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Damian Lewis Shines in A Spy Among Friends
by Benji Wilson | Emmy Magazine, Issue #7 | June 28, 2023
As the unwitting accomplice to one of Britain’s most notorious traitors, Damian Lewis shines in A Spy Among Friends.
When Alexander Cary, an executive producer on Homeland, called his old friend Damian Lewis, star of Homeland and Billions, and said he had the rights to Ben Macintyre’s nonfiction bestseller A Spy Among Friends, the question wasn’t, did Lewis want to do it —the question was, who might Lewis play?
The obvious answer was Kim Philby, the most notorious Soviet double agent in history, who rose high in the ranks of British intelligence in the 1940s and ’50s while funneling secrets to the Russians. But Lewis was more interested in playing Nicholas Elliott.
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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.
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A Spy Among Friends
by Karen Idelson | Variety | June 6, 2023
Contributions of talented artisans on both sides of the camera are valued at the studio and are set to be acknowledged this awards season.
Whether working fervidly in the development phase or creating boundary-pushing visuals to serve a project’s narratives, Sony Pictures Television’s storytellers and artisans consistently find new ways to engage audiences and set the gold standard of crafting impactful television.
With its roster of diverse series and multifaceted talent, the award-winning television production and distribution studio aims to dominate across categories during the 2023 Emmy® race. The growing Sony Pictures Television universe features standout performances across genres, offering a glimpse into different cultural experiences and drawing inspiration from everything from the most beloved comic books to real-life spy stories.
“Across the studio’s slate, viewers have every type of story at their fingertips and can anticipate each series being crafted at the highest level of quality by the best artisans working in television today,” says Katherine Pope, president of Sony Pictures Television Studios.
A Spy Among Friends — Eyewitness to Reality
Damian Lewis applauds the writers behind the espionage thriller “A Spy Among Friends” for crafting dialogue that is detailed and authentic to the true story of a British spy for the Soviet Union.
“Alex Cary has this brilliant way of writing histories,” the actor says of the show’s writer and creator. “They read like capers and thrillers. We have photographic evidence of what these people looked like. We want to be true to who they are without doing impersonations.”
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Informed and Entertaining Conversations with Key Creatives and Talent
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | April 16, 2023
Damian joined Peter White (Deadline) and Alexander Cary via videolink as they spoke onstage at the A Spy Among Friends panel during the Deadline Contenders television event at Directors Guild of America on April 16, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. View more images in our Gallery here.
Deadline’s Contenders Television, where the top networks and streamers are showing off their wares and Emmy hopefuls, continued this Sunday with 20 more panels after a chock-full Saturday featuring some of the best and brightest series this awards season. View the 15-minute video of the panel discussion here.
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Worthy of Emmy Attention
by Danielle Turchiano | Variety | June 17, 2020
Variety shines a spotlight on some male drama, comedy, limited series and TV movie performers worthy of Emmy attention this year.
“[To] Know the story you’re telling is an essential thing for every young actor to know. You can’t be liked in every role. You do things which are ambivalent. You have to know what part of the story you are there to fulfill. If you’re playing the a–hole, you’re going to have to be the a–hole. Don’t try to be liked because, ‘excuse the story.’”
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Billions: The Sly Wall Street Guy
by Danielle Turchiano | Variety | June 21, 2019
Executive producers of top Emmy contender comedy, drama and limited series weigh in on what shows (other than their own, of course) they hope will see awards recognition this year.
Ben Cory Jones (“Boomerang”)
“‘I worked on Wall Street and ‘Billions’ is getting it exactly right. Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti are great. To me it really shows how versatile Damian is as an actor because he really plays a smart, sly Wall Street guy but you like him; he’s the Wall Street guy you actually want to win. It’s appointment TV for me.”
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Gearing Up For The Emmys
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 17, 2019
Showtime invites Television Academy National Active members and a guest to a special For Your Consideration (FYC) event at The Paley Center for Media in New York on Monday, June 3, 2019 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. EST.
The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with an advanced screening of the season four finale ‘Extreme Sandbox’ beginning at 7:30 p.m. Following the screening will be a panel discussion moderated by Jake Tapper. Panelists currently listed to appear, but subject to change are, lead actors Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, supporting actors Maggie Siff and Asia Kate Dillon, and co-creators/producers/writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
Only Television Academy National Active Members with valid membership cards and their guests will be admitted.Seating is subject to availability as first-come, first-served. Admittance is not guaranteed. This event will have a stand-by line.
The Television Academy’s Emmy Awards will air live on Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 8:00 EST on Fox.
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Consistently Great Show That Somehow Remains Off the Emmy Radar
by Mark Dawidziak | Cleveland.com | July 13, 2018
Said it before but this bears repeating, particularly on top of Thursday’s nominations for the 70th annual Emmys: There isn’t an awards system yet conceived on this planet that is not in some ways deeply flawed. I’ve done my time marching in this particular procession. That edict on awards also includes the Television Critics Association Awards, which I’ve been voting for each year since their inception in 1985. Do those awards have their admirable strengths and annoying weaknesses? Indeed, they do.
The same goes for the Emmys, which, year after year, get some things wonderfully right and some things terribly wrong. And nowhere do things go more right and wrong than with the nominations. No question, these nominations embrace some of the highest-quality programming TV had to offer during the 2017-18 season. But did Thursday’s announcement by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences also yield the usual outrageous number of snubs, oversights and omissions? Oh, yeah.
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The Showtime series is one of the best dramas on television. So where the fuck is its Emmy?
by Eve Peyser | Vice | July 12, 2018
On Thursday morning, the nominees for the 2018 Emmy Awards were announced, and sadly for anyone who cares about honoring the art of television, Billions was once again snubbed. The Showtime drama, which just wrapped up its third season, stars the legendary Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who is hellbent on bringing down Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), a billionaire hedge fund manager who unapologetically plays dirty. The twist? Rhoades’s wife, Wendy, works for Axelrod as a performance coach, a therapist who works at his firm whose job is to help the employees earn as much as they can through psychoanalysis.
Billions is the story of two ruthless geniuses and their intricate scheming as they bend the law in order to settle personal feuds. Full of poetic and scholarly dialogue, the show ascends above the average TV drama because the writing is as smart as the characters. Giamatti’s performance is ferocious, and his character often speaks in grandiose allegories. His dialogue is iconic, overwrought in the way only the best, highest-shelf prestige TV dialogue is overwrought: “A good matador doesn’t try to kill a fresh bull. You wait until he’s been stuck a few times,” Rhoades explains in the pilot. “Calculation is not something to be scoffed at. It’s a tool. A tactic. And I use it proudly and often,” he says in season three.
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From Billions to an ‘Atlanta’ MVP – The Most WTF Snubs in this Year’s Emmys Nominations
by Brian Tallerico | Rolling Stone | July 12, 2018
The annual Emmy square dance is here – per usual, it’s a routine of three steps forward, two steps back.
This year even allowed more room than usual for the unexpected as several major players from last year – Veep, Master of None, Better Call Saul, House of Cards – took this awards season off.
And to be sure, the Television Academy has undeniably improved in their taste as a voting body over the years. Still, they still had us scratching our heads a few times. Where the hell is Will and Grace? And Bojack Horseman? And Brendan Fraser in Trust? And … and…
So with all 122 (!!) categories announced, let’s pick out the most notable snubs of the year. From Billions to Alison Brie, these were the M.I.A. nominees that shoulda been contenders.
Showtime had a rough morning. Sure, Shameless star William H. Macy got in again, but regular nominees like Homeland‘s Claire Danes and Ray Donovan‘s Liev Schreiber will have to save their sound bites. (See also: our Twin Peaks entry) But the real crime was completely ignoring the chance to finally invite Billions to the party. With shows like Better Call Saulmissing from the ballot, why not turn to a show that’s only gotten better each year, turning in its best season to date earlier in 2018? Even just a single nod or two for great performers like Damian Lewis and Asia Kate Dillon could have opened a few doors for more nominations in the future. Get this one right, next year, Emmys. It’s starting to get embarrassing.
“We knew that the second season was going to show consequences of their actions,” reveals Damian Lewisduring our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above) about the sophomore year of his show “Billions.” The Emmy winner stars in this Showtime series as Bobby Axelrod, a hedge-fund king whose dirty dealings catch the attention of U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti). The first season, Lewis believes, “essentially was watching these men, these alpha males, in their natural habitats,” but, “perhaps without too much cost.” This time around, however, “there would be moral repercussions.”
One of the things that makes the show so exciting, Lewis divulges, is that, “we can dovetail our fiction in and out of what’s going on around us.” He relates this to the recent election of billionaire Donald Trump, who, “brings into sharp focus the way in which the mega-rich live.” The London native adds, “what’s extraordinary about your current President is it seems as though he’s continuing to try to live his life while running the free world as he lived it before, but he’s finding I think that that’s quite difficult.”
Read the rest of the original article at Gold Derby