"The Limitless Sh*t," Season 5, Episode 7 With David Costabile


Hey. Brian Koppelman and this is David Levine. This is behind the billions for episode. Five Oh seventy midseason finale, our special guests than hanging because our special guest. David Constable rags who directed this episode kicked didn't kick ass if he really did. I, we could circle back to him. You know in directing portion, but just right off the top. He showed up so prepared he had just mapped it all out and sort of left nothing to chance, which is a great way to go about it especially when you're doing for the first time. And it's the third episode that the two of US wrote with Emily Hornsby who just contributed tremendous amount to the episode and to the entire season, and so one more shoutout to hornsby who started as our assistant, and worked her way up in his now just a major writer on the show, just just going to have a long career, and hopefully someday will hire us. I agree with all that especially the last part and she's such a great organizer. You know like when ideas are flying around. It's like they all get apprehended by her and. Sort of slammed into shape in a way that we can use it and we don't lose it and. Then when we divide up the scenes, she's proficient at executing her scenes. She really I mean. You know for somebody at the beginning of their writing career. She just really needs so little. Rewriting compared to zero season players, she's a writer, just a pleasure to work with all around. Yup It's true so Hornsby I'm sure you've heard enough of voices that you're not actually listening to our podcast, but if you are great work, I mean she's very thorough, but that would be super thorough I hope she's doing something else with her weekend or so. I, guess Rohan or someone else friends who does listen just be like Oh yeah. The Guy said. Don't make a lesson. Surely really wants to. So Dave. Where should we? Where should we start talking about this episode? you know. I think that we should start talking about sort of one of these central ideas in the episode, which is something that we have wanted to? Delve into for a while the idea of these high end mental performance enhancing drugs that the pharmaceutical industry is very busy creating. Your pro visuals your new vigils. We've. We've sort of had a tiny bit of field experience. We've seen other people that swore. That swore to them swore by them. We've also seen. And felt the downside of all that energy and focus that the down that comes after the high up well as your effect that it can have long-term over somebody's sort of sense of story will also would group what group think comes into play. and everybody's engaging in that behavior it can. The whole thing could just star moving absolutely, and then there's sort of no random outside on it. As the episode portrays, you know Taylor's sort of off premises the whole episode and walks back into it. you know sort of? Sober if you will and understand that there's been like a major. Compass shift over the course of the day and then. You know this didn't feel that far from us. There's a huge connection in all this. We call the episode the limitless Shit, because we thought that it was a hilarious reference in the way that you'd prefer to this stuff, but it's a reference to the Neil Burger movie limitless, and of course Neil Burger is complete billions family because he directed the pilot and another couple episodes. and. You know we 're able. Believe in to tap him as a resource, I remember during pre production on the episode. We grabbed this cinematographer Giorgio and and Costal. We all had a meeting and talked about filming ways that we could. Express. You know the feeling of what was going on with these people and you know we sort of paid visual Oh Maginot in a slight weight to the way he'd done it, and he shared other thoughts about how he came to it. That I know health constable immensely and of course meals. Are you and I saw a? An early screening limitless because Neil's been our friend since nineteen ninety nine. And Nineteen, Ninety, eight, maybe actually and you know. We worked on movies together and all that stuff, so yeah, it was great to get a shout him out. shout him out in that way and. You know this also is an episode where. Jock is finding himself in. A tight spot and is making making moves, and it's the beginning of really understanding how the story is GonNa turn an involve chuck. Axe and prince in some way as the season pushes towards towards its end yet another matter that that chuck was wrestling with in here was You know this this kidney problem that he's trying to solve for senior. And that brought on a lot of research I remember at the time. This was being discussed and sort of loose terms. Ben Metric was still in the room and his brother is like top transplant surgeon. and. People were getting him on the phone and asking questions, and we were getting these incomprehensible sophisticated medical answers. But we were able to distill it down finally into You know this this kidney donation subplot. In the fact that that this episode kind of works as a midseason finale is just a great. Lucky break I. Think Levin, because Yeah, we, we just so happens. It builds to a climax point. I mean often like these these midseason episodes. Are! I wouldn't say episodic. There's always the. Elements in our show, but like it could just be like things SORTA, it could be like the middle stone in the little path that you're hopping down without in ending that sort of substantial away, and it would have been really weird unfortunate to have to break off for an unspecified period of time because of the pandemic with sort of. A less Chris Bending is this one worked out to have? Yup. Yeah. That's totally true and It feels to me, I mean. We had no idea when we were writing this episode. Sort of what was coming, so it just feels like a good break that. that. That's the you know that that's the case I will say. We had to make if the segues into the script to screen. Thing As a result of that. We made some changes in the way that we ended the so this is a result of seven becoming the the mini finale. You're saying so yeah, and the part of this is like a director's commentary of a movie or something like so for people who are interested in really the process. We had a a a three seen maybe a four seen runner involving. A few of the characters that who weren't. Chuck at acts caps X. Capital characters, and it was very humorous. It was a comedic runner. That kind of came off of the Mensa runner in the last episode episode five Oh six. And as we cut the episode together. Every time we went to that story, although it was entertaining, funny and the performances, I mean Kelly. Are At the heart of that story and they were both magnificent. Dollar. Bill and Speros, but it took the. It was raising. You know you're not keeping your foot down on the gas at it was taking your foot off the gas, and and and it just made episode less tense and less exciting, and since the episode now had to serve as the finale for now we couldn't afford that. It broke our hearts because it was something we loved in writer's room. Yeah, you know it. Really lighten the proceedings. which was exactly what it was designed to do because. Often in the middle of the season I mean for us. It can't be too funny I. Mean we love the laughs that are coming out of this supposedly serious setting when these characters are shown their. Stuff Yup, we love it, but here it was just like. You know the plot needed to drive towards this suddenly established finish line in a way, and that just made it seem like to lighthearted. So we had to do the hard thing of editing out the entire runner. And you know I guess there's a world and I like that. You're being elliptical about it and not saying what it is because there's a world where could come back and be in another episode. Maybe maybe not, but you know it was. It has a really funny I. Don't want to give it up I. Don't give up the whole runner. In case. We decide that we can do it someday. We, and. Are there any other big sort of script to screen changes that you're aware of? I think that that was sort of like the major one. As. I always liked to do that. What changed at the? Table, repaying so. All, the stuff between scooter and prince was rewritten after the table read their their. Those scenes were a little bit Pure business and we we, we realize that by. Daniel Breaker so great that we were just like we have to keep. People always asked you right to actor. It's like by the time we were ready to do this episode. It was clear to us that we wanted to enter break to be a part of the show in a big way when he's around then, so we wanted to really make sure that stuff meeting between Between Cranston scooters and I think we by then. We'd landed on this idea that. Fitting very much into the billions universe, prince's a guy who made who's very conversant movie references, but we just thought it would be entertaining that scooter for all of his brilliance and income you know comprehensive knowledge of every other topic just hadn't bothered watching a lot of movies. Yeah and it works great and Daniel plays that stuff so well I loved the idea that you know he. He knows the composer of every opera ever and could sing them and all that stuff, but. Not He's. He basically knows exactly what he's saying when they reference a movie, but he just hasn't. Seen, it yet suppose he's been in this world so long that that that that he's had to become a knowledgeable enough without without having seen it. What should we go to next I? Mean generally we go writers. We kind of covered. We kind of covered that 'cause. It's US in Hornsby. And we talked a little bit about cost -able. You know. I guess if somebody would see that a major cast member on A. On a show had directed an episode. They may think that it's just something that the person gets the raise their hand and ask for the chance to do or. That the executive producers come to that guy or woman and say like. Hey, would you like to? but in this case it was possible who raised his hand several years ago and He'd never directed anything. He directed stage, but but never on TV or films so. You know we. We have like. A deep belief in his competency, but we said well. We're going to give you the answer that we give. Basically who comes to the show to direct? Who hasn't really done it before like you have to shadow episodes, so you see the process and we've talked about it how you know that means going to every meeting every location scout. you know being in everything that? A director of an episode is doing this shadow goes to and gets exposure to now. This was paired with cost ables, having to work his actors hours the early calls or the late nights, and then he would have to take off the wags garb and show up in the scouting van. You know maybe six hours later, not getting his actor turn around because he was in a different capacity, all of a sudden, and it's not an easy thing to do you know it certainly would weed out somebody who? WHO SORTA thinks they want a direct for the glory, but not the hard work part. But he did it he and then you know. Would he do season three episode and then season four, he came back and did another episode today's. Yeah two different directors and He did. wonderfully well, and I think he did a great job in the episode and we'll. We'll keep our segment of this little shorter than usual because I. Think we should bring him in for a long time. You know we should bring him in and have a real combo about the absolutely so. Crew Superstars we as we kind of come into this mini finale. We can't not single out. Two gentlemen that have been with the show since the pilot who are so important to billions being what it is, and that's George Patios, the key grip and J fortune gaffer. You want to tell everybody what those guys do. Well. Yeah, nothing would be litter shot. If those guys didn't do what what they do, the grips are responsible for. Getting everything in place and figuring out how to get the camera where the camera needs to go had a lay any track that needs to be laid how to basically a get get everything where it needs to be and solve a million in one problems all the rare games that are rigging cameras on cars. yet moving into. Locations and making sure that the gear. That we need is there when it's needed. And that even I mean it is so much more involved in that, because both of these guys are filmmakers, the gaffer's gaffer and his department electric department they figure out work very closely with the cinematographer to light everything they are the ones who hook up all lights regulate all the lights deal with all the lights and everything having to do with electric amount of a whole show. Yeah, and they work closely together because the the grips will put stuff in places, and then the electric has to make the stuff work, and and so like these are the nuts and bolts of the job. which you know, these are already complicated jobs, but these guys in particular bring such a care and an artistic approach to it that they're really filmmakers. Your were aiding the the director and cinematographer, and it's amazing to watch how that you know when Jay's setting the lighting? It's not like he just has them flicked on, and then just lets the DP duty wants. They have these conferences where they talk about the mood. That's being expressed the best the best tools to communicate it. You know whether it's gelling a lighter. What kind of light the quality of the light the caller the intensity? And you know Georgia's. They're making that happen. If they need to cut off the direction of a light, he'll, he'll go up the ladder himself. Even though there's a whole host of people working under him that could do that. He wants to make sure that you know flags, putting the right place or Qatar you know he. They're all people are talking about what's impossible to do. George Passos and Jay Foreigner are going under. No, it's totally possible, and they're finding away to execute the creative vision, and then to to improve the creative vision by how they. They do things you know being a place where someone say well, there's no way to get a light up high in this spot because you can't put a crane in this George will look at Jay I'm a corner and kind of talk to each come back and Michael. We know how to do it and suddenly. Yeah, suddenly you exact light is the exact height you need, and it's the exact light that you wanna those two guys figuring out with their teams, and there had to get this Larry S and unflappable, and it's great having them and then. A counterparty. There's in physical production as we're talking about production. Is a CO EP on the show. WHO's the line producer in who has been for the last couple of seasons? That's April Taylor in. April worked her way up. She was a unit production manager in the first season and has worked her way up to now. Running physical officer production, so she does everything from crunching the numbers on the budget, and to making sure that all the departments are getting what they need you know. She needs to sort of look at the script and be part of the triage process to understand. What's the most important part of the story? We're trying to tell and how to divert the resources to that you know who can, which department can do with a little less or is going to need creative thinking and she works hand in hand with George J making sure that they. Have what they need to deliver and. She's tireless and she's terrier. Working to make sure that the best version of the show gets shot and put on screen, her family said perfectly said. April is an invaluable partner of ours and as That is a very very difficult job and it the pressure on that position. Is Extraordinary and She really rises to the challenge and it's Listen any any any executive producer show runner who says it's always a joy dealing with the parts of the job. The line producer has to deal with because libraries cut personal also has to say base the only person who ever asked to try to say no to us, so that's not an easy thing to have. Yes, the line producers wedged between the exact producers in the studio in the studio. You know want a good show, but they also always want to save money if it's possible. And an April is really gifted at knowing what's important coming to us with real solutions when The appetite we have is too big, and sometimes we say well. We're GONNA. EAT that meal anyway. We'll figure it out later and sometimes we. Pass on it, but she's. Truly extraordinary helped us so We want to out on this midseason finale episode of behind the billions. Lottery Frence's lot of guests cast. Let's talk about her. We blaze into it, let. Miles Davis, Spanish keys playing in the opening dinner, which is hilarious I mean. We both dabble listening to miles. Davis at various points of our lives. We're talking about Jackson pollock. I mean. We talked about him when we were kids. Wondering about angry I'm so angry at ourselves for not yet putting that one line and I'm not even gonNA. Say it now. 'cause I WANNA hold it so that we haven't said the lime in this show yet. Is that we we literally one of the biggest things we said to each other in the last twenty years has to do with him, and we have not put it in the show. It's crime, Dave. It's a gosh. Darn crime then Chuck Mentions Your Billy I. Wish to the Young Law students. Students, which is hilarious there? There's yes the Billy Irish reference. He says he also says when he's talking about trying to take Krakow take dead aim, which is like a back door. Harvey p Nick Reference to Great Golf Instructor it sure as we get a coach Belichick Taryn. Brown Shane the warriors, Wag, the dog the last Great Mamat. If you're wondering if Merle if we call the Guy Merle because of the godfather to don't wonder you're listening to this podcast and have watched the show I think you know why the guys named Merle. There's a Tom Cruise reference. A few good men E to Mama Tambien. A movie that was so magical to us that. Well not exactly as Taylor says the I only saw it once. Did you ever see it again? I never memory of that movie to be exactly what it is from it I don't WanNa, break the magic spell of that movie by feeling differently about and watching it now, and that's so Taylor says that Taylor had slightly different resent movie and on me are two movies that are so perfect in my memory I in a certain way. Although I normally watch movies of over and over again. you know. I didn't want to upsell. Glad. We got crystal in there. which is not only a I WANNA be. I think you and I should be clear that that is not only a reference to a few good men. It is also a reference to a few good scouts. Yup. People should find that on Youtube. A few good scouts from from the old Ben Stiller comedy, sketch show. High, council it is. It's a little shoutout to the Ben. Stiller show fans as well and then the episode closes with the heavy going to the mattresses riff. BET gives way to a METALLICA hardwired rift to elements very close to the heart of the show, very deeply deeply baked into the show, but also we can't just run past are magnum reference because the things that have really have to do with the two of us I mean if you and I didn't when we met at fourteen and sixteen years old. If we talked about clean, would movies for a day. We talked about them for four years nonstop. And there's a reason that they're mentioned in rounders. Everybody drank and why. We brought Magnum force. Back Magnum Force has things in it that have stayed that that movie had a huge weird influence on us. I think in in lots of different lots of different ways, even for me, even more than than than dirty Harry, it's so heavy and violent and corrupt and wrong. It's just wrong on so many levels and And actually relevant right now. It's always stayed relevant somehow, and it's. It's even more relevant right now, but it's just a weird counterpoint to need to Mama. Tambien first-half wags really doesn't Mash up there in the wags they're. They're not really. They're not really the same and then. Of course, a midsummer, which I still haven't seen, but trust you. Thank you yes, you don't want to be Midsummer D-. No I know that about the movie it might be the only movie reference ever in the history of the show that I. Don't know the movie personally, but I just don't like those kind of movies and I. can't bring myself to watch it. I watched it alone and. Laughed and was horrified and scared and delighted. And then I have to shout out the reference of busted. If you don't know that record by Ray Charles, go get it. That is one of the greatest three and a half minutes in the history of popular music. It is I remember hearing it at twelve, and it had that Harold Bloom Strangeness of Twelve Years. Old I found that record. I put it on. And I remember just being completely shaken up by just totally shook by what I could barely comprehend as a twelve year old and I went and listen to it again today. They have ended still just thoughts you up. It's so goddamn great busted Ray Charles go listen to that track. Okay? You sold some Ray Charles. Now hadn't Maria Sharapova get back into this episode back into the show suddenly in this episode. Well what do you mean how? I mean you know that's a left field kind of OPOLE radio? Well, the idea was like what I mean. Access accident at the end of five or six says. You know you, Tanner says to Wendy. All bring someone. He doesn't mention wags. We brought in as backup somehow in between. Maybe I'll bring someone he said, and this is your. Well, it just seemed that. Who's actually going to date? Who's he gonNA date and try to sort of show Wendy in his own way that. He's not that easily sort of Intimidated or played or any of that stuff, so he brings an and I'm really glad you brought me up. I. Mean what a professional. She just totally delivers. Well, it's amazing you know she doesn't. She's not a formally trained actor like all these other people and that was a very long seen to shoot because of all the angles took all night. But you know. She showed no signs fatigue. She was sharp during every take even for all the other people's off camera stuff. She nailed all her lines. She had a total understanding what was going on, and it was like literally I believe the day after she denounced her retirement. Yeah, and I will see when she walks onto a set. People are on their best behavior. She hasn't. She is one of those athletic leadership. People like you're just like Yup. That's that's Dal. Alpha female. Is that a term? It should help person. She just an Alpha here that she's an Alpha. But But also very kind of Nice Yup great to us on the show Scott. Cone came back as Pete Decker. which we've loved this guy since the first season we've all. We've always wanted to work with them up until then and any time we can wrap him back into the story. To five people decker being on the show, Pete deckers on the show. And then his cohort on this who is is the incomparable Rick Hoffman is Dr. swirled low from suits. we could talk about that a little bit more. When constables. Yeah but I do want to say From the moment. I know from what I saw that guy add suits. I was like I got to get this guy on the show and I showed him to you and you're like Yep. Let's get him on the show, but then we'll bring this up the cost then. We didn't think of him for the role because I. Honestly I didn't think he'd come. Do it or whatever and then Dave brought it up Kosti did and you and I immediately like go get him. To come to the show, let's do it. And then the second he showed up. We started hanging out with him. We grew up six minutes away from him. We grew up with all the same people and I think we're all. Deliver maybe three years older. Yeah, but your wife was like in his Co... She was in high school. They went to high school yeah. Wild wild stuff. Danny strong came back and just put on a tour De Force performance as as in this episode men. That was entertaining And then some real sort of cameo players Mary Giuliani. The. Show longtime, Jeff Caterer personality in new. York, and irregular on the Rachel Ray Show and yes, she she was fantastic on the show, and then at the go ahead. Keep going see Abacha. Yankees legend. That was super cool. Yeah that was a wild wild day, I got to podcast a the moment with him, and then have him come out for the and you just recently done. Pardon my take right. Well Yeah, and then I just don't partake in and Pfc. comments came out that he's the one who's hanging with with certain. Cc and it's great. He hasn't told anybody so when the show airs. Big Cat knows, but that's it. It's GONNA be awesome. His his his audience GonNa Freak Out we think that, and then a quick shot at our old friend Alison cantors who was in that scene to WHO's notable in the art world. Oh. Yeah. It was great having Alison on. She belongs in the billions universe, and then mark Lazarie came back. He's been in. Is this results for sewer three episodes, but has been an just a not just invaluable I mean essential to the conceiving of in writing of various episodes and storylines on the show, a huge help to the two of US owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. And he is rolling in that scene with David Solomon. The head of Goldman Sachs, also known as Dj de Sol, an actual legitimate DJ. Yup Dj any may tracks, yeah, and a great a great presence on grade presence on the show. I've been lucky enough. We both have to spend some time with David, and he's a fascinating person who men. Nobody knows this world like David Solomon and I'm so glad that he watches the show and that he wanted you know was willing to come and lend some credibility to this De. Because we were. We try to figure who would be it. Would this kind of an art show and it would be people like ceases about the A-, and it's people who have the kind of money that they could just spend it on art, and it would be people AAC. David, Solomon and Mark Lazarus, House and calendars and that's just what that world of the show. Yeah, these people are really populated the the kind of. Of People that acts would wanNA show his new artists to so that they regarded the new artists potentially bought his work in the future, thus driving up the value of what acts owned and a and a great legendary New York trader Richard A game. Anthony was there too, and he's another guy who buys art and He's a a notable card player and Bobby von around town, and I was glad that game got to show up. Yeah, it was great and I remember people on the production asking us if we wanted to pack the room with thumb regular background players. You know people acting pretending. They were there as guests of access and we were like. No, he doesn't need to fill the room. He needs to have the people in the room. Be The these recognizable people who are the right people It's not a mass event. It's a curated event that acts put together. Exactly right and No, it was a just a great turnout, great great setting and Anything else you think we ought to cover before getting cost in here. No, I mean you know. Kasey totally understood the vibe of that night. And Shot. It well chilled as a director. I let let's let's get him in here. Well Levin this. I mean think I've heard you say it to me. Actually like basically any minute we get to spend with Dave constable is a better minute than the minute before Dave constables one hundred percent, it's it's a plus it's a life plus minute the fact there were years after we'd known and worked with Costea that we didn't get the player with him and hang around with them on a daily basis it it. My voice sounds slightly I know like I'm fucking around 'cause earnestly at this. Earnestly feels a little bit sappy, but I earnestly mean it cost to. You know we love you and. Thanks for joining us in the behind on the behind the billions. Happy to be here. And Congratulations Dave! I think actual applause and this guy pulling off. Directing. Field. Directing the episode first time I on director. First Time Well I. Mean You know? Why don't we start there lake well? You have directed theater. But, erecting TV Y Y Directing TV. What made you WanNa do this after all shows you've done and all the years of billions. They one of one of the things that really interested me night, said this from very beginning when I asked you guys. into whether it would be possible. and Women Brian said like you can in season fiber. Great terrific, that'll never happen. You still see that's not fair. When of I literally ever said anything to you? That didn't come true I. Know But I. I'm cynical optimist now, not the mystic cynic. It smacks of a fob off because there's no guarantees you're getting a season five. Yeah, exactly I mean at that point we had just started season to. Season but not? Sure. How season five be great if we got season by? Yes, but before you answer we can. We can fill in some background here, which is, it's not like you just hung around and and sort of hoped or nagged us or something you. You put in the work. Shadowed delayed. You shadow the full episodes. Yes, sure you get. You said you gotTa Shadow twice. Chirp at seemed interesting to me, too, and I think just sort of generally you know. I never really had an ambition to. Go out and become a director like a gun for hire my interest in primarily was. When when you have a long collaboration like three already had a law flap ratio, and the idea that you could be in a larger longer liberation with crew members and other cast members and the writers, not just you guys, but all of the writing that you had done collectively over those many seasons it seemed more. It seems and still seems more interesting to me as a as somebody at what the value that I could add to that was. was only from being on the inside, rather than coming from the outside and being like hey, about this about this, it seemed much more exciting to me. from process point of view to to be able to be able to be inside of it so deeply to know it, and to never really have to question question where the writers wanted to go, so it wasn't. It wasn't like Oh, maybe the writers I don't know. Maybe they like this That seemed very interesting and then, and then from a performance standpoint. It seemed it seems so much easier to walk into a room with Paul Damian. Magyar Asia anybody even even guests that we had. And and come from a place a from A. Place of I know where you're starting and I know I know where you are even in length of the process of this long story. And That Was the best case scenario, and some of it was the best case scenario the empty even have the length of time from when I started shadowing to win. I addressed there wasn't any That wasn't what made me nervous. It didn't. It didn't fill me that the anxiety I wouldn't know. How attack, or how to even begin to ask a question, and even when I got pushback from anybody, even from you guys, it see it made sense in terms of. The whole picture about the about all five years in about the long novel, and even the long even for us between the three of us, the longer discussion blabber whatever collaborative. Place that we started from and the history that we have so it just it seems an, and that still seems truths. If somebody was asking me the other day, like well. Does that make you want to do more and to the extent that I could have this kind of situation? It does so if there were. Any number of of pieces that you would wanna make if there were enough people that you were in a long term conversation with then yet. Yet carry that forward well, I mean season ten is right around the corner. Comes back around again. Only make sense absent by five years off. You'll step right right back in. Really think think about that. Well I mean listen. You were totally comfortable With the cast their close friends years there your peers. You've worked at them for years. You are an accomplished actor. You're trained actor so that the performance part was not an aspect of this that we ever had any concerns about, but I would love to hear like what was harder than you expected when it was time to do this. If you take that part out. I think the the stuff that was. The the speed the speed with which you're making decisions. The speed with which you guys are also making decisions, the the difference between. Having a conversation with you as a producer versus having a conversation with you as a writer or even as a writer, who is sort of asking you about performance or put a moving you towards some idea about it in performance That was it was. It was hard because I don't I didn't. You know. I'm obviously not a conversation that world and it's and. That was that was challenging for sure There were there were definitely times when there was. There was a couple of you know. There's a there's a some some moments of the fog of war, which were very very foggy and. Challenging whereas I think accomplish directors. Don't get that foggy I think that I was just like I. It happened the very first day on the very last day. Like inert like a an exhaustion of nervous energy that stopped it from being able to see clearly or something also. You're trying to like in the moment when you're. You're actually trying to hold the whole picture as opposed to again. In, fairness to you but Kosta. To you the last day, the first day for every director is how the first day I ever. We luckily had insurance day like no one's ever seen our first day of shooting through it out. That's true. They've Levin. There's crews. There was a problem at the lab and it turned out to be a great break for us. It was amazing reshot everything on our way true. It was an actual problem. You're burn that earned that shit like I don't WanNa. See it. There was a matte box light lightly and. We then leaned heavy into it to get everybody to agree to make an insurance day, but I mean yeah. There was a moment when they were like well. We could fix some of this and post in the insurance money to that we were like. Why don't we just do it again? Yeah! We just flushed our first day ever. For Real Twenty years ago, we had to because the first day so scared. Put the last day. Here's what you're dealing with. A production that was gonNA shut down for for covid within twenty four hours. fifty visit, fifty or sixty of background players in a small area. Some touching moments. Around sort of where characters and actors were going major guest, stars major pieces of billionaires onset, who we had to manage for friends that we had to get shots of because of where their status is in that world, I mean it was a lot to manage on your last night and I think the art and acting, and then certainly yeah in the acting and the and the first day because we had. Had the added aspects of drug that there was a whole nother was not just a single wasn't just a straight online. Just should shoot show and do what you know how to do that. We were you guys were finding out what it what it was in in in real time, and you're seeing it and responding to it immediately, and then being like okay. How is this manifest? Because it had so many implications for? The rest of the episode. How how is everybody going to get on this particular age ballots with the drug? Taking is GONNA. Look like and how it's going to manifest and that was. Don't challenge, but as I said I set at one point I looked at Georgia. Or Georgia somebody and I was like I was like. Does. It goes so fast. It goes too fast because you also just you know when you're in when you're in the rehearsal of their enough people. You're like okay. I can I can take him. There fifteen people here I can take everything that everybody's doing and then all of a sudden. Crucial! Hundred people, and you're just like. Your head is just spinning. You can't believe in all of a sudden. It's happening and and it's just like no getting, but you got. You had a great command climate that you set you a really wonderful with the actors I wanNA, talk a little bit about you and wags. We've we've. been a couple panels. We've done where we've discussed this very briefly. But I was thinking this morning. About your whole involvement in the show and as you know. We call you and we said we want you to play this part wags. You have to come audition, but you're the only person who's GonNa Audition. We're GONNA make sure it's you you came in. You did the audition, but the character was a quiet character. We had a totally different idea, and then between the pilot between us. When we watched the pilot, we cut your the the big scene that was going to intro you in Damian got cut. And so that we decided to introduce acts a different way. Then you're part was very small, the pilot and which we we knew we were going to start changing the character, so we made it small, so it wouldn't. He would make a big impression. You made the change beautifully. But I wonder. Were you freaked out when we had that launch? And we said Hey, the character has to go one eighty. You have to become the sky wags in a totally different way. It did freak you out at all. Didn't so most would freak out. Why well couple of reasons one is that? I knew that you knew that I could do it. So I knew that you knew that I can do it. You nobody, but you guys ever would have cast me in that role nobody. Nobody nobody nobody. There's no way I've never played played bad as before, but I've never played somebody who was so outside of the box and so aggressive and so cruel, and just like such a animal and. You guys were just like that guy can do it like you knew that. My sort of sublimated rage would be able to come, and just, and then when you started to write it and how you started, develop it because you guys didn't know either. It wasn't like you at planet you had written entire, tireless different dynamic Sweden two central characters that that the whole Soba the whole Buchan deal annual original through original inception was that wags was much more toned down sort of in contrast to an axe, who is like fiery and running all over the place, but then Damian. Sort of brings this cold controlled kind of a stalking panther kind of a vibe, and we were like Oh. Okay, this is so clear now lags has to be the it of the place, the unrestrained part and you know people who watch closely may notice that that in between episodes one in two you go from clean-shaven and sort of like buttoned-down like sweater, kind of vibe to the goatee with like the little devilish twist on the must add, and you know like the the the slick shirts and Blazer vibe, yeah! And you know just just from a process point of view. That's you know. I have been trained to become a transformational actress. That you're supposed to transform, so do transform change, and that is you know I? Think people look at you, know my career or the roles that I have played in. They're like you'd play so many different actors and be like all right. That's because people right so many different eras, and the whole point of the job for me and many other actors you don't work. Thing, but they. It's a much more personality driven thing, or it's a much it's it's. It is a much closer that they've valued that particular thing. But for me. That's the whole Gig so when you guys were like. A change and I was like array. You'd be so in the first episode you're. You're like a whispering constantly airy in that moment at the basketball game, and the second episode is is like the Catherine the great, and maybe yes, or your vile none comments, and you just Boston loose right and I remember the very first day we shot in the second episode of the first moment when I started to feel it and I was like Oh, that's it that's that new. Do you know? Know I don't know if you guys know this, but but it was when Lewis went can show me gets fired right right and I know that guy's a monster. He's in better clear. The Guy Plays Victor and he's just just from a kinesthetic place. He's just got so much going on, and he had a line where he's like. That's bullshit, right? He gets fired. Is that bullshit steps toward ax and my act the what I what I decided. I just started to move towards. Thought unit like. Let's go you need right now. And I was like that's crazy. First of all at guide could kill me. He could my ass, and I was just like I was like it didn't matter it. That was totally immaterial to that character that he would die or lose a lamb or an ear or something. He was just like. Let's go. You just said that's bullshit in front of everybody, and now I know the only thing I wanna do is run towards that fire and and then. The Guy's June. Run towards the fire that you were not gonNA. Let the guy get, to your feudal Lord Way this out of their happy and happy to do not afraid and for me in my life might David's personal. Guy That's bullshit. Ghetto, sorry surgery, but it felt so exciting to do that and I guess to that end. That was the that was really the moment when I knew that. That, you guys knew that whatever wherever it was gonna lie of me, was GONNA. Be What you what you were hoping. We had never doubt so that then when so that when you guys started to see it, you're like Dang. Yeah, then you wrote an. You ran way ahead and started. Chasing you to get to that place where you just started writing Insane Pauling, shit though I have to say. Okay, that's one of the delights of this for us is like you know, but that first season only we're the only people who saw it right. Just an our editing room and we knew you were GonNa pop like we knew. Wax Is GonNa pop huge, and once or twice are great partners showtime, who are always great in that they always end up. They defer the you know we're like. Are we really going to do this? This is going to be this big. This guy and we were just like Oh. You haven't seen this. This is the toned down version wait. Wait till episode five. We're going to write. It wasn't about your performance. It was about the whole idea of. Are. We really going to put this character. In this way, he's really GonNa say that paying about the Horse Cock like and we're like. Oh, no, no, he's GonNa, say it. Really allow loud because we felt it represented, and I'm sure you've felt this. How do you feel like we knew that you were actually doing? What those guys on the street were thinking they were they in private. Moments want to be that and they've told you that I mean. What does that feel like? When you walk on the floor of the Stock Exchange? They go fucking crazy man. I'm wondering. Because the majority of the guys, the guys who are age live that way. They used to live that way for real. So you see light up, there is right you seem like. Aw! Still. I WANNA pack. Like never coming back, baby, you shouldn't have lived that way on the. Back. Row Well Yeah. But you see just. They just light up when they see me and and that was. Like People's will research, you'd be like. You don't have that much research. You feel it. You feel you walk into the room. I see those guys shook their hands back when shaking hands as possible and you know they were just like it just comes, it comes out of them. It just lives on the surface and they just they yearn for that life, and then all of the younger guys. No, no that that was a real possibility because they they've sat around and hurt those stories from all the dinosaurs, so I missed it. Yes? They made it all the fun. Yeah, so they would, so they have this yearning in this this such deeply held desire that if only be with that guy, if only hides were here like we couldn't do that, he seems to do it. Let's do it. And but but to get back to the longer conversation, so so so one of the things that so it's so. It gives you such. It's such a great feeling is to have that kind of elaborate trust where you where you can rely on somebody so I knew that you getting into a direct deplace. You guys would have been like. Your. And we did have those conversations really note during the turn left? You're turning right. Turn laps and I was like. I disagreed, but I was like turn left. Turn left like we. We know because because it wasn't about like Oh. You know I I'm right. You're wrong. Say Hell that. Let's continue to try to have this long conversation about. How do we tell tell the story and you don't know because we proved it. You didn't know and then all of a sudden. You're just change it. Change it and you changed it, and it was so interesting, and continues to be so valuable to the holy gotta open to that you have you in our job at an actor's jobs to you. You have to be open to. Seeing what it is and finding it over and over I mean David. I always say we found the fourth episode, and then then once you understand the tone, you just Ha- then it's like okay. Everything that serves this tone is in anything. That's outside of the bounds of this tone before we do that. We have to really understand what that's GONNA do to the overall. Of the of the peace and you know we cut a segment out of this episode, because a serving as a mid season finale, it totally was just out of where we needed it. Even though it was really entertaining, and those are hard things for us to do because everyone's worked. Hard actors have worked hard, but are and we loved, and we wrote this shit. US and Emily wrote it. But. We're going to cut it if it doesn't serve the thing. Where the thing is going, we're going to just leave it on the floor half. That's the discipline in a way you know. And I don't actors get used to that because you'll do if you do three different versions of something to those versions or just they're gone forever. Sure. And that's part of you know that that aspect is part of the fun when you when you lose something that is, that is you know whole cloth that that's disappointing because it's and there's been plenty of that I lost where I'm just like Shit. Really love and really wanted it when I read it. Because you know the promise of it, you guys give us the promise, and then if we don't fulfill the promise of the promise just doesn't fit your like. You. Wish you wish that? I, mean you know it's always at our fights? Always my Dave's fall, two hundred percents. Nobody else his arm to do. It has to do with choices, and it has to do with what you what you see what you want, and and that also is part of what the globe that's. That's part of the agreement, and it's a good agreement and it, but it definitely comes with loss. which is that was again? It is part of the game. No those feelings I mean I. Yes. Sometimes. There's no other party to it. You just have to do it. Your Sabi David. I've just been in that situation so many times we've ridden edited shot a thing and then have to be like. Oh, I got to cut that whole five minutes. I mean once we had to cut the owner of Raoult's Adam. which was just a terrible thing to have to do? For all sorts of reasons. Having nothing to do with his. Performance and just meant we couldn't go to Raoult's for a long time. But he. He's a fine actor did great. He was amazing. How rest in peace he was wonderful man put it on the wrong place, and it was stopping the movie from flowing. We had to do it. We had no choice. Yeah, we had no choice. Kosti, how has wags? Either Change, your life and also. Has it up people's minds to you doing different kinds of roles. I think it'll be really to see when the show's over. If if if that isn't true, most people most most. Casting. people anybody who's making that decision, are usually chasing the last thing that you did which is never very interesting so. You know. It will be very interesting to see. Whether that is true or not, there hasn't been a lot of. There hasn't been any any sort of like wags pretenders that have come down like since this is true and and and what about the general sort of how this experience has changed your your life if it has I, mean yeah. It's changed the I never. I, I don't think I've ever. Ah certainly never had the security in terms of performance to know that. You. Can you coming back to roll to a world really having a long? To really creating a certain intelligent. You do in theater all the time that you create a family. Atmosphere you you live in a world where you know people you. You start with their kids, and but here because we've been doing it for so long, it's an incredible gift to be able to. Feel as comfortable as you do. Walking into this room of people, crew and people that you really care about really know That's rare. It's been rare in my life. I've never I've never really had so. This is an it's. Your gunfire you walk in, you feel like it's the first day of school. You feel like a jerk. Nobody really talks to you long launch. Just you're like this is awful like a every do every job. Gavin, just feel like a jackass walking in. Even like the fund went to, but here it's you know you walk in, and you know everybody you know the. Your. People drive you the people who make your breakfast. People who are helping you with your customs, your hair makeup. It's incredible well. Yeah, you know when you came to direct, you could feel the crew and the cast pulling for you to do well and doing everything they could to support it, which is a testament to the way you conduct yourself as an actor, you don't go around barking at them or taking out whatever mood you're in on them, I mean. Came back to you in a great way, but that also starts with you guys. You know I've said this before. I've said this to you privately out. Say of late as public. This is, but you guys have spent a lot of time a lot of energy because as you know. The head of human resources for small. Company Just making sure that you don't have any aides. When you get one, you just let them bill. You're just like there's no room for it because there's no root for especially because you guys have so many other things to do, and you know how destructive and diminishing that can be for a whole group of people who are working so hard to make what you have written. There can be no room and we just don't have it. There just aren't bad eggs, so people treat each other with respect and care, and that you demand that just because you choose those people and those people keep coming back because they want to be in that atmosphere, and there's no. I mean there's no room for it just. Is definitely no room when you're doing a really high stakes pressurized difficult job crew has. And then cost you. We have to thank you for bringing Rick Hoffman. Aboard are on that yeah. Well, you know a great. Direct Tori Lee helping cast the role I mean. We had the idea you as the relationship, you were able to make the contact and was granted. We had the idea to bring. Rick Hoffman on the show, Dave but not for this role in it was Kosti who said to us what recap and then the second he said it I was like Oh my God Diana. Have that dude on the show that's brilliant Kosti. And then you wrote him a letter and we all wrote him letters. I mean. And and boy did he deliver I? mean he just. He had strong, isn't it? So. Is just I mean girl I mean baby. I mean that is. No that is just phenom-. Even one word and I think he added. I know try and we're just like more and I. told him that I told him that. When he came before he came, I was like dude. You gotTA. Know it word perfect. Don't change. Ship can't do it no space nothing. And he was like really Yup. Really, and he was like okay, and he's still came, and he was still just like fuck that doing a. Stay. He's really good at it. Kosti he's. NOBODY GETS TO SHUT everybody down here every year I tried one word, and it's not what you it's just not. It's not really what you do. It's not true in the beginning I tried out all sentences. And then I narrowed it down last season. One word couldn't get it in one word and advert get, but what's that word? That word baby dollar baby girl I? Wanted to do that shit I would have happily. What more no, no, don't you is there more. Is there more? There's always more. More lease, please read. Would so so for four years. It was only Dan soder was the only person who's was ever allowed to do that. Eva Eva Eva. Because Abe is a great writer David has a line. And then and then Rick Hoffman you should. Recounts on your account because you. That's on your account. Great Point Great Dave Absolute Fair enough. Let means staying or as written. David Costal Dude, what a joy for what a fuck enjoy! It is to get to work with you. the way that we do in a be your friend for such a long time and the way I. Feel that you you just make everybody you made everyb-, you make everybody onset happier and feel understood and listen to hurt and all that stuff, and and your huge asset for us, so thank you. Thank you all right. Man Thanks for coming into this see onset for episode eight. Soon right everybody thanks for listening to behind the billions. We are We're going to go down after this episode behind the billions will We hope that behind the billions will return when billions returns if all things work out in the world, thanks for listening along with us for these seven episodes. I'll tell you. We have written episodes eight to twelve, and they really kick ass Levin this. This has been fun doing this with you and the reaction to. It's been great. It's been a delight. Thank you guys for coming along and listening. Appreciate it hope we're back. If you WanNa, find me if you WanNa find me on a podcast, fine the moment with Brian Koppelman, both these fine gentlemen have been on that podcast, and we will be back someday on the ringer as well. Thanks everybody.

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