Throwback Thursday to the Day Damian Found Out About Fan Fun with Damian Lewis :)

This blog and Billions have had an interesting relationship. I launched the blog only two weeks before they started shooting Billions pilot in New York City in 2015. Damian found out about the blog on Billions pilot set. And since then we made 450 posts on Billions varying from weekly reviews to analysis of characters and relationships to the music, books as well as locations and restaurants that appeared on the show!

And, to top it all, it was on Billions Pilot set in NYC that Damian found out about Fan Fun with Damian Lewis! So how about we go back to 02/03/2015, exactly six years ago, to a very cold day in NYC for a heartwarming story?

Join me!

In our collective blog about Best of Billions Season 1, I said the following about my favorite Axe line of the season:

“Axe is all about effing: **** Chuck! **** Carly, Channing and Hlasa! **** Eads Family! Hey, he even wants to say **** You to gravity! It is his “**** you money” that gives him the power to do it and Axe perfectly sets the tone in The Pilot with my favorite line of the show: “What’s the point of having **** You Money if you never say **** You?” And, besides, it is very personal.

Yes, it is VERY personal because, believe it or not, Damian Lewis found out about our blog while he was filming that very scene!

I told you earlier Homeland was our local show. They filmed it in Charlotte, two and a half hours from our house, and we never made it to the set. So, when I found out they would shoot Billions pilot in New York, and New York being our second home, I promised myself if they filmed somewhere in the city, I would go just not to regret later! That’s my MOTTO, I guess, for everything in life. Life is TOO SHORT to postpone anything if you could afford to do it now! 🙂

February 3, 2015: Exactly five years ago. The blog is just one month old and I am dying to find a way to tell Damian Lewis about it. But how? You know he is not listed in the phone book 😀 So when I find out on Twitter they are shooting Billions in midtown NYC and just ONE subway station from our apartment… Well… Nice! The only downside is that it is one of those sunny but freezing mornings with temps in teens! Is it really worth going without even knowing if there is a slim chance of seeing your favorite actor? But then again what’s the point of having a fan blog for him if he never finds out about it? 🙂 Fair enough. Lewisto and I put on our warmest puffy jackets, complete with hats, gloves and boots, and off we go to Billions set!

First, we notice the yellow NO PARKING signs on the street… Honestly, I never noticed them before… until I found out they are posted by film crews. Lo and behold, I am an expert now!

source: Damianista
source: Damianista

They film indoors at New York Times Center which I blogged about in our Billions NYC locations post. We need to wait outside and keep fingers crossed Damian will get out for some fresh air or food catered set up outside on the sidewalk. That is our one chance.

We see many extras, men and women in nice business suits, and with badges saying Delivering Alpha on them. I have no idea then about what Delivering Alpha is about. Now I know it is an annual conference hosted by CNBC (please note Andrew Ross Sorkin, one of the Billions Season 1 executive producers is also a co-anchor on CNBC’s pre-market morning news program Squawk Box) and Institutional Investor and held in New York City. We, in fact, have hedge-fund titans Bobby Axelrod (Axe Capital) and Steven Birch (Piedmont Capital) on a Delivering Alpha panel discussion in the Pilot!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime
source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Back to us standing in the cold… The catering staff is the sweetest people in the world that deserve a special mention here. They offer us tea/coffee, and food; in particular one of them even offers us her hand warmers!

In the meantime, Paul Giamatti comes out for coffee, David Costabile comes out for food… On a regular day, I’d go say hi and even ask for a picture, but I cannot even think about it now. I mean… Paul F***in’ Giamatti is standing next to me having coffee, and I don’t even say hi? And I love him!  But I am glued to the glass windows keeping an eye on what’s going on inside… The catering staff has been working on the set for a while now, so they know everyone. And, they say “the tall guy” is rarely coming out. Ok. It seems we will have a longer wait than we thought we would.

Confession: We, give or take, waited for 10 hours.

It’s 5 pm. We now know filming is not a 9 to 5 job. Not even close. As people get outside for a smoke or some snack, I ask them if they are still shooting and they tell me they now start shooting rehearsals, and it can go until late, 9 – 10pm or so. One guy I talk to asks me whether I am a friend of a cast or a crew member and I say I am just a fan… And, hey, that guy turns out to be no other than… Steve Gilroy that plays Mike Dimonda, the journalist from Financial Journal, to whom Axe feeds information about Steven Birch in the Pilot! Remember Dimonda is attending Delivering Alpha to work on his Pulitzer! 🙂

source: Showtime

10pm??? What? In fact, in the following days, there were tweets from Brian Koppelman saying they were done by 3am in the morning! Yes, actors are paid well here, probably better than anywhere in the world, but they work REALLY hard. They seem to have very long working hours which I did not figure out before…  but I am thinking more about my freezing hands and feet more than their long working hours now. At least they are warm inside 🙂

So when I hear “10pm” I am ready to leave. And, Lewisto says, “Ok, you go… I will wait.” Seriously? And, we wait… taking turns going to the New York Times Building nearby for 10 minute breaks to indulge in its wonderful heater… And at some point we buy hand and foot warmers as well. What a day!

Then I spot Damian. He’s walking left and right but never towards the door. I spot him, but then I think, with my feet going numb and all, maybe I am seeing some kind of “mirage” like the people in the desert do 🙂 But no, I spot him right… THAT walk… You cannot miss that walk — you know what I am talking about, don’t you? 🙂

I am glued to the glass window. I see Toby Moore and Condola Rashad at the head of the stairs. They are obviously shooting downstairs. Remember the scene downstairs at NY Times Center? Yes, you do!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

It is almost 8:30pm. All of a sudden, Damian appears at the head of the stairs. He turns around and starts walking… towards the entrance… towards us. The “tall guy” that rarely goes out is hitting the door…  I feel like I am rooting for a quarterback going for his touchdown. “Come on, Damian, come on!”

And… touchdown! All of a sudden, it’s me, Lewisto, the catering staff and Damian Lewis on the sidewalk. Damian asks about the ribs, someone told him they were good, alas they are all gone. And I am sending my heartfelt thanks to the person who recommended the ribs — whoever you are, you made my DAY!

I know from what I read earlier that Damian likes to stay in character on set but now I understand what THAT means. This is the hedge-fund king standing next to me studying the food table.

Me: “Mr. Lewis?”

Damian: “Hi, honey, how are you?”

This is not Damian. This is Bobby “Axe” Axelrod. Damian is totally in character and speaking in his American accent, too. How cool is that? And, oh, I am doing well, I have not been doing well until a minute ago, but I am actually doing super well at this moment 🙂

Me: “Do you have five minutes?”

He smiles: “Yes, I do.”

So I properly introduce ourselves and tell him about the blog.

“Thank you so much for doing this.”

One can tell he’s a little bit puzzled that a college professor is doing a fan blog for him. But, believe me, this is not much different from thinking about Jean Jacques Rousseau and his work, and write about it. And, honestly, it is much more fun to think deeply about Damian Lewis and his work and write about it.

Damian is sorry to hear we have waited for 10 hours. And I even show him the hand warmers to add to the drama 🙂

Then he is not Bobby anymore… but still in American accent. I tell him about Fan Fun with Damian Lewis and he seems to be intrigued. He is very kind and generous with his time, he asks for my information and puts it into his jacket pocket, asks about our jobs, what we teach, and in fact, poor guy cannot get to eat anything because he talks to us until someone comes to say he has to go back for the shoot.

They are shooting rehearsals when Damian comes outside. So they shoot the real “FU money” scene after he gets in. And this means he has my information in his pocket as he delivers THAT line and no one can take this memory away from me! 🙂

source: Showtime

And as much as I think Axe’s “FU Money” line has become a classic in TV history, I believe Lewisto’s line to Damian as he is leaving is an instant classic, too:

“Hey, Damian, you know what? She broke up with Kevin Costner for you. Her first blog post is about that. You should read it.”

*****Damianista blushes big time*****

Damian (laughing): “I WILL read it.”

I do not know if Damian has ever read that post. But if you want to read it, it is here.

And, as my dear Bookworm says:

“You won’t be out in the cold if you stand by your Axe! “

source: Damianistasource: Damianista

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

14 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday to the Day Damian Found Out About Fan Fun with Damian Lewis :)”

  1. I love this story every time I hear/read it! Your persistence paid off big time! (One of the things I love about you Damianista!)
    From then to now – what a journey! And as they say, the best is yet to come!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! What a journey indeed <3 And you are right, persistence --- whether it's good or bad --- is what I have always been good at 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing this (again). I have only recently come across this blog very much! I am very impressed with your dedication to meet him and so happy for you that it worked out in the end!

    I was lucky enough to meet Damian after his performance in The Misanthrope in London in 2010 and he very kindly signed an autograph for me (he even spelt my name correctly without asking – impressed!) and I got the chance to tell him that we share our birthday (albeit he is a year younger than me!). My knees were shaking so much during that brief encounter!

    1. Thank you, Sabine, for your kind words and for reading us!
      So you share a birthday with Damian? LOVELY! And this makes you my fellow Aquarius, too!
      And I absolutely understand about the legs!!!! 🙂
      Hope you keep giving us feedback, we love hearing from our readers! Much Love <3

  3. It’s the first time I read this story…I loved it! What a team with Lewisto. Great guy!!! It’s so fun the first line that Damian says to you, it definitely feels like Bobby.

    Love your dedication, passion and enthusiasm. I am sure he did read it!!!

    1. Thank you! I totally agree Lewisto is the best partner-in-crime 😀 This blog would not have existed without his constant encouragement.

      Oh yes Damian was certainly Bobby first (he was literally shooting the “FU Money” scene and then gradually turned into Damian but he used American accent throughout! Thank you so much for your kind words, thank you for reading us and for your support! I love you, Eli! <3

  4. It’s AMAZING story 🙂 !!!! You were great 🙂 !! And you know what? Your blog and BILLIONS has inspired and encouraged me to learn English again 🙂 (sorry for mistakes if there are any) maybe it’s a bit weird but it’s true 🙂
    Greetings from Poland 🙂 !!!

    1. Thank you so much for this lovely note! We could not be happier if we contributed a little bit to the inspiration! But you know what? Your English is perfect and we would love your feedback on the blog. Please keep it coming. Sending hugs and kisses to Poland!

      1. I will often look here, I promise 🙂 🙂 !! your articles are very interesting, reading them gives me great pleasure (even if I have to open the dictionary often 😀 but in this way I learn new words :))
        “See” you soon 🙂 !

        1. Awww thank you so much – you could not make us happier! “See” you soon then 🙂 Long live Damian sisterhood!

  5. I LOVE IT! I think the story about that day was the first one I read on the blog. And now, reading it again, I feel the same EXCITEMENT – I’m with you through all the10 hours with numb feet and everything else… Just one thing: Now I know he’s not SO tall, as I tought then 😀

    Perhaps he has felt himself more confident uttering the FU-line after your meeting 😀

    …It is always very important what you HAVE in your pocket… <3

    1. This is so special. I did not know this was the first article you read on the blog. It was an exciting and an extremely cold day. The excitement (and the hand/foot warmers) warmed me up 🙂

      Oh yeah the confidence Damian has got once he knew I was blogging about him 😀 😀 😀 Thank you for all your support my lovely lovely friend!

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