Written By GingersnapComments Off on VIDEO: Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce on the Friendship at the Center of A Spy Among Friends
Who Would Make the Better Secret Agent?
by Kate Hahn | TV Insider | March 10, 2023
Damian Lewis, who won an Emmy for playing Marine double agent Nicholas Brody on Homeland, is back in the spy game as a patriot in MGM+‘s A Spy Among Friends, a tense adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s nonfiction bestseller.
Lewis is a reserved British intelligence man, Nicholas Elliott, who discovers that his best friend and colleague, the witty, charismatic Kim Philby (Guy Pearce) is a traitor. The case, which broke in the early 60s after Philby had spied for 30 years, became notorious in the U.K.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Loyalty and Affection is Threatened in ‘A Spy Among Friends’
A Show That Makes You Question All Your Relationships
by Mark Kennedy | Washington Post | March 10, 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — A main character in “A Spy Among Friends” is one of the Soviet Union’s most notorious double agents. But you don’t need to know anything about him — or really about spying in general — to enjoy the show.
The MGM+ series starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce dramatizes the true story of two British spies and lifelong friends, Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) and Kim Philby (Pearce.) The latter became a notorious British defector. But it’s the personal betrayal that the creators hope to explore, not stolen microfilm or dead drops.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on MGM+’s A Spy Among Friends Is a Patient, Magisterial Addition to the Spy Pantheon
A Tremendous Restraint and Delicacy to Lewis’ Performance
by Shane Ryan | Paste Magazine | March 10, 2023
If you are, like me, intermittently obsessed with the business of espionage, the name Kim Philby holds a sort of ineffable mystique in the darkest corners of your brain. Philby was the most notorious of the Cambridge Five, a group of British intelligence operatives who betrayed their country in ways big and small by spying for the Soviets from the 1930s through World War II, and in some cases well into the Cold War. Philby rose the highest, and caused the most damage and sacrificed the most lives—at one point, he was the chief British intelligence officer in the U.S.—and what’s most remarkable about his story is not his ideology, or his treason, but the fact that he should have been caught decades before he fled to the USSR.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on A Spy Among Friends Review: Guy Pearce as Kim Philby
A Nuanced, Finely Acted Cold War Series on MGM+
by John Anderson | Wall Street Journal | March 9, 2023
The six-part espionage drama “A Spy Among Friends” opens with a well-known quote from novelist E.M. Forster, which blooms enigmatic as the series rolls out: “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” By the end of episode 1, one would like to say to Forster, “Define friend.”
You can’t (he died in 1970), but Forster’s intent seems to have been straightforward enough. Not so the series, which amid all its intrigue, double meanings, double-entendres and double-dealing is about friendship and its slippery definitions. As a screen card proclaims at the outset of creator-writer Alexander Cary’s expansive adaptation, the period thriller is based on Ben Macintyre’s nonfiction book of 2014, but is itself “a work of imagination” in which names have been changed, scenes invented, etc. Nevertheless, it hews very closely to the true-crime case of infamous British double-agent Kim Philby (Guy Pearce), his close friend Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis), and Philby’s epic betrayal of both colleagues and country.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on A Spy Among Friends Review: An Elegant Cold War Thriller
A Talky Espionage Caper
by Manuel Betancourt | AV Club | March 8, 2023
The title for A Spy Among Friends, last year’s British thriller that makes its MGM+ premiere on March 12, intentionally flirts with the glaring tension its narrative rests on. The spy genre, after all, depends on a timeless mantra—“trust no one”—that seems to stand in clear contradistinction to what one expects from one’s friendships. Writer Alex Cary and director Nick Murphy have taken Ben Macintyre’s nonfiction book, an account of a famed British espionage Cold War disaster, and punched it up to ask whether it can be possible to not only be but survive being, yes, “a spy among friends.”
One would imagine the answer to be self-evident. Could anyone in the intelligence community, after all, truly put friendship above idealism, above national loyalty, above politics? And yet with every passing episode, this elegantly mounted period drama does keep you guessing as to whether the friendship at the heart of this narrative could well prove to be the exception to the rule.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?
Jazzy Spy Craft
by Staff | New York Times | March 9, 2023
A Spy Among Friends begins Sunday on MGM+. The personal is political in this juicy period drama, based on a true story about two British spies (played by Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce) who form an intimate friendship over decades – except one of them was working for Russia the whole time. Even the characters aren’t quite sure which is the worse betrayal, that of country or confidant, and the show finds depth in both its emotional wounding and its jazzy spy craft. If you still think about The Americans a lot, or if you like shows where repressed fussy British men let loose at Christmastime only to regret even that fleeting moment of happy pleasure. try this.
A Spy Among Friends premieres Sunday, March 12th on MGM+ (formerly Epix).
Written By GingersnapComments Off on In ‘A Spy Among Friends,’ B.F.F. Betrayal at an International Level
A Twisty MGM+ Series
by Roslyn Sulcas | New York Times | March 3, 2023
A twisty MGM+ series tells the story of Kim Philby, a British agent secretly working for the Soviet Union, and Nicholas Elliott, his closest friend. Stream beginning March 12.
“Why wasn’t he in custody?” asks the MI5 officer Lily Thomas. It is January 1963, and Thomas is talking about Kim Philby, a British intelligence agent who, after being exposed as a Soviet spy, has escaped to Moscow. Nicholas Elliott, Philby’s closest friend and a fellow member of the foreign intelligence agency MI6, looks slightly nonplused. “Well, that’s not how we —” he begins, before coming to an abrupt halt.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on New York Premiere of A Spy Among Friends
A Spy Among Friends x Billions Mini Reunion x A Dash of Homeland
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | February 27, 2023
Damian attended MGM+’s A Spy Among Friends New York Premiere at Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, February 27, 2023 in New York City. Damian is pictured here with co-star Stephen Kunken (Billions) who played James Jesus Angleton in the spy series. Other attendees at the premiere included Neil Burger, Claire Danes (Homeland), Alexander Cary, Nick Murphy, Michael Wright, Katherine Pope, President of Sony Pictures Television, Andrew Ross Sorkin (Billions co-creator), Alessandro Nivola, Sienna Miller and Jill Hennessy, as well as Billions castmates Danny Strong, Jack Gilpin, Asia Kate Dillon, Daniel K. Isaac, Dhruv Maheshwari, Kelly AuCoin and David Costabile.
There was also a Q&A panel discussion at the screening. A Spy Among Friends is available for streaming in the US on MGM+ starting March 12. View all the photos of the event in our Gallery here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian Lewis Was Guest on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
A Spy Among Friends and Billions
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | February 27, 2023
Damian guest appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for S8, E81 on Monday, February 27, 2023 to promote the upcoming US release of his mini-series A Spy Among Friends available to stream on MGM+ beginning March 12. But Damian also made a HUGE announcement at the end of the segment. Let’s start at the beginning. Damian made his entrance as the band played Elvis “Suspicious Minds,” which is no coincidence if you know our Ginger! He waved and blew air kisses to the audience, took a bow before being seated and wore his lucky purple socks. When discussing A Spy Among Friends Damian asked, “Who doesn’t love a spy thriller?” Damian further explained he finds the total duplicity and ability to conceal simply fascinating, and a masterful skill. He spoke of working with the immaculate Guy Pearce who plays spy Kim Philby and how Philby is UK’s most infamous spy who betrayed his country to the Russians for 30 years.
Specifically, Damian explains how Nicholas Elliott (played by him) meets Philby in Beirut for an interrogation (and hopefully a confession) over four days. After Elliott’s superiors review the transcripts of the taped recordings of their meeting, they notice three minutes is missing when Elliott and Philby walk out on the balcony and no one knows what they really spoke about. All they do know is the next day, Philby escapes to Russia. Colbert played a clip of the scene between MI5 Agent Lily Thomas and Elliott upon Elliott’s return from Beirut. Damian jokingly claimed, “I only watch things I’m in.” Colbert asked Damian if he would make a good spy. Damian answered no and Colbert agreed he doesn’t think Damian would be a good spy because “a spy should be boring and you’re not, you’re too interesting.” Damian rubbed his heart in admiration and then Colbert quipped, “and a spy wouldn’t rub their own nipple in public.”