Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti go head to head in "Billions"

With financial market wounds still fresh for those who endured the Wall Street crisis nearly a decade ago, the upcoming Showtime drama "Billions" will touch a nerve.

Actor Damian Lewis plays an ambitious hedge fund king alongside co-star Paul Giamatti, who plays a U.S. attorney.

The Emmy-winning actors relied on financial industry insiders and federal prosecutors in order to get into character for their new gigs as combatants in the world of high-stakes finance. CBS News correspondent Jamie Wax spoke with the co-stars on set.

"I was amazed... It's an arduous job with very little remuneration," Giamatti said. "They don't get paid much, they work in very, not very pleasant conditions. Not an ounce of glamor to it."

"I think they all want to win, they all talk about the game," Lewis said of the hedge fund billionaires. "I think there's a point at which they have enough money obviously to live, but just making more money is part of the game. It's like being at the casino - you want to beat the house. This is why the hedge fund guys sit slightly apart from Wall Street from conventional Wall Street, because Wall Street is the house."

The role of a conflicted American is one the British-born actor has played before.

Damian Lewis won an Emmy and Golden Globe for his work as an American soldier turned terrorist on "Homeland."


The actor said he sees similarities between the internal and external conflict of American finance and world of terrorism.

"I think at the moment, given recent financial history, one is predisposed to not like a hedge fund billionaire, given the crash of 2007, 2008," Lewis said. "And the way in which some people get very rich and benefited from it."

Aside from playing another American on what he hopes will be another television hit, Damian Lewis may soon be on the big screen in a role that's actually British. Lewis is currently listed as the favorite to be the next James Bond.

"Let's put it that way. Nobody's called me. But you should believe it because it was on the Internet. I mean, I think it's obviously true," Lewis said.

Fans will have to wait to see who gets to play Bond, but "Billions" premieres Jan. 17th.