March 30, 2023

We talk spies, true tales, and drama with the star and series creator of the MGM+ limited series.

Spies have always been the center of action thrillers like the James Bond and Jason Bourne franchises. But, a new breed of espionage story has become popular in recent years. Chronicling the more realistic world of spycraft, which involves psychological measures on the spies and their targets, this new type of story trades explosions and car chases for dialogue and back-room dealings. While that may sound less exciting, you have not seen A Spy Among Friends (read our review).

Telling the true story of Kim Philby and Nicholas Elliott, A Spy Among Friends tells the intricate and complex path that led to the discovery of a network of Soviet spies operating within the British secret intelligence agency. Based on the acclaimed book by Ben MacIntyre, A Spy Among Friends dramatizes how Elliott and Philby, long-time friends and colleagues, played a cat-and-mouse game with each other that eventually led to one of the most notorious reveals of the Cold War. Spread over six episodes, A Spy Among Friends is a solid series for fans of brilliant acting, especially from Damian Lewis, Guy Pearce, and Anna Maxwell Martin.

I had the opportunity to discuss A Spy Among Friends with creator Alexander Cary and star Guy Pearce. Cary discussed what elements of the story had to be fictionalized to bring this tale to life. He also talked about the unique way the episodes are structured in delivering bits of information at a time which leads to a constant sense of mystery. Guy Pearce, a longtime favorite of, talked about his approach to making Kim Philby a relatable character despite his crimes. We also discussed the difference between making this series and lighter, more fun fare like his pulpy science-fiction film Lockout. Check out the full interview in the embed above.

A Spy Among Friends premiered March 12th on MGM+.

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