Damian Lewis on Conquering the New York Accent for Billions
If you are immune to the many charms of Paul Giamatti’s work, and the endless ways in which his “Billions” character displays intelligence and irritation through a series of perfectly deployed glares, this tale of high-powered hedge-fund players and the lawyers they battle may not be up your alley.
Giamatti plays Chuck Rhoades, a well-to-do U.S. Attorney for New York who feels compelled to rein in Wall Street excesses, with Damian Lewis as Bobby Axelrod, a hotshot mega-billionaire who can’t resist throwing his might and money around in ways that make for bad P.R., and bring scrutiny from law enforcement.
That description raises the question of whether you’ll be able to work up any sympathy for the one-percenters locked in combat in this slick series.
Many regular folks who’ve witnessed the frightening fallout of some of Wall Street’s high-stakes games may find that the subject matter itself is a dealbreaker. Just about every character in “Billions” has, at the very least, a trust fund and a few million in the bank — but many have substantially more.
Whatever their headaches, the day-to-day lives of these hedge-fund guys, especially Bobby, make Don Draper’s lifestyle look like a monk’s.
by Marshall Fine | Cigar Aficionado | January/February 2016 Issue
Heads turn as Damian Lewis strides into a Le Pain Quotidien franchise in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Lewis, in sunglasses, walks the length of the restaurant unmolested to a table in the rear. It’s mid-afternoon and the lunchtime crowd has thinned on this summery late-October day. Still, it seems an unlikely place to meet one of the hottest actors in television. Asked how he happened to choose this particular spot to meet, Lewis, sunglasses now off, smiles quizzically and says, “I thought you chose it.”
Tall and surprisingly rangy, Lewis has a slow grin, and blue eyes that can look both warm and icily transparent in the right light. His coppery hair actually appears to have a slightly chestnut cast this particular day. Normally Lewis is the most recognizable red-haired actor working today.
I’ve added HQ portrait stills from Billions to the gallery:
Television > Billions > General