Is Spy Wars an audition for the next James Bond?


Damian Lewis talks about Spy Wars and the true stories behind the most gripping espionage operations of the past 40 years. Now available as a box set on Catch Up!

The format of Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is simple but effective, with Damian immersing himself in the narrative of each piece. Each story takes place in a different location – the team recreated some stories on set in London. The show switches between the real-world tale and Damian’s on-set narration.

“It just means that when you come to me, there’s a sense that I’m part of the world,” says Damian. “Sometimes with these kind of factual series you come out to a presenter and the presenter’s entirely removed from the world.”

You asked and we listened! Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is now available as a box set on Catch Up and DStv Now.

We chatted to the Homeland star – and potential next James Bond (for real!) – about his first factual role.

Why should people watch this series?

We’ve got a really good selection of eight “thumbnail portraits”. Some are more detailed than others and sometimes you’re searching for a way to get into the story, but I’m really pleased with the way we’ve got inside the heads of our protagonists.

What part do you play?

My involvement was really to do with talking to the audience, helping to script those [scenes], and making sure we had the right sorts of locations for them.

Did you enjoy the presenting side of it?

From a performative or creative point of view, it’s not the same as playing Hamlet or Nicholas Brody or Bobby Axelrod. But it was very much part of the package of telling the story and enjoying sharing it with the world.

Episode one, The Man Who Saved The World, is about Oleg Gordievsky, one of the West’s most valuable Cold War agents who risked everything to avert a third world war.

Watch Damian Lewis: Spy Wars on Fridays on the HISTORY (channel 186) at 20:15.
Available on Catch Up and online at DStv Now »

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