Hi everyone! Damianista here. We have been following the Billions cast truly enjoying each other’s company and genuinely supporting cast members’ performances on screen and stage for some time now. We are thrilled to have The Tail that Wags the Dog on the blog today giving us the Billions Family and the fun they have together. And HUGE thanks go to Kelly AuCoin, Chris Carfizzi, Daniel K. Isaac, and Stephen Kunken for providing quotes for the article.
Back in 2013, after he had appeared in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, I interviewed David Costabile for our high school alumni magazine (He and I were a year apart in high school and both part of the same theater program.) As part of the interview, he said this regarding his high school theater days:
“I think one of the things that I still carry through now that I think is so essential about being able to do plays and musicals while I was in school is that there’s a great spirit of fun that is pervasive through the whole experience. And I made great friends while I was doing it and there was a great communal sense about making something. And in the best days and in the best ways as a professional, you get to do that, when it’s good. And that was something that was started back then and I think I’m still served by that today – that there is a real feeling of “I love what I get to do and I get to have fun while I do it.” And on some level that almost seems unfair, but it’s something where it’s a direct line. I don’t really feel that that’s gone away and it was always something that was true about doing shows then. that there was always a great sense of communal fun. And that still resonates for me. That’s when I also know I that I’m doing a good job when that is happening.”
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) March 25, 2019
This sometimes happens during the weekend of filming Episode 402 when @SpursOfficial plays @LFC and Axe and Spyros meet in Brooklyn for a derby that of course Spyros loses. Never bet against Axe, Liverpool, or @lewis_damian @SHO_Billions pic.twitter.com/qzn7ls8HEZ
— Stephen Kunken (@stephenkunken) March 25, 2019
@MorgensternsNY just did a thing that I only will describe as deliver X-mas 5 days early 1 scoop at a time to @SHO_Billions & if you haven’t done the #koppelmancake u haven’t done the Dessert masterpiece of 2018. @KellyAuCoin77 @Lulubellestiles @DanielKIsaac @briankoppelman pic.twitter.com/V2xORjJRJN
— Stephen Kunken (@stephenkunken) December 21, 2018
Just as David achieved that in his productions in high school and college, it seems clear that he has again achieved this professional zenith through the cast and crew of Billions. The writing is absolutely stellar, and the performances of the cast are equally superior. But what makes the show that much more enjoyable for the fans is seeing what a great sense of community there seems to be among the people of Billions. This can be seen more regularly each Sunday before and while the show officially airs, as Twitter comes alive with members of the cast and crew commenting on the episode and reveling in the antics of each other’s characters
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) April 12, 2019
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) April 29, 2019
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) March 17, 2019
— Kelly AuCoin (@KellyAuCoin77) May 13, 2019
I can tell you, as terrific a guy as he is an actor. Happy Birthday DeMunn!! https://t.co/06fFR36k9T
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 26, 2019
— Samantha Mathis (@samanthamathis) April 14, 2019
— Billions on Showtime (@SHO_Billions) June 7, 2017
It can also be seen in their support for each other’s work outside of the Billions set.
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) November 16, 2018
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) April 19, 2019
Look out for my man Waggs as their manager..!! Costy can do anything. https://t.co/92WbYtdRco
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) March 18, 2019
#Billions goes to #Broadway!
Happy Opening slash Congrats again to @TootsieMusical!!!
Run don’t walk to see @Lulubellestiles as Sandy!!! She steals the whole show!!!#BillionsFamily #TeamAxe #TeamDollarBill #AriSpyros #TeamHelena #TeamBonnie #TeamBenKim pic.twitter.com/irTekRBToA
— Daniel K. Isaac (@DanielKIsaac) April 24, 2019
go see condola. she's fabulous. https://t.co/GDVNJh6ZKT
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 22, 2018
— Kelly AuCoin (@KellyAuCoin77) April 27, 2019
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 24, 2019
— Samantha Mathis (@samanthamathis) April 30, 2019
And if you still don’t believe that this is a special group, then listen to the words of some of the members themselves:
“The thing about the Billions company is that we all look to our left and right and see the level of talent in literally every position. When you do that you realize that you are guilty by association with this Murderers row of talent. It’s a heady feeling and we all just really love to play together. It’s a bit like a jazz ensemble. Each of us get our different moments to riff at lead and to also hold down the base of support. Our successes are tied. Now Most of the credit goes to our casting director Alison Estrin and the show creators Brian and David. They are as attentive to the ensemble and filling it with teammates as they are to their scripts and story.”
“I originally come from a background in theatre where you’re used to making immediate families and then letting them go on closing night. The Billions Family has been such a gift from the universe because we are fortunate enough to keep the family over several years. And hopefully for many years to come.”
“We often talk about each other as the Billions Family. In my experience, it’s been that way since day one. Whether it was Daniel putting his hand on my shoulder to welcome me, bonding with David over our newborn kids, talking travel with Malin or sports with Keith or listening to and learning from Asia, there is an ease to being with these people. It comes from the top down. Brian and Dave are always there and always very supportive. Suddenly, you’re taking a car to see Kelly, seeing Daniel’s work off-Broadway, catching Dan at the Comedy Cellar or watching Sarah be brilliant on Broadway. Of course, there’s Damian, who when I had a very hard day to shoot took the time to give me the nicest pep talk I’ve ever had. It’s a family.”
“I am ridiculously lucky. The people I work with on Billions are absolutely lovely. The days can be long and grueling, but, even if I’m hauling my ass out of bed at 2:30 in the morning, I’m always happy knowing I get to play with these ludicrously talented and, just honestly GOOD, people.
It rarely happens like this. Most of the time, in a good working environment, people get along, but the relationship begins and ends on set. This group has truly become like a little family. We’ve gone to shows together, travelled together, started outside projects together, given each other advice, and simple hung out together. I love my Billions fam.”
“We get on far too well,” says Damian Lewis, seated next to Paul Giamatti, in a Los Angeles Times article. “It’s a miracle the scenes work at all…..The fact that anything gets done — that looks even remotely usable or serious — is actually astonishing,” agrees Giamatti with a laugh.
“We [fool] around a lot.”
Talent alone is not enough to carry a show, just as it is not enough to carry a team. There have been countless examples of sports teams that were loaded with talent but didn’t win it all because they didn’t have the proper team chemistry. This team has it all, the talent, the coaching and the chemistry – which is what makes it such a pleasure to watch. When it is obvious how much fun they are having, it helps the audience join in on the fun. And is there a show having more fun than this crew? I don’t think there is, and of that, I am not uncertain.