For three seasons, Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti have faced off as each other's sworn enemies in the hit Showtime seriesBut Season 4 sees Lewis, who portrays cut-throat hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod, and Giamatti as former U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades, on the same team for the first time.
"There was always a cowboy and sheriff story. The sheriff is now in cahoots with the cowboy," Lewis told "CBS This Morning" on Friday. "You know, 'Billions,' what the guys always wanted I think to portray is a transactional favor trading world which I think is probably quite New York-y but we're seeing it everywhere now. It's permeated politics entirely and yeah. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Let's not worry about how we get it done, but let's get it done."
Lewis's character, called simply "Axe" by most, is facing an even greater foe in Russian oligarch Grigor Andolov, who is played by John Malkovich. For the first time, Axe admits that Andolov is someone who's willing to do things that he wouldn't.
"I think it's been good for Bobby actually … I enjoy not having to be the kingpin the whole time. I quite like that there's a hierarchy, and he has to manipulate and maneuver around obstacles," Lewis said.
The actor, who came to prominence for his role in another hit Showtime series "Homeland," said he's also enjoying working with Giamatti in a way that is less adversarial.
"Early on this series, season one and two, there was always such expectation when we came together that it was sort of like we got – we got to sort of like puff our chests out, and it was like let's out-Stanislavsky each other, like reach across the scene to each other. And, actually, it calmed down a bit and that's really nice, that we can actually play with each other a little bit. And you know, we'll see how long they remain friends."