Damian Lewis suits up to film scenes as MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott for new Cold War drama

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    Damian Lewis was seen in character as MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott when he filmed scenes for his upcoming Cold War drama, A Spy Among Friends, in London on Wednesday.

    The actor, 50, donned a smart grey pinstripe suit and burgundy tie, both of which were layered beneath a sweeping black coat.

    Elliott was an officer noted for his close association with British double agent Kim Philby, with the forthcoming six-part Britbox series being based on Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union.

    On set: Damian Lewis, 50, was seen in character as MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott when he filmed scenes for his upcoming Cold War drama, A Spy Among Friends, in London on Wednesday

    On set: Damian Lewis, 50, was seen in character as MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott when he filmed scenes for his upcoming Cold War drama, A Spy Among Friends, in London on Wednesday

    History: Elliott (right) was an officer noted for his close association with British double agent Kim Philby, with the forthcoming series being based on Philby's defection to the Soviet Union

    Death: Elliott (pictured) died in 1994 aged 77

    History: Elliott (right) was an officer noted for his close association with British double agent Kim Philby, with the forthcoming series being based on Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union

    Lewis was also sporting a smart black hat and Elliott’s circular spectacles.

    His hands were tucked into black leather gloves and the actor was surrounded by the series’ crew, most of whom wore face masks.

    The capital’s streets had been transported back to the 1950s and were dotted with vehicles reminiscent of the era.

    Lewis’ portrayal of Elliot – who died in 1994 aged 77 – marks his first role since confirming his departure from the hugely popular Showtime series Billions.

    Smart: The actor donned a smart grey pinstripe suit and burgundy tie which were layered beneath a sweeping black coat

    Smart: The actor donned a smart grey pinstripe suit and burgundy tie which were layered beneath a sweeping black coat

    Uncanny: Lewis was also sporting a smart black hat and Elliott's circular spectacles

    Uncanny: Lewis was also sporting a smart black hat and Elliott’s circular spectacles

    Back in time: The capital's streets had been transported back to the 1950s and were dotted with vehicles reminiscent of the era

    Back in time: The capital’s streets had been transported back to the 1950s and were dotted with vehicles reminiscent of the era

    Crew: His hands were tucked into black leather gloves and the actor was surrounded by the series' crew, most of whom wore face masks

    Crew: His hands were tucked into black leather gloves and the actor was surrounded by the series’ crew, most of whom wore face masks

    Animated display: Lewis put on an animated display while filming scenes for his new project in the capital

    Animated display: Lewis put on an animated display while filming scenes for his new project in the capital 

    Guy Pearce will star opposite Lewis and play Philby.

    The new show is based on the bestselling book of the same name by author Ben Macintyre, and will focus on Elliot’s friendship with former colleague Philby.

    Philby gained notoriety in 1963 after he was exposed as a prominent member of a British spy ring responsible for sharing British secrets with the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War.

    Known as the Cambridge Five, the group also included Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross – although none were ever prosecuted for spying.

    Premise: The new show is based on the bestselling book of the same name by author Ben Macintyre, and will focus on Elliot's friendship with former colleague Philby

    Premise: The new show is based on the bestselling book of the same name by author Ben Macintyre, and will focus on Elliot’s friendship with former colleague Philby

    Running lines: Lewis was seen running lines in the streets of London as he glanced over what appeared to be a script

    Running lines: Lewis was seen running lines in the streets of London as he glanced over what appeared to be a script

    Off he guys: Hopping into a vintage vehicle, the actor whizzed past cameras

    Off he guys: Hopping into a vintage vehicle, the actor whizzed past cameras

    Closed: The usually busy streets of London had been closed off to the public so filming could take place without interference

    Closed: The usually busy streets of London had been closed off to the public so filming could take place without interference 

    Spray: A crew member was seen spraying a liquid onto Lewis' fedora

    Spray: A crew member was seen spraying a liquid onto Lewis’ fedora 

    Philby escaped to Moscow in 1963 before he could face trial and would spend the rest of his life in Russia, where he would die aged 76 in 1988.

    Anna Maxwell Martin, Stephen Kunken and Adrian Edmondson are also expected to star in the new drama, with Nick Murphy serving as executive producer and director.

    A Spy Among Friends will reunite Lewis with Alexander Cary, an executive producer who previously worked with the British star on Homeland.

    ‘How could I resist the opportunity to dramatize the true story of Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby — two spies and lifelong friends, one of whom was betraying the other all along?’ Cary told Deadline.

    Wet look: Lewis' shoulders were also sprayed with the liquid by a member of crew

    Wet look: Lewis’ shoulders were also sprayed with the liquid by a member of crew 

    Chatting away: Lewis was seen in conversation with a member of the series' crew

    Chatting away: Lewis was seen in conversation with a member of the series’ crew

    Official: The first official movie snap shows Damian Lewis as Nicholas Elliot and Guy Pearce as Kim Philby

    Official: The first official movie snap shows Damian Lewis as Nicholas Elliot and Guy Pearce as Kim Philby

    Leading role: Australian actor Guy Pearce will play Philby in the forthcoming new drama

    Leading role: Australian actor Guy Pearce will play Philby in the forthcoming new drama 

    Old times: Philby (pictured) gained notoriety in 1963 after he was exposed as a prominent member of a British spy ring responsible for sharing British secrets with the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War

    Old times: Philby (pictured) gained notoriety in 1963 after he was exposed as a prominent member of a British spy ring responsible for sharing British secrets with the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War

    ‘A friendship that resulted in the gutting of British and American intelligence at the height of the Cold War and shaped the field of play for the dangerous game against Russia that we’re still trying to win today.

    ‘Macintyre’s books about spies from recent history are relevant and exciting because they examine the larger universal themes of human behavior that drive individuals among us, and like us, to excel in the murky world of espionage and, for better or worse, leave a lasting impact on the world.’

    Lewis has previously played a spy in John Le Carre’s Our Kind of Traitor, while also expressing a keen interest in playing a ‘better’ spy than fictional MI6 agent James Bond.

    A Spy Among Friends is expected to air in autumn 2022 via Britbox in the UK and Spectrum’s On Demand platform in the U.S.

    Successful: The new show is Lewis' first role since confirming his departure from the hugely popular Showtime series Billions

    Successful: The new show is Lewis’ first role since confirming his departure from the hugely popular Showtime series Billions

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