Greetings from the Trader’s Desk!
Here at FanFun we think there is something you should probably know: we love “Billions”! We are always trying to bring you different points of view and unique opinions on our favorite show. But, what if we were part of the show? Who would we be? What would our role be? We decided we would explore those questions in “Cast Yourself in Billions”. We each wrote up a short character description and a short scene. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we had writing them. Now on with the show!!
Character Description: Her name is Bleau Rainstorm “Raine” Coonhead, a Native American who grew up on an Indian Reservation in Oklahoma. Daughter of Chief Coonhead, a Creek Indian and Nicey Buffalo, part Chippewa Indian, part French-Canadian. She was born at midnight during one of the most hellacious thunderstorms ever recorded, with an F5 tornado confirmation. True to Native American custom her father named her after the first thing he saw in nature immediately following her birth—a RAINSTORM with thousands of jagged fractals of lightning displaying a rich, velvety, midnight BLUE sky with every crackle. Her mother demanded a French spelling, of course. She is the 7th child, with six older brothers: Running Hawk, Tebotan, twins Meeko and Mokie, Bear, and Cyote. She’s a 34-year-old photographer and painter, exhibiting her work at a vanity gallery space in New York.
Scene: Midtown Manhattan art gallery off of Madison Ave during the evening hours of Spring, 2018. She sees the back of a tall, slender-framed man, standing completely still and staring at her painting. She can tell both of his hands are tucked into his front jean pockets. Instantly Lana Del Rey lyrics enter her head, “Blue jeans, white shirt; walked into the room, you know you made my eyes burn. It was like James Dean, for sure; you so fresh to death and sick as ca-cancer.” She walks closer toward him, almost facing him now, and instantly feels a deeper connection with this stranger–similar to imprinting of Native legend and myth. Raine wants to be in Eden with him, shamefully. He turns his head and catches her staring at him, displays a devilish smirk with one eyebrow raised higher than the other and asks,
Bobby: “Is this your painting?”
Raine: (stammering) “Yes.”
Bobby: “And the inspiration?”
Raine: “From a photograph I took of my niece standing on the Ponte Vecchio bridge overlooking the river Arno in Florence, Italy.”
Bobby: “Can I see the photograph?”
She hands him the photo.
Bobby: “The original photograph was taken with black and white film?”
Raine: “Yes. The colors and hue variations used in the painting are from memory.”
The Art Dealer sees ‘Bobby the Billionaire’ speaking with the artist and joins their conversation.
Bobby to Dealer: “Sold. Have this wrapped up and sent over to my new Manhattan office by tomorrow morning. I want it hung in the foyer with the Remington.”
The Art Dealer rushes to place a red dot on the painting and scurries away.
Bobby to Raine: “I’d love to see more of your work. I have a new office to decorate.”
Raine scans this auburn delight before her, from his thick, rich hair to his hands and notices he is not wearing a wedding ring. She then replies, “That sounds nice, thank you.”
Before he leaves Raine snaps a photo of him standing next to her art—she wants to seal this memory in time. And she has found inspiration for her next painting.
Francesca “FRANKIE” DeNapoli: Mid 40’s, long blonde hair, and hazel eyes that change with her mood. One of the few women who broke the glass ceiling and runs her own fund. Hails from Brooklyn, and never lets anyone forget it. Has no “formal” education, but has worked on The Street for 30 years. The chip on her shoulder almost as big as Bobby Axelrod’s.
INTERIOR – BALLROOM, EVENING
Loud and crowded charity event being held at the Broad Street Ballroom in the heart of the Financial District. A “Who’s Who” of the Wall Street crowd is here to be mostly seen, but also heard. What the charity is doesn’t really matter. They’ve all paid $100,000 per table.
FRANKIE, in a black cocktail dress and AXE, in a black tuxedo, are both standing at the bar waiting for a drink.
Looks like they’ll let anyone in this place.
Yeah, I was wondering who let you in.
The bartender interrupts their banter to ask what they’ll have. AXE gestures to FRANKIE to order first.
Heineken in a bottle.
FRANKIE turns to AXE and leans her elbow on the bar.
Well, at least I didn’t spend a night in Central Booking.
AXE rolls his eyes at having to relive the memory of that night.
The bartender brings over two beers with two glasses. FRANKIE picks up the bottle and drinks straight from it.
It’s a fucking shame what that prick Boyd did to you. You know, there used to be honor among us thieves; now everyone is out for themselves, going all Sammy the Bull.
You know about that?
Of course I do. Nobody takes a piss in this circle without everyone knowing.
AXE scans the room, looking suspiciously at everyone.
FRANKIE sips her beer. She looks straight at AXE.
Axe, whatever you need, I’m here for you. That piece of shit Rhodes is trying to make an example of you. If he takes you down, who knows? Maybe I’m next. These guys can’t do what we do because they don’t have the plums, so they feel they need to take us down a peg.
AXE smiles slightly, knowing this fight is his and his alone.
Thanks Frankie, but this just may be a bit more personal with Rhodes. Appreciate the sentiment, but I’m ready for him.
FRANKIE nods her head.
If anyone can take out that bastard, it’s you Axe. You and I, we’re kids from the street. Fighting is what we do to survive. He has no idea what he’s up against. My money’s on you, Axe.
AXE picks up his beer and takes a sip. He notices on the other side of the room WAGS is getting into a heated discussion with a tall, older man.
I’m going to destroy that little man, Frankie, believe me. Have a good time. I gotta go. Looks like Wags is trying to fight one of my battles now….
Damianista’s note: Hey Billions! If you need a mid-40s, 5’6”, size 6, fake red head woman with glasses and a Turkish accent, I’m your girl, call me! 😀
Well, who is this new character Bobby is looking at?
Spring Atkinson is in her mid-40s. She moved to the US from her native Turkey to attend business school, met fellow student Andrew Atkinson and married him. The couple pursued careers in academia. They are now professors at a prestigious research university.
The following scene assumes Bobby was enrolled in Business School, at least, for a while.
Spring Atkinson is at a university reception held in honor of a mysterious donor who recently made a $10 million donation for complete renovation of several buildings on campus. While she is busy talking to a few colleagues, Bobby enters in his usual attire.
Bobby looks around, raises an eyebrow and smiles. He walks towards Spring as the camera zooms on her very surprised face.
Bobby gives her a kiss on the cheek: “Long time no see, B.”
“So the mysterious donor is YOU! Well, thank you for your generosity! But I’m no longer B, Bobby. I adopted Spring as my American name years ago.”
“Ha! I gave you that name in B-School! Because of your cheerful spirit. I should have patented it.”
A moment of warm laughter.
“I read about the indictment in the papers, Bobby. I’m sorry.”
“Well, the university did not mind the indictment when I offered the money. Everybody knows that power-hungry douchebag does not have anything on me.”
“I hope all goes well with the case.”
“Fuck it. Hey, I need a drink before the rituals. May I bring you a glass of Sancerre?”
As he is coming back with the drinks, Bobby spots a man he has known for as long as he has known Spring. The three of them were inseparable in B-school.
“Oh, good old Andy is here, too. You know what? I will never understand why you chose him over me. I was better looking. I was smarter. It was obvious I would become very rich.”
“But you were so obsessed about getting rich and getting even while all I wanted to do was to make enough money to see a lot of theater and travel the world. I am not even talking about your emotional spikes, Bobby. I guess I took stable life over uncertain adventure.”
Bobby evades his gaze:
“I was an animal, wasn’t I? Maybe I still am… Well, cheers to old friends and (in a slightly sarcastic way) your stable life.”
As they clink their glasses, Spring notices Bobby is not wearing his wedding ring:
“And where is YOUR better half? I would have loved to…”
The university president who appears to make the big announcement interrupts her. Spring and Bobby find themselves surrounded by cameras trying to get a good shot of Mr. Robert Axelrod. Bobby winks at her, puts on a fake smile, and approaches the podium to huge applause.
Being that I already am an entertainer, casting myself in Billions seems like a no-brainer. How would I appear on the show? Well, as the Queen of Christmas herself, Holliedazzle!
And where else would Holliedazzle perform, than in the one and only Slipper Room.
Sitting at 167 Orchard, it is quoted as being a “Burlesque theater & lounge where patrons can watch variety shows from the main floor or mezzanine.” You can check out lots of NSFW photos on their Yelp reviews.
So one of the coolest things about the industry I am in, is how much representation we have of LGBTQIA community members. It’s still, of course, not nearly ENOUGH representation to stop striving for inclusion, but I’d say we’ve got a head-start on many industries. So in my vision, Taylor is attending the show that Holliedazzle is performing in. Taylor, being gender non-binary, might be visiting a friend and burlesque community member who is performing at the Slipper Room, and just happens to be at the same show as me!
Of course, businesses like Axe Capital don’t keep strict 9-5 hours, and they would be pulled away without getting to enjoy the entire show. But it’s ok, Holliedazzle’s signature festive style might have been just a little over the top for Taylor’s pragmatic taste. Taylor’s cell phone rings as the sound guy cues up Andy Williams’ “Happy Holidays”, and a red and white clad peppermint princess makes her entrance.
Saved by the bell, Taylor. They excuse themselves quickly and scoot out onto the street in front of the theater, as the audience at home hears the audience cheer as Holliedazzle starts to work her magic!
It’s a quick appearance. No lines, no extended screen time. Just a blip on the radar in a fantastic show set in a fantastic city. Someday I’ll get to visit, and maybe I’ll end up on stage at the Slipper Room for real. 🙂
Character: Zooey, a hedgie groupie.
Scene: Busy restaurant. Bobby, Wags, and Dollar Bill sit at a table, huddled over their beverages.
Zooey tiptoes over, like she’s sneaking up on them, oblivious to the fact that it’s a noisy bar and no one can hear anything anyway.”Excuse me, you’re Bobby Axelrod, right?” She can barely breath, her shoulders drawn up to her ears as if to shrink herself. “I’m a big fan.”
“Oh, thanks.” Bobby rolls his eyes at his table mates and takes a supercilious turn towards her. “You follow the market, do you?”
“L-like a hawk.” Zooey drops her bag on one seat and plops down on another. “Been tracking winners for a really long time, and you definitely are one.”
“Just what about my business is so fascinating to you?”
“Your eye for numbers, your eye for what goes on under and around the numbers, it’s just captivating to watch.” Zooey leans in. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked forward to Wednesday’s paper hitting the stoop so I can read an entire section on what you do and who you are.”
Bobby throws his head back in laughter. “Boy, that’s old school. Now, every day is business day.”
“Print and digital!” Zooey pauses to thank the waiter who’s placed another water at the table. “The confidence you show at gambling such large chunks of money, of just knowing where to put it all, and for how long. Knowing when things are hot, when they’re not, who to play, who to avoid, when to go long, when to short, it’s all just so….fascinating.”
“Okay, then.” Bored, Bobby turns away. “Thanks for stopping by.”
Zooey continues. “You know there are some cultures that consider gambling a sin, equal to drinking too much and fornication.”
“Oo, did I just hear my favorite F word?” Wags says, then elbows Bobby and leans in to whisper. “Want me to get rid of her Axe?” Without waiting for a response, he turns to Zooey. “Who are you and why are we still letting you talk to us?”
“Sheesh, Wags, rude much? She’s my fan, not yours,” Axe growls. “Look, I need you on that thing early tomorrow so why don’t you call it a night.”
Wags gets up to leave. “How about him,” he says, motioning towards Dollar Bill.
“I got no place to be, I’m staying,” Bill says. “Let’s get another round, shall we?”
Witnessing Axe choosing her over Wags renders Zooey speechless. Her chin drops and she wiggles in her seat. “Sorry, what? Did you ask me something?”
Bobby smiles, takes a sip of his drink, glances up to see Wendy approach their table. “Doctor Rhoades? This side of the bridge so late on a weeknight?”
Wendy nods at the men and locks eyes on Zooey. “Who’s this, Bobby, a new hire, you let slip past me?”
Zooey giggles. “Oh, I’m nobody, just a groupie.”
“Nice purse, groupie.”
“It’s Zooey.” She gives the purse an affectionate pat. “Gotta love these, big enough to hold a dead body.”
“Interesting name,” Wendy says. “You don’t have a dead body in there right now, do you, Zooey?”
“Uh, no. Here, let me move it so you can sit.” Zooey scrambles to pick up the beast and tosses it at her feet. “My parents named me Julie. My brother was two and would say Zooey, so it stuck.”
The two women continue their grinning fest much to Dollar Bill’s amusement. He stares with mouth poised over the straw in his negroni, following the interchange like he’s midline at the US Open.
“I love your jewelry,” Zooey says as she reaches to touch Wendy’s bracelet.
Wendy traces her fingertips on the thorn pendant at her throat. “There’s a designer in Brooklyn who uses medieval medical instruments as her inspiration. I’ll give you her number, she’s great.”
“Instruments of torture scaled to delicate jewelry size, love it!”
Bobby gestures to the waiter. “A round of Pukinya shots and some Volgograd beluga for the table, please? Keep em coming.”