Ping-Pong, Dressing in Drag, and More Details About Those Guitars!
by Gabrielle Donnelly | Express | April 8, 2019
BOBBY AXELROD, the hedge fund manager at the centre of the financial drama Billions, is brutal, thuggish, ruthless and dangerously sexy. In other words, he’s a complete animal – or not, depending upon which side of the Atlantic you live. According to Damian Lewis, who plays Axelrod, he has noticed a marked difference between the reaction of American audiences to his character and the British.
“I think we can all agree that Bobby is corrupt,” he laughs now, affectionately, of the Billions character, Bobby Axelrod.
“He’s an old-school scrapper, a gangster, an alley cat: his motto is, ‘Why use a scalpel when you can use a sledge hammer?’
“But on the other hand, it turns out that in some ways he’s also quite progressive and quite liberal in his political views.
“That’s what makes him fun. It’s interesting to me that when I’m walking down the street in New York and someone recognizes me, they’ll go, ‘Yeah! Bobby Axelrod!’ ‘Yeah, love you, man!’ But when it happens in England, people go, ‘Oh. Bobby Axelrod. You’re a real ****hole!’
“I’m not quite sure exactly what that says about both places but it says something!”
Lewis, 48, knows a bit about both England and New York these days, since he spends his time commuting between New York, where the series is shot, and London where he lives with his wife, actress Helen McCrory, and their two children, Manon, 12, and Gulliver, 11.
“We work it out,” he shrugs of his ever-travelling schedule.
“We actors are all gypsies and we all have to travel for work.
“I have friends who have bought a house in LA and been very excited – It’s great! I’ve moved the whole family to LA and it’s going to be so good! No more travelling!’
“And then they find they get three years of work in Toronto or Vancouver or even back in London! We just muddle through somehow.”
He admits that, constant jet lag and the proceeds of Billions and other series such as Homeland, Band Of Brothers and Wolf Hall have all helped make life pretty comfortable for the Lewis household.