co-produce, marking his nascent indie’s first project.

In an interview with Deadline, Lewis said that he wants to produce and direct across genres and has already lined up to develop a feature film, another television series and a play.

“It’s an opportunity for me to create some exciting drama and comedy,” he said. “It gives me an opportunity to be creating things from inception.”

He admitted that it was early days and these projects needed time to “percolate”. But he added,

Continue reading Damian Launches ‘Rookery Productions’ – March 1, 2019