Written By GingersnapComments Off on Exclusive Chat with Damian About Dream Horse – BBC Radio 2
Culture Club: Film With James King
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 25, 2021
Tune in today, May 25, 2021 from 8:00 p.m. on to hear Damian discuss Dream Horse with James King on the Jo Whiley podcast for BBC Radio 2, here. His portion is more towards the end of the broadcast. Damian speaks of his Welsh roots, his support of Wales, and that he identifies as partly Welsh and British (“not English”). He also reveals his children tease and mock him about his American accent. The programme will be available shortly after broadcast. Download the BBC Sounds app to your phone!
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Star Damian Lewis Talks Spy Wars, Unscripted and His New Prodco – Oct 16, 2019
Damian’s Journalistic Side Unpacked
by Richard Middleton | Television Business International | October 16, 2019
A docudrama exploring the lives of (in)famous spies might not have been the most obvious next project for the star of Homeland and Billions, but the switch of genre for Damian Lewis clearly provided a new challenge for the much-vaunted English actor and producer.
Damian Lewis: Spy Wars marked the actor’s first foray into factual and for a talent who has to date been more used to having a script to work to, the shift into unscripted was unnerving.
“You don’t know if you’ve found an interesting way of telling the story until you find it and then you think how can we put something on air if we didn’t quite get it – that is quite daunting,” he admits. “But that is just the risk of documentary.”
The docudrama, which is presented by Lewis, was commissioned by A+E Networks’ UK network History and produced by Alaska TV in association with the actor’s recently launched outfit Rookery Productions. Lewis acts as host on the show – which has his brother Gareth attached as a producer – and provides “thumbnail portraits” of spies involved in covert missions with the help of new declassified information, high-profile experts and intelligence officers who took part.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Broadcasters Sign Up for A+E’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – Oct 11, 2019
by Joseph O’Halloran | Rapid TV News | October 11, 2019 -and-
by Peter White | Deadline | October 11, 2019
As we head into the leading global content trade show and world’s entertainment market MIPCOM 2019 next week, A+E Networks and A+E Networks UK have signed a slew of top international broadcasters for its latest factual co-production, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.
Earlier this year we reported here that Spy Wars was heading to the Smithsonian Channel for US markets, a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute. And now it seems other broadcasters will be joining Smithsonian Channel’s lead. The docu-drama currently airing on History UK and Blaze in the UK will now be available in the following markets: Blue Ant (Canada); POP TV (Slovenia); Bilibil.com (China); TVNZ (New Zealand); Historia and Atresmedia (Spain). A+E Networks says that multiple other deals are in negotiation. No word yet when television viewing audiences in other countries will see Damian hit their small screens, but rumor has it early 2020 for US customers.
In the series, award-winning actor Damian Lewis unpacks some of the most thrilling covert missions in modern-day history with the help of new declassified information, high-profile experts, and intelligence officers who were there. The program ranges from the most notorious spy exchange of recent times to the fake film production that freed Americans during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis to in-depth profiles of the world’s most skilled and lethal double agents and has been described as James Bond meets every John le Carré thriller you’ve ever read.
Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is executive produced by Alaska TV’s Chris Fouracre, Ian Lamarra, and Paul Sommers in association with Lewis’ own recently launched Rookery Productions with brother Gareth Lewis.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Boarding School Creates a Mild Sociopathy That’s Helpful to the Life of Espionage – Oct 4, 2019
Damian Makes His First Documentary Spy Wars With His Brother
by Lisa Campbell | iNews | October 4, 2019
Few British actors have set foot inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but as the star of the American spy thriller, Homeland, Damian Lewis was granted unprecedented access as part of his research.
While he jokes that his meeting with the director of the CIA, John Brennan, is “classified”, the story demonstrates his ability to get under the skin of characters through keen observation of the tiniest details. He describes the “incredibly poker-faced field operatives who had revealed only the smallest increments of expression and emotion, until Brennan walked in and the temperature in the room rose instantaneously.”
It’s an experience that stood him in good stead for his latest project, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, which also marks his first foray into factual television.
The eight-part series – the first to come out of Lewis’ newly-launched Rookery Productions – airs on History from Monday in the UK and showcases the true stories and remarkable characters behind some of the most important international spy operations of recent years.
“I’ve done a lot of research over my career for Homeland and a movie I made, Our Kind of Traitor, and have read my John le Carre like everyone else. I enjoy the genre and thought it was an opportunity to look behind these popular stories and find out something a bit more intimate and personal about the people themselves, their decisions and the ramifications on global politics,” he says.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Spy Wars: TV Real Interview – Oct 3, 2019
Spies Next Door
by Mansha Daswani | TV Real, World Screen | October 3, 2019
Damian Lewis talks to TV Real about what appealed to him about the docudrama, which is being rolled out by A+E Networks.
Lewis already knew a fair bit about espionage before signing on to executive produce and present the A+E Networks U.K.-commissioned series Spy Wars. He did, after all, play an MI6 agent in Our Kind of Traitor, based on the John le Carre novel, and a U.S. prisoner of war who returns home and is hailed as a hero as he secretly plots a terrorist attach in Showtime’s Homeland. Damian Lewis: Spy Wars sees the British actor recounting notable stories of espionage from the last four decades, spanning from the Cold War all the way through to the contemporary war on terror. The eight-part series produced by Alaska TV in association with Lewis’s own Rookery Productions sees him speaking directly to camera and features expert interviews and dramatic reenactments.
TV REAL: Tell us about the genesis of Spy Wars. How did you come to be involved in the show?
LEWIS: My brother [executive producer Gareth Lewis] was already involved, he was going to be directing parts of it. He said, Do you want to do this? I said, I don’t really do factual, I’m not a presenter. But I got sucked into these eight spy stories. I came on as a co-producer and tried to get to the bottom of what makes a man or woman do heroic or traitorous things on behalf of their country. That was it really. It came to me by invitation and my curiosity was tickled.
TV REAL: As you got into the details of these stories, what were some of the things that surprised you?
LEWIS: To be honest, a lot of what happens in the spy world is pretty unscientific. There’s still quite a lot of buccaneering and derring-do, if you like. It’s not risk-averse. It’s pro-risk, and often it can seem a bit chaotic, a bit ramshackle, and even at times a bit amateurish. Exotic words like “dead-drop” and “brush past” and things like that can simply be someone walking into a supermarket with the same plastic bag and putting it down and then each leaving with each other’s bag. It’s not exactly high-tech. While you’re looking for a slightly more sci-fi, James Bond aspect to these stories, they don’t exist. So the challenge for us was how to make the stories gripping and suspenseful. We tried to get into the minds of the individuals and what was at stake for them. What are the documents in that bag? What happens if that individual is caught? Why is the individual doing it? If the individual is a KGB officer and he’s caught, he’s going to be executed. If he’s a Western intelligence officer, he’s going to be imprisoned for life. We were trying to find out why these men and women are motivated to do these things. The motivation is often grubby and personal. It can be for simple revenge, a need to be heard, a need to belong to something, to be loved. People turn traitor for all these different reasons. So the surprise was constantly the grubbiness! And the desperation that’s there. And the extreme risk that these people are prepared to take in order to keep going.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian Lewis Looks at Real Life Spies in History’s New DocuDrama – Sept 12, 2019
From Our Kind of Traitor to Spy Wars
by Matthew Bell | Royal Television Society | September 12, 2019
Having played a fictional spy in the John le Carré adaptation Our Kind of Traitor and a turncoat in long-running US thriller Homeland, Damian Lewis has turned presenter for History’s new espionage series.
The actor was initially reluctant when his brother, Gareth – one of the executive producers of Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – asked him to present. “I hadn’t done factual [before] and I don’t consider myself a presenter.
“But I enjoy the [spy] genre and I thought it was an opportunity to look behind these popular stories and see if we could unearth something a bit more intimate about the people themselves, and the ramifications on global politics of very personal decisions taken by individuals.”
Lewis was talking after a screening of an episode of Damian Lewis: Spy Wars at the British Museum in mid-September.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Spy Wars Heading To Smithsonian Channel – May 20, 2019
Showtime and Smithsonian Institute on the Brink of Closing a Deal For Spy Wars
by Peter White | Deadline | May 20, 2019
EXCLUSIVE: Damian Lewis’ spy documentary series is heading to the Smithsonian Channel. The network, which is a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute, is on the brink of closing a deal for Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.
Deadline understands that top brass are keen to keep the British actor’s latest project in the CBS Corp family. It comes after Lewis’ Billions was renewed by Showtime for a fifth season following strong numbers for the financial thriller.
The series, which is the Homeland star’s first foray into factual television, is an eight-part documentary series about spies that was originally commission by A+E Networks’ UK network History. The docu-drama will tell the true stories behind some of the most important international spy operations of the last forty years.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on First Look at ‘Damian Lewis: Spy Wars’ – April 25, 2019
International Spy Stories
by Tess Lamacraft | What’s On TV | April 25, 2019
Actor Damian Lewis will be delving into some of the most fascinating international spy stories for his new docu-drama series.
Here’s the first sneak peek of Homeland actor Damian Lewis looking very suave in an exclusive new batch of shots taken for his brand new docu-drama, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars set to air this autumn on A+E Networks / History Channel.
The new eight-part series for the History channel, sees the Hollywood star delve into the remarkable true stories of some of the most gripping international spy operations that have taken place over the last forty years, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.
Shot on location in London, Israel and Moscow and packed full of espionage, surveillance and undercover operations, the series will use innovative reconstructions to lift the lid on the spy stories and features Damian, meeting and talking to former spooks from MI6, the CIA, KGB and Mossad.
It will be the first foray into documentaries, for the 48-year old actor who not only fronts the series but is also a producer on it.
The series is a co-production of A + E Netwoks UK. VP of Programming Dan Korn said: “We’re thrilled to have Damian Lewis on History for his first foray into factual television and with the ramping up of intelligence activities on all sides, and renewed tensions between East and West, there can be no better time to explore some of the most iconic spy operations of recent years.”
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – April 9, 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.