David Costabile’s Fave Actors


Billions cast member’s nod to best-loved thespians

David Costabile (Photo by James Minchin/SHOWTIME)

Currently starring as Mike “Wags” Wagner, the alpha male COO of fictional hedge fund Axe Capital on Showtime’s Billions, David Costabile has racked up quite a filmography for himself since making his motion picture debut in 1998’s Siege as a fingerprints expert. Prior to that, the Washington, D.C. native appeared on Broadway in a 1995 revival of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and in the 1997 musical Titanic.

Along the way, he’s made his mark playing a wide array of characters that include journalists both fictional (managing editor Thomas Klebanow in The Wire) and real (storied columnist Art Buchwald in The Post) as well as methamphetamine chemist Gale Boetticher in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. The Park Slope resident’s next role is a real-life rock manager Doc McGhee in the forthcoming Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt.

Peter O’Toole

(Aug. 2, 1932 to Dec. 14, 2013)

“I love the appetite he had for humanity. There’s something about watching him. His first major role was Lawrence of Arabia, which is my favorite film. And he’s spectacular in it. He seemed like an absolutely fearless human being for sure. He’s my favorite.”

Michael K. Williams

(Nov. 22, 1966 to present)

“Is that guy a monster? He’s an incredible actor. When I had started on The Wire, I remembered that I had never seen it. I started watching it while we were shooting and I realized how happy I was that I had not because I would have been so intimidated to just be in the presence of all those people because that show was just so awesome. And really learning [Michael’s] work and watching him, he was and still is an incredible performer to watch.”

Edie Falco

(July 5, 1963 to present)

“She is spectacular, has incredible variety and is just [another level]. She’s just an extraordinary person and is able to transform and become all sorts of things. She’s funny, silly and a deeply, deeply moving human being to watch on camera.”

Read LIW’s full interview with David Costabile and Brian Koppelman.

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