Damian Lewis Q&A / Billions S5

Damian Lewis is nothing like Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, the driven, ruthess billionaire hedge fund owner he plays in Showtime’s award-winning series, BILLIONS. With Season 5 launching in May, Lewis will once again be back in the spotlight playing a character that is arguably one of the most charismatic and compelling on TV. The tall, red-haired actor also benefits from having a brilliant co-star in Paul Giamatti who plays U.S. District Attorney Chuck Rhoades, Axe’s ambitious rival, frenemy, and nemesis. But Bobby Axelrod’s working-class, bad boy, alpha male ferocity is what drives the story forward and keeps audiences on edge as he constantly pushes the limits while running his financial empire. The new season raises the stakes yet again.

“We’re going to introduce a few really fun, new characters that people are going to love,” Lewis says. “But there’s a new adversary for Axelrod this season that finds him fighting on all fronts as usual.”

That rival is none other than small-town business titan Michael Prince, played by Corey Stoll (First Man, Café Society, House of Cards). Prince is a kinder, gentler brand of capitalist who is ready to take on Axe and his predatory ethos. “From our very first scene, we’re sparring,” Stoll says. “Prince has that same competitive streak as Axe, but it’s tempered with this drive to do good. There’s a lot of conflict between Prince and other characters, but stronger than that is the fight within himself to reconcile being a capitalist and a good person.”

Returning for Season 5 are series regulars Maggie Siff (Wendy Rhoades), David Costabile (Mike “Wags” Wagner), Asia Kate Dillon (Taylor Mason), and Glenn Fleshler as Axe’s diabolical lawyer, Orrin Bach.

Meanwhile, Lewis can also be seen in the upcoming Canadian feature film, Run This Town, in which he plays controversial Toronto mayor Rob Ford whose crack habit and manic personality precipitated his downfall.

The 49-year-old Damian Lewis delights in the contradiction of being an upper-crust Brit (hattended Eton and his grandfather was the Lord Mayor of London) who normally plays working-class Americans. A classically trained Shakespearean actor, Lewis is married to the actress Helen McCrory (Polly on Peaky Blinders) with whom he has two children, Manon, 14, and Gulliver, 12.

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