EXCLUSIVE: 'Billions' Star Damian Lewis on Whether His Character Bobby Axelrod Would Vote for Donald Trump
By Raphael Chestang
Former Homeland star Damian Lewis is once again captivating audiences on Showtime, this time through a ruthless one-percenter on the drama, Billions. The character displays a level of confidence not unlike presidential candidate Donald Trump, who Lewis admits might share similar political views with his celebrated role.
In an exclusive interview with emmy magazine, Lewis speculates on whether Bobby Axelrod, his hedge-fund billionaire character on Billions, would vote for the former Apprentice star.
Axelrod matches wits against Paul Giamatti's U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades on the series. Convinced that Axelrod is making his fortune through insider trading, Rhoades leads a crusade to take him down.
The dueling characters are complex, showing both honorable and devious attributes, and Lewis points out what he feels are Axelrod's most likable qualities.
"His confidence, I think, is appealing," he shares. "I think his blue-collar roots and the way in which he epitomizes the rise of the working man and I suppose subscribes in some way to the idea of the American dream -- that any man can make something of himself. I think that's attractive to people."
Lewis also notes that Axelrod's devotion to his wife might make audiences sympathetic to the character as well.
"I think it's appealing that he's married to a woman of his own background," he says. "Malin Ackerman, who plays my wife, is staggeringly beautiful, but she is not a trophy wife. She's someone that he has known most of his life and is from the same sort of neighborhood."
Despite winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing Nicholas Brody on Homeland, Lewis' biggest role has been that of family man, and one in which he is extremely likable.
The 45-year-old British actor has a 9-year-old daughter, Manon, and an 8-year-old son, Gulliver, with his wife, actress Helen McCrory. While it's hard for Lewis to leave his family for stretches of time to film, sometimes there are perks to the job the whole family can enjoy, like meeting Metallica.
"Metallica showed up in the first season," Lewis recalls. "I had met Lars Ulrich a couple of times previously and he was kind enough to give a pair of his drumsticks to my son, who is a drummer, so that's pretty cool."
Lewis' interview with emmy hits newsstands on May 17.