There are few actors who have done as many different roles as Paul Giamatti. The Oscar-nominated actor won a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award for his work in “John Adams.” He’s been in “Downton Abbey,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “San Andreas,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Ratchet & Clank.”
He’s so versatile, Giamatti cuurently is starring in two TV series at the same time. Giamatti can be seen in the second season of WGN America’s “Outsiders,” the story of struggle for power and control in the hills of Appalachia. Starting Sunday night, he returns for a second season of Showtime’s “Billions,” the story of struggle for power and control in the world of Wall Street.
The second season of “Billions” picks up immediately after the season one finale, which ended in a head-to-head confrontation between hard-charging U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) and billionaire hedge fund king Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis).
The finale has given Giamatti a different way to play Rhoades.
“He is more vulnerable and he’s getting hit from a lot of different places. And so I think he changes by intensifying. He makes choices. Again, in the show, I begin training in jujitsu at some point, and that becomes a metaphor,” Giamatti says. “He tries to focus and hold himself together more. That’s what he strives to do. Whether or not he ends up doing that, I don’t want to say until you see the whole thing.
“But he definitely tries to kind of pull himself together and gather his forces. I think he was almost cracking more last season. He was more on the verge of cracking last season because he was losing control more.”
The two series are just the latest in a long career for Giamatti. It’s a career that would have never happened if he followed in his father’s footsteps. His dad, A. Bartlett Giamatti, was the president of Yale University before becoming the seventh Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He only served 154 days but that was long enough to banish Pete Rose from professional baseball.
Paul Giamatti was only 22 when his father died.
“I never took advantage of his being the commissioner. I guess I should have used that to go to more games,” Giamatti says.
Even if he tried, Giamatti probably wouldn’t have had the tgime because of all his acting work.
Season two of “Billions” begins 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 on Showtime.