Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Creators on Releasing Season 5 of the New York Drama in Uncertain Times – May 1, 2020
An Insider-y Take On A Not So Insider-y Show
by Stacey Wilson Hunt | Fortune Magazine | May 1, 2020
There’s little that Brian Koppelman and David Levien haven’t tackled in their artistic careers. From early forays in the music business (Koppelman), to novel-writing (Levien), to the ups and downs of screenwriting-in-tandem—including 1998’s Rounders and 2007’s Ocean’s Thirteen—to making one of Showtime’s most-watched drama, Billions, the New York natives have curated an almost Zen-like approach to their work: create cool, smart stuff and have a blast doing it.
But Koppelman and Levien faced the beginning of what is likely to be their most daunting challenge as storytellers when production on season five of Billons, which films on location all around New York City, was halted mid-March because of the global coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the series— which tells the ongoing saga of former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis)—will air a truncated installment of episodes starting Sunday, May 3, as Billions’ tight-knit cast, crew, and its team of creators (which includes author Andrew Ross Sorkin) face what so many of us are confronting: nearly total uncertainty as to how and when all of this chaos will end.
To find out what fans can expect from season five’s amended rollout, Fortune spoke by phone to Koppelman and Levien on April 13 and asked whether they plan to address the global pandemic in future episodes; how they’re using Twitter to ease feelings of isolation (and raise money for coronavirus relief); and how their partnership, now curated remotely via Zoom, has offered calm at a time when they need it most.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Corey Stoll is Ready To Go To War with Axe – May 1, 2020
Damian Is So Game
by Derek Lawrence | Entertainment Weekly | May 1, 2020
Season 5 of Billions is set to find rivals-turned-allies Chuck (Paul Giamatti) and Axe (Damian Lewis) returning to rival status, but Axe is going to be on the attack from all sides as Corey Stoll joins the hit Showtime series in a formidable new role.
Creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien say they’ve long tried to cast the “immensely talented” House of Cards alum, especially after he filled in at a table read for one of their films and “killed it,” so much so that Levien wishes they would have filmed it. “Finally a break in his schedule coincided with our season,” Levien tells EW, “and we were able to write a character for him that is super intelligent, aggressive, charismatic, all of the things that he’s really built to play.”
And that character is Michael Prince, a billionaire who looks at this world through the perspective of an impact investor. “He’s aware of the consequences of modern life, meaning he’s aware of environmental impact, he’s aware of the sort of corrosive impact of the world of high finance,” shares Koppelman. “But, at the same time, he’s all the way in that world, too. And he and Bobby Axelrod do not see the world the same way, but they’re both titanic figures in the world of finance, and so sparks fly when the two of them are in the same room.”
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Hints at What We Can Expect in Billions Season 5 – May 1, 2020
Bobby Axelrod the Predator and That First Table Read of Season 5
by Amy Lyall | 9Entertainment | May 1, 2020
Joining the cast of the hit series Billions for Season 5 was a lot like coming home for Corey Stoll, but it was also a long time coming. The actor admitted he was originally approached by the show’s creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien back in 2016 for the first season. What got him over the line this time was “an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he joked to 9Entertainment.
“During the first season there was a role that they offered me, and it was a fun role for a few episodes but it almost felt like a waste,” he explained. “I remember telling them at the time, let’s wait for something a little juicer, a little more fun — something I can sink my teeth into, and I’m really glad that I did wait because this role is incredibly rich and I get to do so many fun things. I’m glad I waited.”
The first table read was like a reunion with old friends as Stoll revealed he knew a lot of the cast previously from acting school. It was watching friend Maggie Siff (Wendy) on the show that originally drew him in, but he quickly became a fan.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on 11 TV Shows to Binge for Design Inspiration – May 1, 2020
The Opulence of Billions
by Mara Reinstein | Architectural Digest | April 30, 2020
Axe’s apartment is filmed at a 7,500 square foot penthouse apartment in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan.
There’s never a wrong time to turn to quality television as home design inspiration. But now that we’re all self-isolating and social distancing within our walls because of the COVID-19 pandemic, plunging through your streaming queue and gazing at a show’s visual style—one that seamlessly complements its story and characters—is a flat-out essential activity. Beyond the benefit of providing some good old-fashioned escapism, the right series with the right set-design eye candy can spark your own creativity and innovation. And in this current golden age of television, a plethora of swoon-worthy options are just a sanitized finger-click away. Check out these all-time greats, whose aesthetics span from the polished world of 1950s New York City to contemporary white-trim California cool. Welcome home.
That’s billions with a B. And that means brash hedge-fund shark Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) must connive and thrive in a two-story Tribeca penthouse befitting an actual Wall Street mogul. Wood gleams and metals shine from the light beaming from 18-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. The showstopper is an Italian blown-glass chandelier, which offers a soft counterpoint to the sharp angles and stark-white furniture. For the sprawling Connecticut estate in the show, production designer Mike Shaw and set decorator Christina Tonkin designed the spacious kitchen and living room to look functional for the Axelrod family. The master bedroom, with sheen-coated fabrics draped over an oversize, elevated bed, is a reflection of the main character’s troubled marriage. (Showtime on Hulu)
Written By GingersnapComments Off on In Praise of Showtime’s Billions, Where New York’s Restaurants and Food Scene Shined – April 30, 2020
New York’s Vibrant Food Scene
by Elva Ramirez | Forbes | April 30, 2020
When Showtime’s lauded “Billions” returns on May 3, it brings back, in stark relief, a semblance of a New York that no longer exists, and may never come back.
The show, which stars Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, and Maggie Siff, among others, is a ripped from the headlines portrait of New York’s new Golden Age, one steered by Bill Ackman-inspired hedge fund titans, their algo- and quant- trading acolytes and the tenacious law enforcement agencies that are occasionally their foes. Anyone watching a show about the lifestyles of the rich can expect views of luxury high rises, glass-enclosed modern offices and the just-so fashion of the quietly powerful (notice how often the people in Bobby Axelrod’s circle wear shades of dark blue, his favorite color; the show’s costume design comes via the talented Eric Daman, who made “Gossip Girl” into a fashion bible).
But there’s one element of the show that always changes, yet remains the same. In nearly episode, New York’s vibrant food scene is lovingly showcased.