Prop Improv with Damian Lewis – Redux

L: Tardis from Dr. Who; C: Wonka Bar from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, ghost trap from Ghost Busters, Wilson from Cast Away; R: Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter

According to Wikipedia, a prop, formally known as theatrical property, is an object used on stage or screen by actors during a performance or production. In practical terms, a prop is considered to be anything movable or portable on a stage or a set, distinct from the actors, scenery, costumes, and electrical equipment. Based on that definition, clothing, shoes, hats or scarves would typically be out of play, but we are going to bend the rule just a bit and allow it! Interesting enough, consumable food items appearing in a production could be considered props, too.

So you know what all this means? It’s game time! Name three stage or screen props you would most like to own from the set of any of Damian’s theatre, film or television series and explain why. As an added bonus, some of us came up with an original or funny use of the prop, without using the prop the way it was intended. Let’s play Prop Improv with Damian Lewis.

Continue reading “Prop Improv with Damian Lewis – Redux”

“From the Trader’s Desk”:
Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music *UPDATED*

**UPDATED**

There are many things that Bobby Axelrod and I have in common: New York born and bred; working class backgrounds; very non-traditional road to Wall Street; our love of gambling lead us to our career paths. However, the one thing that has always been my favorite commonality is our love for heavy metal bands and their music. Heavy Metal is not the most well known genre of music, so let’s explore Bobby Axelrod and his music, and what it says about him.

In each season of Billions, at least one episode has featured a song and a t-shirt of a metal band that must be Axe’s favorites. The writers of Billions don’t do anything just to do it, so we know that these choices are there to tell a story, shine light on who the character is, and to set a tone.

Metal is very misunderstood: devil worship, drugs, biting the heads of bats, or just screeching guitars may come to mind if you say the words “heavy metal”. But, it is so much more than that! Last season, I used Black Sabbath lyrics to open (and in some cases close) my “From the Trader’s Desk” recaps. In most cases, if I hadn’t referenced it to Sabbath, you’d have wondered what philosopher or poet I was quoting. Metal lyrics are some of the best I have ever heard; they tell stories of pain, loss, confusion, success, etc. – lyrics that would certainly resonate with a young man from Yonkers whose Dad has up and left, and whose home life is full of conflict. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk”: Bobby Axelrod – a Man and his Music *UPDATED*”

Marry, Shag, Banish – Billions Characters

It’s game time!

Marry, Shag, Kill is a popular game in which players are presented with the names of three celebrities. Of the options presented, you must pick one to marry, one to shag and one to kill. But instead of killing, we’d rather banish to an island and instead of utilizing real celebrity names, we will play using Billions characters. Each of us has picked one Billions character to marry, one to shag and one to banish. You can play along, too, in the comments section or during your next road trip or dinner party!

So welcome to Marry, Shag, Banish: Billions Characters Version! Let’s get started.

Continue reading “Marry, Shag, Banish – Billions Characters”

Take the M Train to Billions: A Visit to Bobby Axelrod’s Favorite Pizzeria *UPDATED*

bobbypizza7

We already published Billions Season 1 Dining Guide,  Season 2 Dining Guide, Season 3 Dining Guide, and Season 4 Dining Guide, but Bruno and his Capparello’s Pizzeria or real life Rosa’s Pizza have become such a staple in the show that the pizzeria absolutely deserves its special tribute!

Bobby Axelrod, as much as he is a man of confidence, seems to feel most comfortable in his skin at Capparello’s echoing that Yonkers boy who wants to “get rich and get even” when he grows up. Every scene at this corner pizza joint reveals a thing or two about Bobby and THIS alone makes a trip to Rosa’s a MUST for me and my partner-in-crime Lewisto. And a comment on the blog from a reader, Alaston, saying “If you DO go to Rosa’s, get the Grandma slice” triggers it that we find ourselves on the M train heading to Rosa’s in August 2016.

So who folds it better? Bobby or Me?

foldingpizza

We start with a virtual trip, revisiting the four scenes we saw at Capparello’s in Season 1 before our real trip, and highlight what we learn about Bobby in each one. Then we follow up with our real trip to Rosa’s Pizza and discuss the use of the pizzeria in the following seasons of the show.

Bon Appetite! Continue reading “Take the M Train to Billions: A Visit to Bobby Axelrod’s Favorite Pizzeria *UPDATED*”

A Tribute to Everyone’s Favorite Billions Moment: The Fake Fight

“Pretend we’re having an argument.” —Bobby Axelrod

source: Showtime

Well, back-to-back tweets from Damian Lewis and Kelly AuCoin in January — and on my birthday of all days — made this re-post inevitable! 😀

https://twitter.com/KellyAuCoin77/status/1087820075321708545

I mean, a broken rib, a busted knee, what is next? It seems these two are not pretending anymore!!! 😀

And with the hope that both Damian and Kelly have had a full recovery by now, we share our tribute to everyone’s favorite Billions moment one more time.

ENJOY!

A good hour of television absolutely starts with good writing and I pride myself in calling Willie Reale, the writer of Billions Season 1 Episode 10 Quality of Life, a genius way before I find out that he is, in fact, one! I don’t know if you are familiar with MacArthur Fellowships also known as “Genius Grants” but Mr. Reale is a recipient of this fellowship “in recognition of his ingenuity in creating theater and theater education programs for young people.” Bravo!

Quality of Life, with Donnie’s memorial service being at its heart, has a number of moving parts; however, Mr. Reale delivers the story seamlessly with a number of timely back and forths between the memorial service and all else going on and the episode’s director Karyn Kusama perfectly translates the writing into action. And, in my humble opinion, Brian Koppelman’s tweet sharing with us that the fake argument scene between Axe and Dollar Bill was Reale’s idea alone deserves standing ovation for this brilliant writer! Continue reading “A Tribute to Everyone’s Favorite Billions Moment: The Fake Fight”