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" Films and TV series about money more often than not don't end up making that much of it. But in this case the Brit playing the guy from Yonkers has such power and swagger, and the show is really about power." Sorkin concurs: "Damian can do power better than anyone else.
Showtime supremo Blank acknowledges this: "The real question is: can you take this type of subject matter and make it broadly appealing? He can do it in a hard way and, more uniquely, he has a soft power." What do Sorkin's billionaire hedge-fund acquaintances think of the show, assuming they have found the time to watch it?
He's quite clearly drawn to playing characters at the extremes of life. "But it's the quality of the writing and the theme of the piece that is key." Lewis's dedication to the material is borne out by a story I heard; it seems that he agreed to do after bumping into producer Matthew Byam Shaw in the loo of the Savoy Hotel at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Until that point he had been in negotiations to appear opposite Tom Hanks in Ron Howard's latest Dan Brown adaptation, revolves around finance, so contains lines such as "You see that block trade last Thursday come out of Merrill?
Sure, they're compromised and sometimes they do despicable things, but for some reason they're never not likeable." , is produced by the US TV cable network Showtime (it will air on Sky Atlantic in May).
The network is clearly hoping that the show will ignite debates about the super-rich and income inequality comparable to the conversations that Homeland provoked about the war on terror.
After 'Wolf Hall' and 'Homeland', Damian Lewis became the go-to guy for powerful, frighteningly fallible antiheroes, and his Wall Street titan in 'Billions' is in the same mould.
The actor talks to Tom Teodorczuk about why flawed is more interesting than perfect, and why doing despicable things needn't make a person unlikable"Some of the characters that I've played recently have a sense of destiny and a sense of moral purpose and I like that about them.
Mr Lewis told the BBC he was involved in analysing the then opposition immigration spokesman’s computer during a police investigation into Home Office leaks.
He has put his cloak around him to that extent.” A separate source close to the Brexit Secretary said: “It’s right that allegations of misconduct towards individuals are properly investigated, but police officers have a duty of confidentiality which should be upheld.” But Mr Davis’s defence of his cabinet colleague was immediately ridiculed.