[WATCH] Malin Akerman (‘Billions’) dishes shift from comedy to playing ‘a strong, tough woman’

“The first thing that drew me in was the strong female characters.” reveals Malin Akerman as we chat (watch above) about why she was excited to sign onto the new Showtime dramaBillions.” Akerman plays Lara, the wife of hedge fund managing billionaire Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod (Damian Lewis). She explains, “I’d been actively looking for something that was more dramatic, that gave me something to sink my teeth into. Lara Axlerod is such a strong, tough woman.”

And she clearly relates to her character. “I’ve also come from humble beginnings. For me it’s coming to Hollywood and for her it’s coming into this new society of billionaires. The only way to do that is with a massive drive.” However, the actress also sees herself as different to Lara. “I probably would never threaten someone the way she does. I am more of a kill ‘em with kindness type of person. I’m not quite as full on as she is. I’m not as power-hungry either. With her and Bobby there’s a turn on for the more power they have. I’m a bit different in that way.”

As for working opposite the Emmy-winning Lewis (“Homeland”), Akerman admits, “Our friendship was immediate but the nerves kicked in. Here I am acting with an amazing theatre trained actor. With myself coming from the comedy world, which is very different.” Her favorite moment with Lewis from season one was “a post coital moment out on the lawn. He’s just telling a story. It was such a beautiful day that day. I like when you get moments to breathe. This show is very heightened. There is a lot of adrenaline and there’s a lot happening all the time. So those tender moments have a big impact on me.”

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