Written By GingersnapComments Off on Best TV Shows of 2023: A Spy Among Friends
by Mike Hale | New York Times | November 29, 2023
TV in 2023 was like synchronized swimming. Below the surface, there was roiling and churn. The writers’ and actors’ strikes wiped out much of the production year. The hangover from the corporate binge on streaming platforms led to cancellations and cutbacks. A number of hall-of-fame series left the air, with no clear plan of, as it were, succession.
But above the waterline, the dance went on. As usual, it was challenging to whittle down my year-end list to 10. (So I picked 11.) As usual, I am listing it in alphabetical, not ranked order. As usual, I made it a rule not to repeat shows from the previous year, and as usual, I broke that rule. (I couldn’t not include “Reservation Dogs.”)
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They’ve Got a Golden Ticket
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | November 28, 2023
Damian and his children, daughter Manon (who wore her mother’s dress) and son Gulliver (who wore his father’s famous mustard coat), attended the Warner Bros. Pictures World Premiere of Wonka at The Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 in London, England. They walked the red carpet as part of the VIP arrivals to see Damian’s former Homeland co-star Timothée Chalamet, who plays Wonka in the musical fantasy film. See more photos of their red carpet arrivals in our Gallery here. The film follows a young Willy Wonka, presenting a prequel story to the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It explores how the world’s greatest inventor, magician, and chocolate maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today.
Other stars in attendance were Calah Lane, Keegan-Michael Key, Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas, Mathew Baynton, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carter, Olivia Colman and Hugh Grant. For those who may not remember, Matt Lucas joined the FeedNHS initiative alongside Damian and Helen McCrory, a charity they started during the CoVid-19 pandemic. Matt released his Baked Potato Song to raise funds for the campaign. Everything’s connected!
Written By GingersnapComments Off on ‘Wolf Hall’ Sequel With Damian Lewis, Mark Rylance Sets Production Start for PBS, BBC
The Final Novel in Hilary Mantel’s Historical Trilogy
by Rick Porter | Hollywood Reporter | November 20, 2023
UPDATE 11/27/23: According to the Daily Mail, some initial filming took place Saturday, November 25, 2023 in Bristol. Filming on location photos can be viewed in our Gallery here.
After eight years, PBS is making a return to Wolf Hall. The public broadcaster will air a sequel to its Emmy-nominated miniseries, with Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis reprising their roles as Thomas Cromwell and English King Henry VIII. The series, based on the final book in author Hilary Mantel‘s trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is scheduled to begin production soon. It will air under PBS’ Masterpiece banner in the United States and on the BBC in the U.K. Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light currently has no release date.
The new season follows Thomas Cromwell as he navigates the aftermath of Anne Boleyn’s execution, facing moral dilemmas and multiple enemies. Cromwell somehow manages to escape the bloodshed unscathed. Although he can continue amassing power and influence, the whole display assures that nobody is truly safe in the King’s court. Cromwell is in particular trouble with no powerful family behind him and only the wits that got him there. The season will follow the moral dilemmas he faces as he tries to keep his head on his shoulders while still trying to do the right thing and steer England toward the future. Unfortunately for him, things are even more complicated than that with rebellion within the country’s borders, traitors abroad, and an invasion on the horizon. All the while, Cromwell’s fortunes are running out as he’s earned no small number of enemies who wish to see his demise.
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For Veterans Day
by Phil Pirrello | Television Academy | November 10, 2023
For Veterans Day, lead writer Erik Jendresen reveals to the Television Academy how he and Tom Hanks helped make TV history.
The road to Band of Brothers started on the set of The Green Mile.
That’s where, in 1999, Band of Brothers’ lead writer and supervising producer Erik Jendresen first met with his soon-to-be-creative partner, Tom Hanks, to discuss adapting Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1992 book into one of HBO’s most prestigious (and enduring) miniseries. Fresh off the recent success of Saving Private Ryan, Hanks and director Steven Spielberg (serving here as executive producer) teamed up with Jendresen to tell the harrowing real-life story of the soldiers of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, and the formative struggles they faced on the frontlines of World War II.
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In Conversation with Geordie Greig
by Roisin O’Connor | The Independent | November 7, 2023
Actor and musician Damian Lewis sat down with editor-in-chief Geordie Greig on the set of ‘Music Box’ to talk about his change in direction from the acting stage to the music stage. Watch video interview here.
Lewis spoke about how a love of making music became more than just a hobby and the feeling of going out on stage to perform his own music felt. Lewis also spoke about the inspiration for his writing, as well as the impact of his wife Helen McCrory’s passing during the songwriting process.
Damian Lewis’ session will be coming in December, meanwhile watch all Music Box sessions here. View photostills in our Gallery here.
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Billions Season 7 Episode 12: ‘Admirals Fund’
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | November 3, 2023
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through (and I mean to go on and on and on) We Are The Champions – Queen
All’s well that ends well. Was there any doubt that Axe, Wendy, Chuck, and the rest of the rebels would come out on top this episode? They have come through the fire and are all better for it. Even though I think we all kind of knew how the show would end, it was still satisfying. There has been many a series finale over the past few years that has had fans taking to social media and voicing their disappointment (think Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Lost) but Billions will not be one of those. This was a great ending and sendoff for a series and a cast of characters that had become near and dear to our hearts.
Back in October of 2021 at the end of Season 5, I wrote a farewell to Bobby Axelrod and to Billions, as it looked like Damian and the character of Axe had left the Billions building for good. After re-reding that post, all the sentiments still ring true. I encourage you to check it out (since it will save me from retyping it) while I focus on what I liked from “Admirals Fund”.
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Cartier Bejewels The Final Season of Billions
by Beth Bernstein | Forbes | November 2, 2023
Cartier Juste un Clou earrings in 18k yellow gold and diamonds; Cartier Juste un Clou bracelet, small model in 18K yellow gold and diamonds
For those who are both Cartier Jewelry and the Showtime series Billions enthusiasts, you will be thrilled to learn that Cartier (who has many film credits dating back to Hollywood’s Heyday) provided the jewelry for the final season of the show and the last episode which aired on October 28, 2023, The pieces were worn by Maggie Siff in her role as Wendy Rhoades, who from season one proved to be as powerful if not more so then the male characters on the show. She was hired by Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) to combine her training as a psychiatrist with an instinct and heightened understanding of human nature to help Axe Capital build its hedge fund from the ground up and worked as the company’s in-house performance coach to compel the team to ‘make more money’ for the company and step up their confidence.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions MVPs: Season 7 Episode 12, Series Finale “Admirals Fund”
The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs
by Staff | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | November 1, 2023
Billions has sadly come to an end and so has our MVP series! Here are the final season seven Most Valuable Players for Billions to complete our series compilation, the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook.’ For one last time we commemorate all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, unmatched bad asses from the episode – from sports references, music and tasty food to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. In case you missed it, catch up with the MVPs of the season seven premiere Tower of London, episode two Original Sin, episode three Winston Dick Energy, episode four Hurricane Rosie, episode five The Gulag Archipelago, episode six The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt, episode seven DMV, episode eight The Owl, episode nine Game Theory Optimal, episode ten Enemies List and episode eleven Axe Global.
As you probably guessed there was a lot to unpack in the series finale, and the amount of awards bestowed reflects that. Now let’s dive in one last time. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 12, series finale “Admirals Fund.”
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American Film Market (AFM)
by Carole Horst | Variety | October 31, 2023
The American Film Market kicks off Oct. 31 and runs through Nov. 5 in its new headquarters at the Le Meridien Delfina in Santa Monica. Industry screenings are set at theaters throughout the city and AFM’s conference series, the AFM Sessions, will take place at the Hilton Santa Monica Hotel. More than 245 companies and organizations are exhibiting at this year’s AFM, with national pavilions from China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Thailand and the U.K. In all, buyers from more than 65 countries are registered at the film market.
Here are some of the buzziest titles at AFM 2023:
Director: Euros Lyn
Producers: Debbie Gray
Cast: Damian Lewis, Kelly Macdonald, Harry Baxendale, Bo Bragason, Sophia Di Martino
Description: Supernatural black comedy is based on Matt Haig’s popular novel about a family of abstaining vampires. Promo debuting at AFM. Film will be released in the U.K. by Sky Cinema in 2024.
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by Sho_Billions | YouTube | October 30, 2023
Director Neil Burger with Damian Lewis
Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, David Costabile, Maggie Siff and the cast say goodbye to Billions, discuss share their favorite memories from set and what they’ll miss the most about working on the series.
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Motives, Music and Moral Uncertainty
by Ben Travers | IndieWire | October 30, 2023
Brian Koppelman and David Levien speak to IndieWire about the motives, music, and moral uncertainty built into “Billions” final season.
“Billions” ends not with one man reigning supreme, but two titans shaking hands. Chuck (Paul Giamatti) and Axe (Damian Lewis) joined forces early in Season 7 and — despite a history filled with trickery and betrayal — remain loyal to the very end. Along with their devout team of stock traders and political savants, the duo takes down Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) and his bid for the presidency, before parting ways as friends. Chuck will continue working for the state of New York, while Axe is back behind the soon-to-be sleek desk of his hedge fund.
For a series that began with promises by both men to utterly destroy the other, some fans may be miffed that neither star is crowned as champion. But for showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the “Billions” series finale isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s an embodiment of what the series has been all along: a massively entertaining reflection of the way the world works. For every cheery, satisfied smile, there’s deeper meaning tucked within the folds. So IndieWire dialed up the co-creators to break down the ending, the final season’s big swings, and how they managed to fill “Billions” with so much beautiful music.
IndieWire: For the final season, when and why did you decide it would be best for Chuck and Axe to team up, rather than go after each other?
David Levien: We felt like the real mano-a-mano thing between Chuck and Axe reached its fullness during the end of Season 5, where neither guy lost completely, but neither guy won completely. It was like pure victories and standoffs and grudging respect for the opponent who played you to your very end. Then over the course of the sixth season, as Mike Prince started to reveal the darker hues of his character and how he could be a danger, we realized we had a formidable enough foe that these others could team up against him. In a certain way, that’s the most fun because the barbing is still there, but they have a common cause.
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The Art of the Long Con
by Miles Surrey | The Ringers | October 30, 2023
Showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien sat down to discuss the series finale, the art of the long con, and the public’s changing perspective on billionaires.
Throughout the course of Billions, characters have conspired to take down their enemies with comically elaborate schemes. It’s only natural, then, that the series finale, “Admirals Fund,” hinges on one last con. With self-made billionaire Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) shaping up to be the next POTUS, longtime adversaries Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) work together to take away the one thing that legitimizes Prince’s candidacy: his wealth.