Damianista’s note: Hi everyone! Damian was Stephen Colbert’s guest on The Late Show on Monday and he talked about his sword fight with Ralph Fiennes in Hamlet on Broadway! So we travel back to 1995 today and revisit Damian Lewis as Laertes in Hamlet on Broadway. ENJOY!
Did you know that Damian Lewis made his Broadway debut some twenty three years ago in Hamlet? So why not travel back to 1995 and chase a 24 year old Englishman in New York today? 😀
Billions is first and foremost a New York show. And there is nothing more natural than the darkest day of the city, September 11, still shadowing the lives and relationships of our characters. Besides, we all know 9/11 was particularly a very dark day for financial services firms many of which had offices in the World Trade Center. Cantor Fitzgerald lost two thirds of its workforce on 9/11.
One of the first things we learn about Axe in The Pilot that he is a 9/11 survivor. He is, in fact, the only partner that survived the terrorist attacks because he was out of office in meetings while most of his colleagues and friends died. And seeing that Axe Capital is located in Westport, Connecticut, we also find out Axe Capital is among the financial houses that chose to move from Wall Street to neighboring Connecticut or New Jersey after the destruction of downtown NYC on 9/11.
We then find Axe in a conference room at Axe Capital with the widows and children of his friends that died on 9/11. Axe has been giving college scholarships to these kids for years. He has been keeping it private that there has never been a press release or an interview with him about it.
You should know by now from my ‘Chuck Seniorisms by the Dozen’ Part I and watching the show Billions that Charles Rhoades Sr., often referred to simply as Senior, is played by the extraordinary actor Jeffrey DeMunn. Senior oozes a noble, high-born conviction with not so subtle hints of a slime ball undercurrent magnified by his Bob Barker mischievous smirk.
Senior is an Upper East Side grand master and epitome of the WASP elite who went to Yale and was a Whiffenpoof. He’s a member of the Yale Club of New York, stores his cigars at Nat Sherman Tobacco Lounge, although in season three he tells Wendy he’s cleaning out a walk-in closet of his prodigal son’s trivial prep school trophies to make room for a humidor, and hangs around with the likes of pals named Tate Tappan and Stuckey Brown, and rubs elbows with Kingmakers named Black Jack Foley.
I personally promised several of you to write about my conversation with Damian when I caught up with him on Billions set back in December as soon as I come back from vacation. I have been buried under teaching and committee work and meetings since I came back that I have just been able to find some time to sit and write. And while it may be a while ago and that I do sometimes not remember what I had for dinner last night, I vividly remember my conversation with Damian 😀
This blog has had an interesting relationship with Billions. I launched the blog only two weeks before they started shooting the pilot in New York and I have been very lucky to catch up with Damian on the set once every season since. I do not know how many times you need to do a thing for it to become a tradition, but catching up with Damian on Billions set once a year certainly feels like a tradition now.
And when I saw Billions signs on Park Avenue on a Saturday evening in December, I thought I could continue the tradition. The signs hint that they might shoot at an ultra fancy restaurant where I could easily imagine Axe eat with other billionaires, and was happy that I could continue the tradition. Continue reading “Catching Up With Damian Lewis on Billions Season 4 Set”