British actor Damian Lewis portrays a ruthless hedge fund czar on the hit Showtime series “Billions.” Accordingly, Lewis has been exposed to numerous billionaires as a result of his four seasons playing the role of Bobby Axelrod.
Damian Lewis: All Billionaires Want to Be the Top Dog
Lewis says billionaires have several things in common, but the biggest commonality is their inexorable will to win.
“They’re ruthless, all of them,” Lewis told Playboy. “They want to be on top.”
That’s not surprising, since it’s almost impossible to become super-rich and build a global business empire without being competitive, relentless and focused.
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‘These Billionaires Operate Like Nation-States’
Damian has played golf and dined with billionaires while researching his TV role. He observed that another trait they have in common is they wield enormous influence. That’s also not surprising, due to their massive wealth — and the incredible power than comes with it.
“There’s no question that some of these billionaires operate like nation states,” Lewis says. “They have the ears of prime ministers and presidents around the world, and they influence policy.”
He added: “I’ve got no problem with individuals amassing enormous amounts of wealth. The critical questions are, How did they make it, and how do they use it?”
Because of his hit TV show, Damian Lewis enjoys a somewhat cult-like status among the world’s wealthiest. And he found that they share another unexpected trait.
“A common denominator is the fact that they’re all incredibly good listeners,” Lewis remarked. “I think they want to listen because they want to learn for when they make big bets. They intuit what’s the right thing to do. The risk is in the bet. And the money they put down is huge, so they do everything they can to eliminate risk.”
Season 4 of “Billions” airs Sundays on Showtime.