7 Questions With David Costabile Of Showtime’s “Billions”

2016 Showtime

Wags, the sort of Wall Street ruler of the universe who defines arrogance, showed a bit of vulnerability recently on Billions. In the Showtime drama’s third season (which airs on Sundays), as Bobby Axelrod prepared to go to prison, Wags thanked him for true friendship.

David Costabile of Breaking Bad and Lincoln milks the juicy part of hedge fund manager Wags. He mentions how shocked he is that people constantly tell him that his character reminds them of themselves. Honestly, Wags is not an admirable character.

Costabile has taught classes on Shakespeare’s clowns at NYU. “It is strangely one of my areas of expertise,” he says. “I have played many of them.” He chatted about his unsympathetic character as he answered our “7 Questions.”

  1. What were a few of your first jobs before you got into acting?

My very first job was as a janitor. I vacuumed the church for years and years. A friend of mine, his father owned a building in D.C., and we were cleaning buildings and killing roaches. When I was 18, I was a bartender at Annie’s Paramount Steak House.

  1. What’s a movie you can watch over and over and never get tired of?

Léon: The Professional with Jean Reno and Gary Oldman.

  1. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?

Pretzels, Parmesan cheese and pasta.

  1. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.

Last year, by this playwright that I had met, David Hirson, who wrote La Bête. I met him after a play I had done and I was starstruck.

  1. If you could invite a handful of people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be?

Obama, Groucho Marx, and some great chef would have to be cooking. I like to cook, but I would have Thomas Keller to cook for us. And, my wife.

  1. What was your biggest splurge?

When I first got my first Broadway gig, I looked for an Afghan rug. And my first musical gig was the original Titanic and I did it for almost two years. And I looked for a handmade rug for years. I am standing on it as we speak.

  1. What has been your strangest fan encounter?

There was a guy at Christmastime at an outdoor mall and I was walking down the street. This guy stopped me and said, “Did I go to high school with you?” And, “Do you know me?” I said, “I don’t.” He knows I have been in his living room or bedroom. He’s saying, “I know I know you. I am pretty sure you know me.”