“Billions” has had a long Season 5 break, but it’s ready to pick up where it left off.
As with so many other shows, the coronavirus pandemic shut down production on the Showtime drama series last year when only half of the season’s 10 episodes had been completed. It took a while to ramp back up, but the show resumes with new chapters starting Sunday. (A marathon of the previous fifth-year stories runs earlier that day.)
The animosity between hedge-fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) and public servant Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) is as strong as ever as “Billions” returns. The savvy, almost mechanically self-serving Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) continues to monitor moves made by both sides very closely. Billionaire Mike Prince, played by Corey Stoll, remains an important new element in the situation; Maggie Siff also stars as Chuck’s wife and Axe’s ally Wendy, and Janeane Garofalo has a prominent guest role.
“It felt incredible to come back and continue Season 5,” non-binary performer Dillon said. “I really missed Taylor over the course of the year that we were not working, and the people I work with on the show are my chosen family and some of my closest friends. Being not only able to see them and reconnect with them but also play with them again on film is just a real joy. I’ve been very lucky.”
Intensely specific and focused though Taylor is, Dillon reflected, “The show lives in a very austere environment, and coming out of the pandemic, we’d personally all been through various degrees of loss or trauma or heartbreak. Coming back into a show that has a very specific rhythm and feel, I think it took all of us a little bit of time to find the vibe again. And we were finding it together, which was nice.”
That vibe will continue beyond the five new episodes, since “Billions” has been renewed for a Season 6 that Showtime says will start in January. More twists and turns are inevitable, with Taylor likely at the heart of some, and Dillon stands ready to tackle any new ones the producers and writers hatch.
“I think we’re all excited to discover more about our characters. One of the things I’ve always loved about ‘Billions’ is that everyone is such a professional. Everyone shows up knowing their lines, having done their work to have an idea what a scene is about, yet everyone is flexible enough when a director says, ‘Well, what about this?’ Sometimes, you say, ‘No, that’s not something my character would do’ … but most of the time, it’s like, ‘Oh, I love that. I want to try that.’ ”