"Billions" star Damian Lewis will not be reprising his lead role as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in season six of the Showtime drama.
Sunday's fifth season finale revealed the actor's exit and on Monday Lewis broke his silence on social media to thank the network and series co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
"A pleasure and a privilege to play Axe for five seasons with some of the smartest, funniest most talented cast and crew I've worked with. I'll miss the Billions family," he tweeted. "Yep, some jobs are more than just a job…. Love."
Lewis has been a mainstay on "Billions" since the show first premiered in 2016 but he had been discussing his departure with show creators for a while, Koppelman told Entertainment Weekly.
"I would say for a variety of reasons we started talking to him three years ago and he expressed the thought that in all likelihood he would want to be spending more time with his family and really be more in England at the end of a certain period of time, and could we start planning Axe's departure from being a regular on the show," he said.
Lewis' wife, Helen McCrory, who starred in "Harry Potter" and "Peaky Blinders," had been battling cancer at the time but she died in April at age 52. Some have speculated that Lewis' exit from the show may have in part been related to her death but Koppelman said that, despite his will to leave, the star had stayed on so that season four could be set up for the ending of season five.
Whether it is a permanent goodbye to Lewis remains unclear.
"The goodbyes on 'Billions' and the hellos on 'Billions' are never permanent— nothing is etched in stone," Koppelman said. And although Lewis' time as a permanent on the show had come to an end, that does not mean that it is "goodbye forever."
Season six of "Billions" will premiere on Jan. 23 and will star Paul Giamatti, Corey Stoll, and Maggie Siff, according to The Wrap. Daniel Breaker, who stars as Scooter, will feature as the series regular for those episodes.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.