EXC: Damian Lewis RETURNS to Billions as he reprises role of Bobby Axelrod in London shoot


Damian Lewis was pictured reprising his role as Bobby Axelrod in Billions on Friday night – after announcing he had quit the Showtime drama a year ago.

The actor, 50, wrapped up in a brown padded coat as he filmed scenes for the Critics’ Choice nominated programme outside the Tower of London, with the rest of the cast including Maggie Siff and David Costabile.

In October 2021, he confirmed he would not be returning to Billions after season five, which is usually shot in New York City – claiming he wanted to stay closer to his family in the UK after his wife Helen McCrory died six months earlier from breast cancer.

Shock: Damian announced he had quit the Showtime drama a year ago

Emerging: Damian Lewis was pictured reprising his role as Bobby Axelrod in Billions on Friday night – after announcing he had quit the Showtime drama a year ago

He wrote on Twitter at the time: ‘Thank you Billions thank you. A pleasure and a privilege to play Axe for 5 seasons with some of the smartest, funniest most talented cast and crew I’ve worked with…

‘I’ll miss the Billions family. Yep, some jobs are more than just a job…. Love.’

Speaking to The New York Times, Damian said: ‘There’s an opportunity maybe for me to return. But for now, broadly speaking, Axe has been vanquished.’

Showrunner Brian Koppelman took to Twitter to pen: ‘What an incredible joy to spend five years working so closely with the great @lewis_damian!…

He's back! In October 2021, he confirmed he would not be returning to Billions after season five, which is usually shot in New York City - claiming he wanted to stay closer to his family in the UK after his wife Helen McCrory died six months earlier from breast cancer

He’s back! In October 2021, he confirmed he would not be returning to Billions after season five, which is usually shot in New York City – claiming he wanted to stay closer to his family in the UK after his wife Helen McCrory died six months earlier from breast cancer

Chilly? The actor, 50, wrapped up in a brown padded coat

Busy bee: He filmed scenes for the Critics' Choice nominated programme outside the Tower of London

Chilly? The actor, 50, wrapped up in a brown padded coat as he filmed scenes for the Critics’ Choice nominated programme outside the Tower of London

Upset: He wrote on Twitter at the time: 'Thank you Billions thank you. A pleasure and a privilege to play Axe for 5 seasons with some of the smartest, funniest most talented cast and crew I've worked with...'

Upset: He wrote on Twitter at the time: ‘Thank you Billions thank you. A pleasure and a privilege to play Axe for 5 seasons with some of the smartest, funniest most talented cast and crew I’ve worked with…’

‘@DavidLevien and I are beyond grateful to you, Damian, for the work, of course, and the fellowship, and for all you sacrificed to come do this with us.’

After filming of his final episodes remotely, Brian said of Helen’s loss: ‘We wouldn’t ask him to come to America in that situation. Right after the love of his life passed away, who was a remarkable, incredible artist and human being…

‘It’s Damian’s private life, so it’s not really ours to comment on. We just feel truly, unbelievably lucky to have had five years with Damian and Paul Giamatti together.’

Back last July, and before he announced his departure, Damian was seen back at work filming Billions after Helen’s death. The father-of-two was seen chatting with crew members as he filmed scenes.

Tragic: After filming of his final episodes remotely, Brian said of Helen's loss: 'We wouldn't ask him to come to America in that situation. Right after the love of his life passed away, who was a remarkable, incredible artist and human being...'

Tragic: After filming of his final episodes remotely, Brian said of Helen’s loss: ‘We wouldn’t ask him to come to America in that situation. Right after the love of his life passed away, who was a remarkable, incredible artist and human being…’

He continued: 'It's Damian's private life, so it's not really ours to comment on. We just feel truly, unbelievably lucky to have had five years with Damian and Paul Giamatti together'

He continued: ‘It’s Damian’s private life, so it’s not really ours to comment on. We just feel truly, unbelievably lucky to have had five years with Damian and Paul Giamatti together’

Talented: Back last July, and before he announced his departure, Damian was seen back at work filming Billions after Helen's death. The father-of-two was seen chatting with crew members as he filmed scenes

Talented: Back last July, and before he announced his departure, Damian was seen back at work filming Billions after Helen’s death. The father-of-two was seen chatting with crew members as he filmed scenes

His co-star Paul Giamatti, who plays ruthless attorney Chuck Rhoades, was also seen on set. The hit series follows the pair fractious relationship as they try to outdo each other in the competitive financial market.

It marked Lewis’ return to work after the loss of his wife of 14 years.

Damian announced the heartbreaking news that Helen had passed away back in April of that year, sharing a statement on Twitter.

He penned: ‘I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.

Group: Damian seemed to be in deep conversation with his colleagues on Friday

Group: Damian seemed to be in deep conversation with his colleagues on Friday

Exciting: Camera crews huddled around the cast as they put their acting skills to use

Exciting: Camera crews huddled around the cast as they put their acting skills to use

Iconic: A Tower Guard was seen on duty while the Billions crew got to work

Iconic: A Tower Guard was seen on duty while the Billions crew got to work

‘She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.’

He later revealed his late wife had urged him to find love again just two weeks before her death, adding she had shown ‘no fear, no bitterness’ and ‘no self-pity.’

Writing in The Sunday Times, the actor said Helen told him and their children, daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13, that she wanted ‘Daddy to have lots of girlfriends’.

He wrote: ‘She has been utterly heroic in her illness. Funny, of course — generous, brave, uncomplaining, constantly reminding us all of how lucky we’ve been, how blessed we are.

‘Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures.

Comeback: Damian is pictured in-character on Billions

Comeback: Damian is pictured in-character on Billions

‘Only a couple of weeks ago she said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get though the funeral without snogging someone.’

Damian also wrote of his heartbreak that Helen had left their children ‘too early’ but they have been prepared for life as she taught them to be ‘courageous’.

He stood by the actress’ side during her illness, with Helen brushing off her hoarse voice in her final TV appearance last month to selflessly talk about their charity work.

The couple’s devotion to one another shone brightly for all to see, with Lewis saying the actress died peacefully at home surrounded by ‘peace and love’ and their children.

His love: Damian and his late wife Helen arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit in 2012

His love: Damian and his late wife Helen arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit in 2012

Helen, who was awarded the OBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Years Honours, was best known for playing the matriarch Polly in Peaky Blinders and Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.

Her other movie roles included playing MP Clair Dowar in Skyfall and Cherie Blair in The Queen and The Special Relationship.

On television, she appeared in Doctor Who, Inside No 9 and His Dark Materials, and last year appeared in the Hugh Laurie drama Roadkill on the BBC and ITV’s Quiz.

She also had an accomplished stage career, winning plaudits for National Theatre roles in productions of Medea and Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea.

McCrory was also was nominated for an Olivier for her role as Rosalind in As You Like It in at London’s Wyndham’s theatre in 2006.

The actress and Lewis married in 2007 after falling in love when they were both cast in the play Five Gold Rings at the off-West End Almeida Theatre back in 2003. Together they share a daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13.

The couple were last seen during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, where they appeared to speak about their charity work for the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s Trust Awards.

McCrory and Lewis led fundraising efforts to provide hot meals for NHS staff during the pandemic. Their work led to almost £1million in donations to the Feed NHS scheme, and partnerships with chains including Leon and Wasabi.

Starring role: He appeared on the show alongside Malin Akerman as Lara Axelrod, Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades and Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades.

Starring role: He appeared on the show alongside Malin Akerman as Lara Axelrod, Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades and Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades.

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