Faster than you can say Dodd-Frank, Billions, the drama about Wall Street hedge fund managers, is back for a second season, tonight on Showtime. Starring Homeland star Damien Lewis as Bobby Axelrod, the shifty hedge fund billionaire and Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades, as the U.S. Attorney, there are a lot of questions as to who is going to win this rivalry. What should we expect in Billions Season 2?
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Damien Lewis told Stuff New Zealand that Bobby gets the short straw in this high-stakes cat and mouse game with Rhoades.
“This season is full of failure for him and, without giving the end of the season away, he is actually outplayed this season by Chuck.”
Lewis further explains why Chuck and Bobby will do everything they can to win the game. He explains that nothing can compare to “what makes someone like Bobby tick, someone like Chuck tick. I think it’s the game and the game only. I think that becomes more important than the money or status and everything.”
While Bobby has always been in control and focused, he will compromise himself and possibly giving Chuck the upper hand.
“It’s just the desire to win. And the greater your desire to win the greater you will compromise yourself. I think we all love watching people try to win.”
It appears that Bobby may have an Achille’s heel that will take him down: his new wealth. In the east coast, new money is not as prestigious as coming from a family with old money.
“Bobby is not given to a lot of self-doubt. But there are vulnerabilities that do emerge. He has now made a lot of money, but he is a nouveau-riche, blue-collar, arriviste young punk in this world of old money and East Coast families and I think he wants acceptance by the establishment.”
Bobby Axelrod is a very different character than the Wolf Hall actor has ever played before. The award-winning actor physically moves differently to play “Axe.”
“I’ve found Bobby to be a far more swaggering, athletic, prowling, sort of blue-collar alley cat than any of the people that I met. And once I settled on that for him, I just went to town with that, and so I used that physicality a lot for him and developed a physicality for him.”
— Billions (@SHO_Billions) February 17, 2017
Although the actor researched his part for Billions, Lewis did not base his character on anyone in particular. Despite this, people believe he is copying their own hedge fund boss and will even ask Lewis if he is!
“Well, every hedge-fund billionaire I meet thinks that Bobby Axelrod is (based on) him. And I don’t know how closely they are watching the show because I don’t think he would want to own up to that, given some of the things that Bobby does. But I’ve had billionaires or their employees coming up to me saying, ‘It’s so incredible that you are playing my boss’.”
— Billions (@SHO_Billions) February 19, 2017
Lewis considers Swedish-Canadian actress Malin Akerman, who plays Bobby’s wife, Lara, the person that grounds Bobby. He explained to the Daily Mail that she is the woman with the blue-collared roots that will get what she wants by using her millions and her family name to achieve it. While Bobby lets their two sons do what they want, Lara is the tough parent who is not afraid of making the boys work a little bit to make them learn the value of money. Despite their different parental styles, Lewis is quick to point out that she is Bobby’s equal partner in their relationship and wants to win as much as he does.
“But the one thing we always said about Bobby’s wife is that, in spite of all his wealth and the fast cars, the yachts, the helicopter and the $83 million houses, we didn’t want him to have a trophy wife, we wanted to root him in a real relationship.”
Ironically, the blonde bombshell Akerman previously starred in the family comedy Trophy Wife, but Lewis quick to point out that under the glitz and glamour, Lara is not just eye candy. She is willing to claw to get what she wants.
“We wanted to make it clear that Lara had grown up with Bobby, that she was blue-collar too – she used to be a nurse and came from a family of policemen and firefighters. She’s like him. They’re both alley cats and know how to scrap.”
Are you looking forward to Season 2 of Billions?
[Featured Image by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Showtime]