‘Billions’ Star Maggie Siff on Wendy Rhoades: ‘She Loves Swimming with the Sharks’

“I think she loves how brilliant, and sharp, and animistic these people are,” Siff tells TheWrap.

“Billions” star Maggie Siff says that her character, Wendy Rhoades, is more than comfortable amidst the power struggles that lay at the core of the series.

“What I really like about this character is that she loves swimming with the sharks, the competitive waters,” Siff told TheWrap. “I think she loves how brilliant, and sharp, and animistic these people are…So I think it’s this inside-outside perspective to the character that makes her so enjoyable.”

Wendy serves as the in-house psychiatrist at Axe Capital, run by the enigmatic hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis). The two share a long history going back to 9/11.

“They’re old friends, yet their relationship definitely exists in this weird grey area,” Siff said. “They’ve shared a pretty intense history together that’s bred a kind of intimacy but also an ability to be very honest and incisive with each other.”

But Siff says that Wendy’s relationship with Axe is markedly different than her relationship with her husband, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti).

“She’s actually a little more tender, I think, with Axelrod, because she’s been his therapist and she knows the weakness of his psychological profile,” she said.

Wendy and Chuck, despite their own tenderness, also enjoy the occasional BDSM-style activities, like those seen in the opening moments of the pilot episode.

As it was not clear until the final scene that it was in fact Wendy who was dominating Chuck, Siff said she got quite the surprise when she first read the script.

“I read three quarters of the script before I went to bed one night. So I went to bed thinking the character was one thing and then when I finished it I was like, ‘Oh!'” she said. “I felt like it was something we hadn’t seen before within a marriage. It took it out of the realm of being shocking for the sake of being shocking and it defied our expectations.”

“Billions” airs Sundays at 10 p.m./9c on Showtime.