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

Categories Audio Billions Interviews Podcast

Damian Lewis on Brian Koppelman’s Podcast – March 16, 2019

The Most Requested Guest Who Hasn’t Appeared…Until Now

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 16, 2019

Exclusive! Our team and other Billions fans have been asking show-runner and co-creator Brian Koppelman when he was was going to have Damian guest appear on his podcast, The Moment with Brian Koppelman. I know our team has asked Brian when Damian would guest appear on a consistent basis.  We got a hint this morning when Brian tweeted:

The most requested guest who hasn’t appeared yet? 2015? (when Billions started) Surely that’s Damian our team thought!

Continue reading Damian Lewis on Brian Koppelman’s Podcast – March 16, 2019

Categories Broadcast Media Interviews Print Media Video

Kelly AuCoin Almost Passed Up the Opportunity to Play Dollar Bill on Billions – March 15, 2019

Kelly AuCoin On Billions and Playing Dollar Bill

by DJ Sixthsmith | CBS Local/CBS Sacramento | March 15, 2019

Aucoin, who plays Axe Capital’s Dollar Bill Stern, had to be convinced by his friend and actor Michael Kelly to take the part. Let’s just say the decision ended up working out for him.

“I auditioned for one role initially and didn’t get that, but they called me back for this character called Dollar Bill,” said AuCoin in an interview with CBS Local.

“This would’ve been such a huge mistake, but I initially said I don’t want to do that. It didn’t even say it was a potential recur, it was a one-off.”

“Over the weekend I thought about it and I was like his name is Dollar Bill and he’s the cheapest millionaire in America, there’s something to this guy.”

AuCoin says it would’ve been the worst decision of his career if he passed up this past.

Season four of “Billions” returns Sunday and Dollar Bill will be a series regular for the first time. His character has come a long way since the first season.

“I didn’t do a ton early on, but even in those small little sections it was a blast,” said AuCoin. “It was very fun to play and the group gets along so well. We started building this family from day one.”

Continue reading Kelly AuCoin Almost Passed Up the Opportunity to Play Dollar Bill on Billions – March 15, 2019

Categories Billions Interviews Print Media

Billions EP Previews What’s Next for Axe, Rhoades & the Crew in Season 4 – March 15, 2019

Axe: The smartest Guy in Town was Blindsided

by Ileane Rudolph | TV Insider | March 15, 2019

A thirst for vengeance drives both hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) on Season 4 of the financial thriller Billions.

The longtime antagonists join forces to crush those who betrayed and weakened them at the end of last year. “We explore the lengths that characters will go, and how it makes them feel when they encounter the residue [their actions] leave,” says executive producer David Levien. Here’s a look back at where the main characters left off, and a peek at the wrath they’ll unleash to regain their power.

Bobby “Axe” Axelrod

The smartest guy in town was blindsided by Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) when his equally brilliant protégé left Axe Capital and started a competing fund, stealing clients along the way. “Axe feels he brought Taylor to prominence, only to be burned,” says Levien. Now he will use his own fortune and that of a new buddy, private equity queen Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda), to destroy Taylor. And in return for aiding Chuck, Axe wants his former enemy to help put his ex-colleague in legal trouble. Says Levien, “He’ll do whatever he has to to scorch the earth under Taylor’s feet.”

Continue reading Billions EP Previews What’s Next for Axe, Rhoades & the Crew in Season 4 – March 15, 2019

Categories Billions Interviews Print Media

Brian Koppelman and David Levien Talk More About That Ovi-Backstrom Hockey Reference – March 15, 2019

Pearl and Clyde or Ovi and Backstrom

by Scott Allen | The Washington Post | March 15, 2019


The Capitals are off for a couple of days after Saturday’s showdown with the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning in Tampa, but Washington’s top two scorers scored a mention in the season premiere, set for Sunday, of Showtime’s Wall Street drama “Billions.”

During a Tuesday appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “Billions” star Damian Lewis, who plays hedge-fund manager Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, introduces a clip from Sunday’s episode in which his character references Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. The nod to the Stanley Cup champions comes during an intense conversation between Axelrod and trader Bonnie Barella (Sarah Stiles) about their underperforming colleague, Rudy (Chris Carfizzi).

Axelrod: “Do you know why Ovi scores so much? Because Backstrom shares the puck.”
Barella: “Yeah, but when he does, Ovi goes bar down. This lame loses the puck between his legs, or airmails it into the God damn glass.”
Axelrod: “So I fire him, and he never f—- up again, right, Rudy?”
Rudy: “That’s right, Axe.”
Axelrod: “And you signed your non-compete, didn’t you?”
Rudy: “Of course.”
Axelrod: “Good. Rudy? You’re fired.”

(A “bar-down goal,” for the uninitiated, is the hockey term for a shot that deflects off the crossbar before finding the net.)

Continue reading Brian Koppelman and David Levien Talk More About That Ovi-Backstrom Hockey Reference – March 15, 2019