Our Kind of Traitor: On UK Screens May 13


There’s been a long wait for the whirlwind of projects Damian did while on haitus from Homeland and right after wrapping up his stint. We just learned that one of those long-awaited projects, John Le Carre’s Our Kind of Traitor, will be in cinemas May 13 in the UK. The preview was released last week, and, boy, it sure does look to be a fun ride of a spy drama. Great talent on board with Ewan MacGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Naomie Harris, and, of course, Damian Lewis in the role of British intelligence fixer Hector Meredith.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook since this news came out and been bemused to hear the role of Hector, written as a weathered investigator well into his 50’s, read in a gruff no-nonsense baritone. Happy to report, as gruff as he may sound, they didn’t age Damian to fit the role, and, though he’s sporting vintage horn-rimmed glasses and may be pulling a specific MI6 inflection of a British accent, he is otherwise undisguised. Have a look at the preview here. And read on as we revisit some observations about the story, the characters, and some behind the scenes goodness.



Though I’ve always appreciated a good thriller on screen, I must confess, it’s not a genre I regularly read. Of those who do read him, it’s common knowledge that John Le Carre is known for his stories of Cold War espionage. Born David John Moore Cornwell, Le Carre worked as a spy himself for the British Secret service before acquiring his pen name and marching forth on a long and prolific career of writing what he knew best. When the decades long stand-off with Russia ended, Le Carre found himself in a world where not all bad guys could be cast as Russians. Like a real estate mogul at the crash of the housing market, Le Carre had to change gears. With this story, however, he’s back to Russia, and this story has been described as a tale of Western collusion in Russian mafioso hijinks. A YT commenter made the intriguing observation: “there are no ”good guys” in John Le Carre books, there are just bad guys, even more bad guys and naive guys who become bad guys along the way.” Like!


Till the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991 and beyond, Le Carre’s work is best described as telling the tales of intrigue and subterfuge among various “unheroic political functionaries aware of the moral ambiguity of their work and engaged in psychological more than physical drama.” Wikipedia also tells us that in Le Carre’s novels, “much of the conflict is internal, rather than external and visible” and that, even though, his genre is ostensibly about bad guy vs good guy, he often paints his worlds with strokes obscuring the lines around conventional morality. (Hm, I’m learning more about Le Carre, I’m thinking I may need some time laying on a beach somewhere to give his novels another chance!)

Le Carre wrote Our Kind of Traitor in 2010 and it features a Russian character very much cast in the new palette of a post-Cold War world. Even NYT’s book critic Machiko Kakutani had some nice things to say about the book: Innocents Caught in a Web of Intrigue.


In short, Damian plays a frustrated spy type, Hector Meredith, who is at odds with how to manuever with his old rule book in this new world. Ewan MacGregor plays a bumbling professor, Peregrine “Perry” Makepiece, who’s taken in by Dima, played by Saargard, who is hopelessly and inextricably tied to the Russian mob.. In my brief foray into the novel, some themes flew off the page: capitalism can be just as corrupt, in just as deeply nefarious ways, as the economic theories it has supplanted. And: Russia never died, it was reborn as a somewhat new and as yet not fully dissectable creature, still as globally influential as ever, and in ways it never was before.

Curious, the timing of the release of this film, and not to put the cart before the horse, given the rumors flying around, but here’s one collage that I feel compelled to title King OO7.



Screenshot (2266)Now for some peeks behind the scenes.

article-2591495-1CA3A24700000578-318_634x717 Collage3 Collage2

Finally: Seems the two Etonites on cast had some hosiery-focused fun in the make-up trailer whilst filming this movie. Posted on both Ewan McGregor’s instagram and Damian Lewis’ Twitter: One (or two) of these feet festooned in stripy socks is Damian’s! Spoiler: Damianista did the detective work a while back.

source: Ewan McGregor’s Instagram, Damian Lewis’ Twitter

11 thoughts on “Our Kind of Traitor: On UK Screens May 13”

  1. Ok I might have passed into scary fan territory. I didn’t need anyone to tell me which were his feet.

    ((cues up “the creep” by Lonely Island))

      1. Its true, its true. I’d love to see the look on his face if he stopped in to see what those fun ladies are writing about on the fan blog…and he’s like “Umm, they know my feet.”

        Sorry buddy, we literally love you from head to toe 🙂

  2. Great blog! Fingers crossed for Our Kind of Traitor to come stateside earlier than later, please!

    Damian does certainly not have the gray hair Hector has in the book – yayyyy for that even though I certainly find guys with gray hair attractive – e.g. Richard Gere. So I would enjoy gray hair on Damian, too, just for the fun of it! But I love his hair and I love it that they did not feel the urge to age him for the role.

    I have never been a spy book buff, either; my first Le Carre was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – I LOVED that movie (adapted by Peter Straughan for the big screen who also adapted Wolf Hall for TV – small world!!!!!) and then read the book. And when I heard about OKOT as a project, it was too tempting not to read the book. Two times 🙂

    That internal conflict you are talking about regarding Le Carre characters? Hector is such a spot on character when it comes to internal conflict. Hector’s an enigma and I think he is a more interesting character than Oxford tutor (I love saying “tutor” for obvious reasons, hehe) Perry.

    1. Really expected EMc’s tutor to be the main character but the preview and what I’ve heard of the book paint a different story. So ready to see Damian on the big screen!!!

  3. This looks intriguing. Will it be released in the U.S.?

    Also, that is some major detective work to see which stripy socks belonged to who. Haha.

    1. We sure do hope to see it released in the US! Heard on Twitter that some of the actors are doing press stuff for it already in the UK. It may not break any box office records in the US, but I’m sure it would garner a respectable enough audience. Sad that US distributors have become so increasingly risk averse, but that’s the sad state of movies on the big screen.

      1. Fingers crossed all the way for a sooner than later release date! Lionsgate got the distribution rights, at least, we know that!
        Thanks so much, Julie, for your appreciation of the detective work — no wonder we call ourselves “forensic fans.” We are, aren’t we? 😀
        Please keep the feedback coming! The more the merrier here!

  4. Glad you guys followed me on Twitter. That’s how I found about Fanfun. I must admit, this is the first article I’ve read on it. I think Damian wearing glasses lured me in. Haha.

Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.