Waiting for Billions season 5 we had an amusing chat at the 59th Monte-Carlo Television Festival with Paul Giamatti aka Charles “Chuck” Rhoades.
Q: Let’s start with the twist…
PG: Oh…it’s crazy, isn’t it?!?! I can imagine the shock when you saw it happening. They told me about it so I saw it coming…
Q: Well, you had the script…
PG: Oh no; they told me before that, I was prepared. It’s good that they are keeping it so interesting, especially working on the characters more than on the plot. For example, there is more humor in my character now. Just that kind of thing. And it’s great that you don’t know where the show is going to, what is going to happen next. I like that.
Q: What do you like about your character?
PG: Well…what is great about this guy…well, I like playing someone that when is told to do something he doesn’t. I was used to playing characters like this when I was younger but the kind of power he has it’s different because it comes with his age; although he is designed to be a more unstable character in the show.
Q: If you could change one law or add a new one to improve justice, which one will it be?
PG: Oh crab…there are a lot of laws now in the country that have been taken off by guys like this; so I’ll put them back. Because, right now, it’s not a good time and I’ll put them back to regulate the financial crisis.
Q: What was the first thing that caught your eye about this show?
PG: It was the kind of interesting crime story it was supposed to be when it started. It became more than that now, but in the first couple of episodes they gave me to read I thought: ” this is a kind of cool cops vs robbers thing”. And I like the kind of action that is like hidden, nobody is gonna get shot, nobody is gonna land in the back of the truck dead or kind of things like these.
Q: Do you think the show is trying to say something about the state of corruption and politics in the USA?
PG: Yeah, sure. I mean, all the time we are talking about these two different kinds of power. Interestingly, judging is left it up to you. We are showing it for entertainment, the rest is up to the audience.
Q: You wanted to be a teacher like your father…how did you come to your acting vocation?
PG: Everybody in my family is a teacher…generations and generations of teachers. So I was supposed to be one too…but I wanted to entertain people too so…and I really miss do it on a stage. Last time was when I was in college. I really miss that…
We remember him that in the USA is Father’s Day. At first, we see his worried face; then he realizes that in LA is really early in the morning and he starts to talk about his son…
PG: He is 18, he is asleep. My kid is a great kid. I’m proud of him. He is about to go to college. He is interested in history and this kind of thing. He’s not interesting in acting. It would be fine if he was but he is not.
Q: Your character had this huge amount of money and he lost them. Which is your relationship with money?
PG: I like stability. As an actor, I always have to worry about it, so it’s nice to have the security. Worry about work and money are always the worst day of your life. I never stop worrying about it.
Q: How do you stay positive then?
PG: That’s a really good question. But, am I positive?!?! I don’t know if I am. It’s a really good question, I have some kind of faith. I have more faith than I thought I could have. I realized that something would come along. But I always did things I was interested in, even if as an actor it’s part of the deal to accept something because you need to. IT’s something you have to compromise with yourself.
Q: What do you want for your character next season?
PG: I want for him to succeed! Chuck! That’s it! That’s what I want.