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Damian Lewis: Confidence Man, Emmy Magazine, May 5, 2016

Confidence Man

Damian Lewis — the charming Brit who brings his all to all-American roles is back on Showtime in Billions. As a perplexing one-percenter, ruthless player, or capital crusader? He’s hard to read, but always reeks of confidence.

by Benji Wilson – May 5, 2016        

Courtesy Showtime, Simon Emmett/CLM
Bobby Axelrod, the hedge-fund billionaire of Showtime’s Billions, is a man who oozes mastery.

Right now Damian Lewis, the man who plays him, does not.

In a London photo studio, for emmy‘s cover shoot, Lewis is failing triumphantly to get his dog under control. Petra, a four-and-a-half-month-old cockapoo, is not only dismissive of her master (no matter his best-actor Emmy for Showtime’s Homelandand the gleaming notices he’s received for his latest TV lead), she is impervious to his bidding.

She yaps when she wants to yap, hoovers up a few crumbs from lunch and, at one point, wanders into the shot and takes a nap in the background.

“Bobby Axelrod would have someone to do this for him,” Lewis says, fumbling with the anti-bark spray as Petra scuttles off.

Later, Lewis will head off to pick up the kids from school. He’s in full family-man mode on this day, talking about the school run (“We once got stuck in traffic beside a billboard with Claire Danes and me. My son looked round and said, ‘Dad, there’s an enormous poster of you on the wall. What’s Homeland?'”) and looking after the dog.

Present dad is a role he relishes; it was one reason he had misgivings about going back to the U.S. to make Billions so soon after his stint on Homeland.

“When you have two small children and a wife who’s an actress [Helen McCrory], and a very successful one, blocking out that much time is daunting — I’ll let you know if I’m still married at the end of it,” he quips.

“But in the end, it’s about the thing that prevails, and that is wanting to do good work.” Billions, the critics and the audience agree, qualifies as good work. Its first season averaged 6.3 million viewers weekly, and audiences grew through the run.

Read the rest of the article at the Emmy Magazine