May 31 - June 3, 2018

BILLIONS: The Ultimate Power Struggle

GIFF Staff and Billions creators and actors pose on the red carpet before the screening. (L to R) Colleen DeVeer, Wendy Reyes, Neil Burger, David Levien, Colin Stanfield, Terry Kinney, David Costabile, Ginger Stickel and Brian Koppelman. Phot Credit: Getty Images
GIFF Staff and Billions creators and actors pose on the red carpet before the screening. (L to R) Colleen DeVeer, Wendy Reyes, Neil Burger, David Levien, Colin Stanfield, Terry Kinney, David Costabile, Ginger Stickel and Brian Koppelman. Photo Credit: Getty Images

“Power is the ultimate currency,” reads the poster for the new series “Billions”. The Greenwich International Film Festival was honored to host the CT premiere of this new TV series from Showtime.

The show stars Damian Lewis as hedge fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, CEO of Axe Capital, and Paul Giamatti as US Attorney Chuck Rhoades. Supported by the amazing Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman, this show promises to deliver the ultimate power struggle: money vs. the law.

Drawing inspiration from several famous hedge fund leaders, Damian Lewis strikes out in a drastically different character as compared to his acclaimed roles in “Homeland” and “Wolf Hall”.

David Levien interviewed by GIFF COO Ginger Stickel before the screening of “Billions”. Photo Credit: Getty Images
David Levien interviewed by GIFF COO Ginger Stickel before the screening of “Billions”. Photo Credit: Getty Images

GIFF was privileged to have acquired the screening through GIFF Board Member David Levien. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the show’s co-creators and executive producers Levien and Brian Koppelman, director of the first two episodes Neil Burger, and actors David Costabile and Terry Kinney. The panel was moderated by acclaimed New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein.

This series has several local ties that attracted GIFF to the show. A portion of the show set is Westport, Connecticut, in addition to Neil Burger being a Greenwich-native and David Levien is currently a GCDS parent.

During the post-screening panel, Levien and Koppelman discussed how Maggie Siff’s character, Wendy Rhoades, is a crucial character in this series because she grounds these two powerful individuals. Burger even said that after reading over 100 female actors, no one embodied the character quite like Siff. Siff’s character, as an in-house performance coach for Axe Capital, drew from famous performance coaches like Tony Robbins to capture the role accurately.

GREENWICH, CT - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Terry Kinney, David Costabile, Neil Burger, Brian Koppelman, David Levien and David Edelstein attend the GIFF Screening of Billions with Q & A at Greenwich Country Day School on January 8, 2016 in Greenwich, Connecticut. (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images for Greenwich International Film Festival)
The post-screening Q&A. (L to R) Terry Kinney, David Costabile, Neil Burger, Brian Koppelman, David Levien and moderator David Edelstein. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Thank you to our sponsors for the evening: Sotheby’s, Getty Images, Showtime Networks, Greenwich Magazine, Stella Artois, Val’s Putnam Wine & Liquors, b.Good and Le Pain Quotidien. Additionally, we would like to thank Greenwich Country Day School for being so accommodating and allowing us to host our event on their gorgeous campus.

Be sure to tune in for the series premiere “Billions” on Showtime January 17th at 9pm, or stream it online now.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Lindsey Hascher
About the author

Lindsey Hascher has spent her whole life in Fairfield County. After spending 8 years at Convent of the Sacred Heart on King Street, Greenwich has been her home away from home. She is currently a senior at Quinnipiac University studying Mass Communications with a minor in Computer Science and Digital Media. After volunteering for the inaugural festival in 2015, she wanted to get more involved with the year-long process surrounding the festival. In her spare time, she works part-time at SoulCycle Greenwich and tries to see as many films as possible.

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