Wall Street Wizard and Self-Made King Who Makes it Rain
by Elizabeth Kaye | Watch! Magazine | June 8, 2018
Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Damian Lewis captures the complexity of power politics in the world of New York high finance.
Award-winning actor Damian Lewis makes fans swoon as powerful Wall Street wizard Bobby Axelrod on Showtime’s hit series Billions.
Some say that acting is an exercise in pretending—though mere pretending, with its intimations of considered fakery, seems too shallow a frame. More accurate are those who insist that acting is, at its best, a form of lying; a masquerade so thorough and convincing that it can seduce the viewer into believing the masquerade and the person behind the mask are one and the same.
By this measure, Damian Lewis is a masterful professional liar whose searing portrayals of blue-collar Americans belie his own rarified roots as the grandson of a Lord Mayor of London and an upper-crust Brit educated at Eton for whom Queens, we can safely assume, evokes not a borough east of Manhattan, but Elizabeth and Victoria.
Continue reading Damian Lewis: Billions Dollar Baby – June 8, 2018
The Superhero Show About Finance and the Tale of Two Warring Goliaths
by Rachel Syme | The New Republic | April 24, 2018
Billions reckons with the inflated egos and muddled ethics of Wall Street.
The first season of Billions premiered in January 2016— eight years after the collapse of the subprime mortgage market and eleven months before a self-proclaimed billionaire was elected president. This was the sweet spot, timing wise, for a bombastic prestige drama about the world of money. In 2011, the sharp and enraging documentary Inside Job, which charted the corruption that led to the financial crisis, won an Oscar. In the winter of 2016, The Big Short—a sermonizing, big-budget Hollywood comedy about reckless bankers—was nominated for Best Picture. The mea culpas had been issued, the bad actors identified, and although only one person officially went to jail, the coast looked clear for new stories of Wall Street and wealth.
Of course, in the wake of the crisis, a showrunner could not simply rehash the old Gordon Gekko formula for a modern audience. Slickness was no longer glamorous but gross; very few Americans had an appetite for captains of industry slurping down midday martinis at the Capital Grille. Instead, the three creators of Billions—the longtime writing team of Brian Koppelman and David Levien, along with The New York Times’ financial reporter, Andrew Ross Sorkin—took a populist genre and grafted it onto the honeyed, moneyed lives of the rich and infamous: They made a superhero show about finance.
Continue reading Billions: Super Antiheros – April 24, 2018
“The third season of the series delves into the greed and corruption of its protagonists”
by Turkey Telegraph | April 9, 2018
While the President of United States applauds the success of shows like Roseanne, another very different series, Billions, is called “trumpist,” as it is said by its protagonists. And not because they agree with American president, but it is what’s reflected in the series: corporate greed with sheepskin sharks and rampant corruption among politicians. Damian Lewis states, “In United States I am greeted by cheers for Bobby Axelrod while in England they call me a scoundrel for the same character. I guess it depends on which crystal you look at.”
“We always had a whiff of Trump from the beginning, but this season is clearer, with new characters within Government that reflect the reality we live,” adds Paul Giamatti, who plays the Federal Prosecutor of financial crimes . “Anyone in the series could be a new member of Trump’s cabinet,” adds Lewis humorously. Neither Lewis nor Giamatti predict a happy ending.
Read the rest of the original article at Turkey Telegraph
Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 30, 2018
Greetings from the Trader’s Desk!
Before I dive into the episode, I would like to thank the writers of this episode, Brian Koppleman and David Levien. As a New Yorker, kid of the 80’s and a trader, I can tell you they bring the realness of all three of those things of which I am and hold dear. From the mid-town Manhattan office of Axe Capital, to the setting of my favorite place for pierogies, (Veselka) to having real hedge fund managers (Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital Management) at the idea dinner, a line from the movie that changed my life (“Wall Street”), to a beautiful view of the Freedom Tower, they continue to not just make this one of my favorite shows, but bring it home so authentically. By Season 3 some writers would be phoning it in, but they certainly don’t.
Continue reading From the Trader’s Desk: S3 E1 The King Without a Crown – March 30, 2018
“When There’s a Seismic Event, Alliances Shift and Loyalties are Tested”
by Cynthia Littleton | Variety | March 25, 2018
When “Billions” begins its third season tonight on Showtime, viewers will find Chuck Rhoades, Bobby Axelrod and the rest of the gang digging out from the upheaval inflicted by Rhoades’ machinations at the end of season two.
The characters return to an unsettled environment, but the show set in the world of Wall Street is running like a finely tuned sports car in the view of showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who created “Billions” with Andrew Ross Sorkin. “Billions” has hit the season-three sweet spot that comes after a series proves itself in season one, and then proves in its sophomore year that season one was no fluke.
Continue reading Billions Season 3 Hums Behind the Scenes as Characters Grapple With Political Earthquake – March 25, 2018