Damian Lewis transforms into MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott on A Spy Among Friends set

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    He is starring as MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott in upcoming Cold War drama, A Spy Among Friends, which is currently shooting in west London.

    And Damian Lewis was spotted on set with Anna Maxwell Martin for the first time as she joins the star-studded cast for the new limited series on Thursday.

    The Billions actor, 50, looked dapper as he transformed into the British spy, wearing a pinstripe suit and a white shirt with a brown tie.

    All smiles: amian Lewis was spotted on set with Anna Maxwell Martin for the first time as she joins the star-studded cast for the new limited series on Thursday

    All smiles: amian Lewis was spotted on set with Anna Maxwell Martin for the first time as she joins the star-studded cast for the new limited series on Thursday

    Smiling Damian stood with his hands tucked into his pockets while mingling with Anna and other members of the cast and crew.

    Getting into character, the screen star wore his hair swept back and sported a pair of yellow chunky-framed glasses.

    Anna, who has not previously been spotted on set, arrived wearing a blouse and tweed pinafore-style dress. 

    Arrival: Anna, who has not previously been spotted on set, arrived wearing a blouse and tweed pinafore-style dress

    Arrival: Anna, who has not previously been spotted on set, arrived wearing a blouse and tweed pinafore-style dress

    Suited and booted: The Billions actor, 50, looked dapper as he transformed into the British spy, wearing a pinstripe suit and a white shirt with a brown tie

    Suited and booted: The Billions actor, 50, looked dapper as he transformed into the British spy, wearing a pinstripe suit and a white shirt with a brown tie

    Anna – whose character is currently unknown, layered her look with a brown shearling jacket while also sporting a pair of suede boots.

    The BAFTA-winning star wore her brunette locks in a bouncy blown out bob, while opting for a subtle pallet of make-up.

    The actress could be seen taking direction from one  of the producers on set. 

    Outfit: Anna - whose character is currently unknown, layered her look with a brown shearling jacket while also sporting a pair of suede boots

    Outfit: Anna – whose character is currently unknown, layered her look with a brown shearling jacket while also sporting a pair of suede boots

    Stepping out: The BAFTA-winning star wore her brunette locks in a bouncy blown out bob, while opting for a subtle pallet of make-up

    Deep in thought: Anna appeared pensive

    Stepping out: The BAFTA-winning star wore her brunette locks in a bouncy blown out bob, while opting for a subtle pallet of make-up

    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. 

    Real life: Lewis plays Nicholas Elliott (pictured right), a British MI6 intelligence officer noted for his close association with double agent Kim Philby, who defected to Russia in 1963

    Real man: Elliott was an officer noted for his close association with British double agent Kim Philby, with the forthcoming Britbox series being based on Philby's defection to the Soviet Union.

    Real life: Lewis plays Nicholas Elliott (pictured right), a British MI6 intelligence officer noted for his close association with double agent Kim Philby, who defected to Russia in 1963

    Filming: Smiling Damian stood with his hands tucked into his pockets while mingling with Anna and other members of the cast and crew

    Filming: Smiling Damian stood with his hands tucked into his pockets while mingling with Anna and other members of the cast and crew

    Details: Getting into character, the screen star wore his hair swept back and sported a pair of yellow chunky-framed glasses

    Details: Getting into character, the screen star wore his hair swept back and sported a pair of yellow chunky-framed glasses

    Checking in: The actress could be seen taking direction from one of the producers on set

    Checking in: The actress could be seen taking direction from one of the producers on set

    Chatting: Damian  could be seen stood beside Anna

    Chatting: Damian  could be seen stood beside Anna

    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. 

    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.

    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

    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.

    Nicholas Elliott’s intelligence career and the flight of traitor Kim Philby 

    • Elliott’s intelligence career was marked by two publicly noted events; the death of Commander Lionel Crabb and the flight of traitor Philby 
    • In 1963, Philby was exposed as a prominent member of a British spy ring, The Cambridge Five
    • The group were responsible for sharing secrets with the Soviet Union during the Cold War
    • Of the five, Philby is believed to have been most successful in providing secret information to the Soviets, including a plot to subvert the communist regime of Albania
    • Philby escaped to Moscow in 1963 before he could face trial and would spend the rest of his life in Russia
    • Elliott and Philby had been friends after working together in Beirut, and so when he fled to Russia, Elliott felt his betrayal bitterly
    • In an attempt to get a written confession from Philby admitting he had leaked valuable secrets to the Soviet Union, Elliott offered to confront him
    • And while Philby confessed in person to Elliott, he delayed writing his written confession and immediately fled to Moscow
    • There have been theories that there was a collusion to allow Philby to escape for the mutual convenience of MI6 and Philby
    • Philby died in Russia aged 76 in 1988

     

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