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Industry Mag Staten Island Cover Story – July 19, 2020

Accents and How He Handled Overnight Fame

by Joel Keller | Industry Mag Staten Island | July 19, 2020

He may be an officer of the British Empire, but the London native is best known for playing Americans, including Bobby Axelrod in Billions.

Damian Lewis has been playing American characters on and off (mostly on) for 20 years, since he was cast as Maj. Dick Winters in the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He’s played so many American characters that people are genuinely shocked to hear his natural west London-accented voice. He’s so used to it that sometimes he forgets to go back to his natural voice.

“I go get my groceries in an American accent,” he told ABC News in 2016. “And I get halfway through paying and I’m like, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m British, and I have no idea why I’m talking in an American accent to you, but I’ve been doing it all week.”

His American roles have been so prominent in his career that BBC America’s website actually has a listicle with the title “7 Roles Featuring Damian Lewis’ Real Accent.”

Suffice to say, playing American characters has been very good to Lewis. He won an Emmy in 2012 for his powerful turn playing war hero-turned-terrorist Nicholas Brody in the first season of Homeland, and since 2016, he’s played scheming billionaire Bobby Axelrod in another Showtime series, Billions. “Hello, I’m Damian Lewis, one of those pesky Brits,” he said somewhat apologetically when he went up to accept his Emmy.

Continue reading Industry Mag Staten Island Cover Story – July 19, 2020

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Billions Season 5 Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale Recap: Forbes – June 14, 2020

An Act of War

by Dana Feldman | Forbes | June 14, 2020

All is not fair in love and war. This is made very clear in the midseason finale of Billions. Of note, tonight’s episode “The Limitless Sh*t” was directed by the one and only David Costabile, better known as Wags.

Axe (Damian Lewis) wages war on Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) when he discovers his adversary has crossed the line. But this is just one battle Axe is fighting. He’s also very irritated by the deepening relationship between Wendy (Maggie Siff) and Nico Tanner (Frank Grillo) and we know what happens when Axe is unhappy about a situation: He finds a way to destroy it.

Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale Recap: Forbes – June 14, 2020

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Billions Season 5 Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale Recap: New York Times – June 14, 2020

Moral Inconvenience

by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | June 14, 2020

Season 5, Episode 7: ‘The Limitless Sh*t’

Bobby Axelrod can see the Matrix. Or whatever the moneymaking equivalent of the Matrix would be.

After popping a barely legal brain enhancement pill called Vigilantix, provided by Axe Cap’s resident dark-arts practitioner Victor Mateo, Bobby is convinced that both he and any of his employees who have taken this dubious drug are thinking five, 15, 50 steps ahead of their competitors. As stock-ticker numbers fly across the screen, his eyes glow as blue as the Night King’s from “Game of Thrones,” as if he had literal superpowers. And he is focusing those powers on a single goal: Corner the rare-minerals market by investing in meteor harvesting.

No, really.

Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale Recap: New York Times – June 14, 2020

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Billions Season 5 Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale Recap: Wall Street Journal – June 14, 2020

Axe Capital on Drugs, a Scandal and a Firing

by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | June 14, 2020

A few weeks ago, we questioned whether Showtime’s “Billions” was lionizing Wall Street or satirizing it. We’ve come to a decision.

It’s satire. No other answer makes sense.

In the midseason finale (directed by David Costabile; written by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Emily Hornsby), Bobby Axelrod gets his entire firm hooked on a purported productivity drug, which almost has Axe Capital staring down the barrel of a $3 billion loss, while Mason Carbon deals with a far less dramatic scandal, and Chuck Rhoades tricks the Treasury secretary into firing himself.

There isn’t much Wall Street stuff in this episode that needs deconstructing. It’s all about how the stories are presented.

Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale Recap: Wall Street Journal – June 14, 2020

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The Most Billions-y Things That Happened on Billions Season 5, Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale – June 14, 2020

This Isn’t the Limitless Sh*t, It’s the Scarface Sh*t

by Kyle McGovern | Newsweek | June 14, 2020

Episode Seven: The Limitless Sh*t

To celebrate the show’s compelling brand of absurdity, we’re keeping track of the most Billions-y things that happen on Billions this season. For highlights from the latest episode, brace yourselves and head below.

This Episode Is Actually Titled “The Limitless S**t”

Yes, that title is indeed a reference to the 2011 Bradley Cooper flick Limitless. In that movie (which later became a short-lived TV series of its own), Cooper stars as a guy who takes a drug that improves his brain function to the nth degree. (Or, as Phyllis from The Office once put it, “Isn’t that the one where the guy becomes limitless?”) And that’s exactly what goes down at Axe Capital this week—sort of. But we’ll have more on that in a moment. For now, take a second to appreciate that episode title, which is just a peak Billions Bro move—even more so than calling this season’s second episode “The Chris Rock Test.”

Continue reading The Most Billions-y Things That Happened on Billions Season 5, Episode 7 Mid-Season Finale – June 14, 2020