Damian Lewis is considering making a documentary about his Feed NHS initiative.

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory

Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory

The 'Billions' actor and his wife Helen McCrory are raising money and have teamed up with a number of UK restaurants to supply around 6,000 health workers a day with food, and with their current acting projects on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 49-year-old star is exploring the possibility of making a film about the scheme through his company Rookery Productions.

He said: "There are opportunities to make documentaries about the NHS from our kitchen -- obviously archive-heavy, I would imagine."

The couple turned to friends working in the NHS to find out how they could help and initially planned to cover the costs of parking fines incurred by medical staff whose shifts overran, but after those charges were waived by the government, they were given the food suggestion from Bob Klaber, who works at the Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London, as hospital canteens, like other nearby eateries, were shutting down due to the virus.

Damian said of the initiative: "There's no centralised model for doing something like this and working with the NHS, there's no centralised model at the NHS either.

"Crucially, this can only last as long as people give money. That's the point. No one is funding this except the public."

Helen added in an interview with Deadline: "We haven't slept and we're on the phone all the time.

"You're improvising and making it up as you go along because it's never been done before. Now we've got a website up, feednhs.com, and on that website, hospitals can tap on and leave details. We can actually connect people to each other.

"This is the big fear: London has been hit hardest first, but unfortunately, this is going to ripple throughout the country and other areas are going to need that support."

Damian and Helen - who have children Manon, 13, and Gulliver, 12, together - also wanted to help others in the entertainment industry but struggled to know what to do as they didn't want to favour one group over another.

The 'Peaky Blinders' actress explained they initially thought of offering aid to runners, describing them as "the young people coming into the profession that live hand to mouth," but then worried about older team members with families to support.

Damian said: "Giving is an incredibly specific endeavor, as we're finding out. People have to be treated to be right, there has to be parity everywhere.

"If the studios won't take care of their employees maybe there's something the people at the top can do."


Tagged in