Categories Billions Interviews Print Media

Billions Star Damian Lewis on What a $2,000 Cashmere Hoodie Feels Like – March 24, 2019

Guitars, Cashmere Hoodies, and More

by Hunter Harris | Vulture | March 24, 2019

The most important question I had for Billions star Damian Lewis was this: Are Bobby Axelrod’s cashmere zip-up hoodies as soft as they look onscreen? We can talk about his Rob Ford movie and everything else later, but the hoodies must have their moment. Billions is a show about the dramatics of Wall Street’s rich and powerful — fancy restaurants, words like “devalue” and “quant” — but Axe’s hoodies signify everything that makes his character simultaneously the best and the freaking worst. He’s brash and cool, and so grossly willing to show it off just for fun. And so, I ask Lewis, does a $2,000 cashmere hoodie really feel like a $2,000 cashmere hoodie?

He repeats my question to me, just to make sure he’s heard it right, and then groans: “Oh. They’re so soft. It’s just one cashmere heaven to the next.”

The tables have turned in Billions’ fourth season — Axe is no longer butting heads with Chuck Rhodes (grumpy icon Paul Giamatti), who for three seasons has been his perma-nemesis — but Lewis still says he’s having as much fun with its dramatics as ever before. Ahead of Sunday night’s episode “Arousal Template,” we talked Axe and Chuck’s alliance, the world’s most famous Billions fan, and, of course, that cashmere.

A lot of the dynamics that were central to Billions have been inverted this season: Axe and Chuck are in cahoots. Taylor, once Axe’s prodigy, is now his nemesis. Has that been weird for you?
It’s very exciting. I think it’s also quite realistic, the way in which alliances are made and don’t always last too long. Billions is about the transactional nature of the rich and the powerful, or even modern-day living. It’s a show about the favor trading that goes on, the ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ If the parameters don’t exist, really, like they do for normal people, let’s do each other a favor to get me what I want, to get you what you want. You’ve got a juicy drama of alliances and betrayal ahead of you. Chuck and Bobby have set this alliance because they both need it.

Continue reading Billions Star Damian Lewis on What a $2,000 Cashmere Hoodie Feels Like – March 24, 2019

Categories Billions Interviews Print Media

Why the Creators of Billions See the Show as a “Rorschach Test” for the Trump Era – March 16, 2019

“It’s hard to find the people in positions of power who don’t at least dance with hypocrisy”

by Tonya Riley | Mother Jones | March 16, 2019

Billionaires, Saudi investors, political favor-trading —it sounds a lot like the basis of a Mother Jones article on any given day under the Trump administration. But in fact, it’s the logline for the season premiere of Showtime’s Billions, a surprise hit that is as comfortable being part of the Golden Age of television as it is commenting on a politically turbulent time.

The show stars Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades, former US Attorney for Southern District of New York, and Damien Lewis as Bobby Axelrod, an unorthodox, up-from-his-bootstraps-sort-of hedge fund manager at Axe Capital. They’re joined by Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades, wife to Chuck and psychoanalyst at Axelrod’s company; she further complicates their relationship (and often calls the shots for them both). The drama, which was loosely based on the legal battle between Preet Bharara, a former US attorney for the same district Rhoades serves in Billions, and billionaire Steve Cohen, a hedge fund manager who escaped indictment despite being at the heart of a massive insider trading scandals, has evolved over four seasons into must-watch television that evokes the politics of today without the didactic morality of, say, an Aaron Sorkin venture. The show is smart, sexy, and dark, and vest-wearing finance bros and media hipsters alike count themselves among its fans.

Mother Jones called up co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien in advance of season four to discuss America’s fascination with the rich and powerful and how they keep their show fresh in the mercurial age of Trump.

Continue reading Why the Creators of Billions See the Show as a “Rorschach Test” for the Trump Era – March 16, 2019