Physically Fit, Mentally Tough: Bobby Axelrod is an Alpha Male in Billions

source: Showtime

As we can’t wait for Billions to hit our TV screens on January 17, we have been thinking, talking and writing left and right on the blog about the show and in particular about Damian Lewis’ new character Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, who, in Damian’s words, is “a prominent, quite well-loved hedge-fund manager over at Axe Capital… He’s a competitive, alpha male, billionaire… But Axe is not ivy-league and damn proud of the money he’s made. He’s not always afraid to show that… But at the same time, he has great generosity, great loyalty, and it’s very much why he and his wife are in such a partnership…”

This is exactly what we expect from a Damian Lewis character, isn’t it? A flawed hero, who, with our favorite actor’s magic touch, will keep teasing us, enticing us and confusing us for twelve weeks — and if this is not heaven, what is? 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

I told you before… Give me a word and I can sit down and write 1000 words about that word and Damian Lewis or a character he brings to life 😀 And, one keyword Damian has recently given us about Bobby in Billions: Behind the Scenes with the Cast promo has been haunting me for a while now…

Alpha Male.

Now… We all have heard about this notion of alpha dominance and have an understanding of more or less what it is all about. Here’s a quick picture of what I think about when I think about Bobby Axelrod as an alpha male…


The Company. The Money. The Enormous House. The Fast Car — Aston Martin V12 to be precise whose price starts from $182K! The Yacht. The Helicopter. The Private Jet. Oh, and… The Girl. No wonder Damian Lewis has recently said at New Yorker Festival: “It’s quite fun playing a billionaire! I have been on more yachts, private jets, and helicopters than in my entire life in the space of the last two months.” 😀 UPDATE 01/01/2016: Promo video tricks me big time! Aston Martin is not Bobby’s car, it belongs to Danny Margolis, a former Axe Capital employee. We have not seen Axe’s car as of yet.

As I researched a bit more on the topic though — you all know by now we are complete nerds on this blog doing a lot of reading and learning — I found out being an alpha male is as much about personality and posture as about money and women. And now I see Bobby’s alpha male traits everywhere I look — the show teasertrailer, recent promo videos here, herehere and here as well as interviews with Damian about Bobby Axelrod.

So… Here is a FUN post about top 10 Bobby traits… or what to expect when we’re expecting our alpha male to arrive and make us fall in love with him 🙂

  1. Confident:
source: Showtime
source: Showtime

This one is easy. Bobby “Axe” Axelrod is a “brilliant, ambitious, hedge-fund king” — a description that screams confidence! And one sees confidence in the way Bobby stands, the way he walks and the way he talks… The man has presence. In particular, the way he speaks at Delivering Alpha conference radiates confidence and borderline arrogance, too, in my humble opinion. And, hey, he seems to be looking into U.S. Attorney’s eyes — note that strong eye contact is yet another alpha male trait — who is there to get him: “The moment I let someone in a government office tell me what I can or cannot buy, I can as well close the shop, but I’m not closing the shop.”

2.  Competitive:

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

An alpha male is a self-driven individual but competition pushes him even deeper into the game. He takes immense pleasure in beating his rivals, and, he can handle himself with his fists when necessary… Heard what Chuck Rhoades was saying to Bryan Connerty about Bobby:

“Bobby Axelrod is like Mike Tyson in his prime.” 😀

You know what Chuck is talking about, right?



So, competition drives Bobby. The shop is open and Bobby’s there for the WIN as he points out in a conversation…

3. Leader:

An alpha male is a natural leader that others always look up to when they are in need for the right direction — well, exactly in the way Axe Capital employees are looking up to Bobby… as he says:

“Play hard! Play clean! Be careful out there!”

source: Showtime
source: Showtime


“Let’s go out there and bring some meat to the camp.”

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

4. He Holds High Morals and Values:

An alpha male is not a “loose” man. He sticks to his principles and is pretty much consistent in his actions. Damian Lewis confirms this about Bobby at TCA Billions panel: “…Bobby is a blue-collar guy who, if you like, is nouveau riche, new money, and I think lives by a code of honor, a set of street rules, if you like, a little bit more. A kid from a blue-collar community where loyalty is fiercely protected and people are dispatched ruthlessly if they don’t adhere to that code.” So… Bobby operates his business with a set of “street rules” which brings to mind a sort of Tony Soprano approach to business… that “loyalty” in the “family” is the most important moral code to stick to and at all costs… and one is simply out if one doesn’t? If you are a Sopranos fan like me, I’m sure you’re now thinking about Big Pussy or Chris. OMG. What do you have in store for us, Bobby? Just hoping I’m safe since I am “Go Team Axelrod” all the way 😀

5.  He Gets the Girl:

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

An alpha male is certainly a ladies’ man; he knows how to treat women, gets the girl and helps her at every chance…Now, we know Bobby and Lara have been partners in love and business for a long time. They come from similar backgrounds and made it to the point where they stand together… Being an equal partner in the relationship, Lara is obviously involved in business even though we don’t know the extent to which she is. It seems she is running a charity and I bet the charity is doing good in the NYPD and FDNY community not just because Lara is coming from a family of police and firefighters but also probably because Bobby “survived 9/11 by a fluke.”

And… getting back to “guy gets the girl” part… Being the beautiful and smart woman that she is, I don’t think Bobby was the only guy after Lara… And he got her. Bobby being Bobby, I can see him having the confidence to step up … But I still think it was more of a two-way street for them that it was also Lara who saw the future she dreamed about in this guy among her suitors… and took him! I really hope we find out more, over the season, about how Bobby and Lara came together as a couple.

6.  Physically Fit:

An alpha male is fit, strong and athletic — a true product of regular workout!  Damian points this out about Bobby at New Yorker Festival: “There is still this sort of gym culture here, gym body that the particular kind of American guy has… I don’t have it… so I have to go and get myself, and it informs the physicality as well.”

Patrick Byas, an actor on the show recently shared a You Tube video in which we see him and Bobby getting ready for some action.

source: You Tube
source: You Tube

Using hints from earlier casting calls for squash players (BIG thanks go to Lady Trader for sharing them with us!) I just make an educated guess that these two are getting ready for a squash match. One aspect of squash that I find very interesting is that players are confined within a shared space which makes interference and obstruction as essential and inevitable — and takes us back to trait number 2! “It’s like the Highlander. There could be only one.”

7. A Guys’ Guy:

An alpha male is a men’s man as much as a ladies’ man. Guys want to spend time with him and have a beer with him. And Bobby Axelrod seems to enjoy the company, in particular of his old buddies from the ‘hood whom he takes on his private jet to a Metallica concert!

Now… I have no idea if alpha males are typically super fans or not, and I doubt they are super fans of anyone but themselves, but hey our Bobby seems to make an exception for… Metallica! Look at his t-shirt!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Master of Puppets was released in 1986 while Bobby was a teenager growing up in Yonkers. It is considered to be one of the most influential heavy metal albums and the strongest effort of the band in that period.

8.  Risk Taker:

An alpha-male takes his chances. He doesn’t stay in his comfort zone. He chases his dreams and makes big investments. He’s a true risk-taker. And here’s Bobby confirming this to Lara as they sip their wine on a beautiful porch: “You don’t get to where I am without tolerating a lot of risk.” (Is it just me or blue looks unbelievably good on this guy?)

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

9.  Calm under pressure:

An alpha male keeps his composure under pressure. He can even thrive under pressure. He does not overreact or get emotional… Even when he has a real concern or is freaking out, he rarely shows his weakness to others and puts on a good front — which I think is perfectly captured in the already famous “Fuck You Money” scene in the pilot episode. As the US Attorney Rhoades is telling him to go away, Bobby is calm and responds with a smug on his face: “I should. But again what’s the point of having fuck you money if you never say Fuck You?”

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

So… Bobby keeps his composure when someone tries to make him look bad… until he hits that rare moment that he can’t… 😀

10.  Persistent:

An alpha male, above all else, doesn’t give up. He is mentally tough. Failure is just a minor setback for him; he gets over it fast and continues to try until he gets what he wants or keeps what he has! I am expecting Bobby Axelrod to be the last man standing and that is why, as I am hearing the song “Digging my own grave” by Nik Ammar on a Billions Promo,  I just can’t imagine it is Bobby Axelrod who is digging… 😀

So we say… GO, Team Axelrod! We believe in our Captain, expecting some good defense from the team in the face of U.S. attorney Rhoades’ aggressive attacks and then even play offense and score the first point against him — who has won 81 insider trading cases and lost zero.

Let’s make it BIG for Billions together!

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!

11 thoughts on “Physically Fit, Mentally Tough: Bobby Axelrod is an Alpha Male in Billions”

  1. Love this so much. Thanks for sharing. He abolutely does look good in blue. I am so psyched for Billions now and your wonderful blog is inspiring more theories and ideas.

    As for Squash, I used to play it in my youth and even at that age we were ruthless with each other. Getting a whack with one of those balls sure did hurt!

    I still think Wendy could possibly hold a key to helping #TeamAxelrod put that 1 on Rhoades scoresheet. As you say, Bobby pays attention to the ladies. From what we see of Chuck in the trailers he appears to be neglecting his good lady.

    Go #TeamGeekyAxelroxd

    1. Thank you!!! I certainly LOVED writing it and I LOVE it that you LOVE the blog and I LOVE the love in our team <3 So much love, huh? Well, you can certainly assess our team captain's squash talent then when the time comes - it would be priceless! For some reason, I believe Bobby is playing squash just because it makes him feel exactly like how he feels about his business - he should always be the last man standing on the court exactly like in business! He is THE Highlander 😀 I am sure Wendy will be a key player, maybe not in squash (hehe) but in scoring against Team Rhoades... and by the way I think those boots on Chuck's chest belong to no one but... Wendy! The Rhoades have some spicy life, it seems... I am as psyched as you, partner, and you are right, containment is OVERRATED!!!!

  2. Containment requires a container to he contained! Love is all around. I would be happy to assess his Squash talent…provided I can focus enough 😉 It is quite an intiment setting and requires good awareness, strength and athleticism to ensure (a) you aren’t spending your time getting whacked by the ball or the other persons racket; and (b) you are owning that court! Squash is also good for stress relief.

    I agree that boot walking over Chuck is Wendy’s, but I reckon her boots may do more damaging (and less pleasurable!) walking over him at some point.

    1. That’s why we MUST watch and re-watch and repeat! I say “Owning that court” could be Bobby’s favorite part of the game!!! Haha I can see how good it is for stress relief, it’s like you’re beating someone, so intense, isn’t it?

      Ha! Wendy’s boots are made for walking!!! She may be the most interesting character of this show. Maggie Siff will be on Brian Koppelman’s The Moment podcast tomorrow, I am so looking forward to hearing what they will talk about this little show called Billions 🙂

      1. Tlhe thing about a Squash ball is that they are cold and hard and require a warm up before they can be played with. They are also colour coded with dots which indicate the difficulty level. Depending which level you are at will depend on which ball you use. The higher the difficulty level the less (and slower) the ball will bounce. It gets very intense!

        Will be good to hear what Maggie has to say…hopefully Brian will get a certain redhead on soon.

        1. Ha! I am telling you you will give Bobby a squash scorecard – haha that’s priceless, let’s see what ball he’s playing with!!!! I think Brian Koppelman knows Giamatti and Siff better and maybe he’s waiting to get to know Damian Lewis a bit better before a podcast – or maybe he’s strategically keeping him for a date closer to Billions premiere 🙂

    1. Promos look so good that they do exactly what they are supposed to do: bring to mind billions of questions 🙂 Psyched about Billions! I am sure this show will keep us at the edge of our seats for 12 weeks and beyond!!!

  3. Great post as always partner! <3

    The chambray tone of blue works particularly well, yes. But, really all tones of blue and gray or, for that matter, white and black, too, seem to do the trick nicely. 😀

    1. Thank you and you are absolutely right! I am not fluent on tones of blue (except for Carolina blue and Duke blue!) but I know each and every one of them looks GREAT on Damian – I think it’s how blue makes his eyes even bluer than they are!

      1. Don’t need to be fluent in blue, just Damian.

        If Bobby isn’t using double yellow (all about colours today) in squash I will assume he deferring to the appropriate colour of ball for a less able opponent!

        Let us hope that Brian Koppleman is opting for that latter suggestion.

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