By Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
Two friends of WordTheatre®, Damian Lewis and Maggie Siff, received good news when Showtime announced that they will pick up 12 episodes of the upcoming series Billions. This new drama is produced by Brian Koppelman, David Levein, Mike Harrop and Andrew Ross Sorkin, whose book Too Big To Fail was a definite inspiration for the show. Already, the premise of the show has been gaining mass attention and is considered to be a cross between Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and House of Cards.
Damian Lewis, who won an Emmy with Showtime’s Homeland in 2012, is freshly coming off his reign as Henry VIII in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and is happy to jump into another politically and historically motivated project. “I love doing projects where there’s something to be learned,” Damian told Buzzfeed, “the wonderful thing about acting is you can be on a 40-year university course.” Now Lewis will be learning the ins and outs of Wall Street trading with his role as the addictively ambitious hedge fund king, Bobby “Axe” Axelrod.
Joining him on the screen for this exciting project is Maggie Siff, who has held captivating roles in both Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men. Siff’s character, Wendy Rhoades, is the wife of a U.S. Attorney and is already being compared to Robin Wright’s dynamic character in House of Cards. When talking to Nerd Repository about the growth of character dynamics and roles for women, Siff said, “I think the thing that we’re seeing in television, in particular on cable television, is a really wide array of roles for women both in terms of age, ethnicity, type, socioeconomic status. There are just more roles, but I think there are also more kinds of representation happening. I know that I feel more excited about the landscape now than I did five years ago, so it’s good.”
Looking at his own recent success, Damian Lewis agrees with Siff’s view of the changing landscape as he told the L.A. Times, “Oh, yeah. A lot has happened in the last ten years, heck, just the last three years. I am the first to say that I’ve benefited enormously from it. I came of age as a male lead actor just as the TV landscape dramatically shifted.”
Television is changing for the better as more inventive and intriguing series are being created each year. The Billions is bound to be a show of such brilliance with the talented cast and crew that will be working on it. Showtime President David Nevins summed it up best when he said, “With this caliber of writing and acting, I think the show’s authenticity and insider look will have great appeal to a discerning audience.” Granted, the show doesn’t start until 2016, but it is definitely one to put on your radar.