Billions star Damian Lewis has led celebrities collaborating in a finance firm’s annual charity day to boost tens of millions in reminiscence of staff who misplaced their lives 20 years in the past on September 11th.
The British actor, who performs hedge fund supervisor Bobby Axelrod within the hit US sequence, took half within the BGC occasion in help of two charities, one in all which his late spouse, Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory, was patron.
Lewis was joined by different stars together with TV presenter Davina McCall, comic and creator David Walliams and actress Jenna Coleman, taking to the telephones for the charity day, which is held at BGC places of work all over the world and final 12 months raised $12m (about £eight.6m) for charitable causes.
Chatting with Sky Information’ enterprise presenter Ian King, Lewis mentioned cash he raised would go to 2 grassroots organisations – Remedy EB, which helps individuals affected by the pores and skin situation epidermolysis bullosa, and humanities group HVH Arts.
“It’ll be the 20th anniversary tomorrow of that horrific day, 9/11,” he mentioned. “I come right here to help two charities, HVH Arts and Remedy EB, and I am right here to attempt to increase cash for them.
“I get on the telephone with individuals who may need heard of me – or extra probably have heard of Bobby Axelrod – and we do trades. Fortunately, all mounted curiosity so I can not wipe tens of millions off the share value in a single morning.”
Lewis mentioned his spouse had been a patron of HVH arts earlier than she died of most cancers earlier this 12 months and that it’s a trigger “very pricey to my coronary heart”.
He continued: “It specialises in working with underprivileged youngsters within the north London space, largely Camden, Kentish City, giving them an expertise of the humanities, pictures, textiles, theatre, music. It is an publicity to the humanities, which I consider is so necessary for younger youngsters, nevertheless it’s additionally an expertise of self-worth and provides them a self-confidence.”
Lewis mentioned he had labored with Remedy EB for a while and that the charity funds scientific trials to attempt to discover a treatment for what’s a “horrible, horrible illness”, which may trigger pores and skin most cancers.
Lewis additionally recalled how he was filming a troublesome scene of marital rape for interval drama The Forsyte Saga with actress Gina McKee when he acquired information of the 9/11 assaults in 2001.
“It was a lot talked about within the lead-up to the filming as a result of it had outraged audiences within the 1960s when the primary adaptation was made,” he mentioned of the scene.
“We had been in the midst of this quite delicate scene, myself and Gina McKee, and the primary [assistant director] got here on to set and mentioned, ‘I am terribly sorry to cease filming everybody, however a aircraft has simply flown into the World Commerce Centre’. And, after all, as everyone knows now, he arrived 16 minutes later to present us the information once more, that the opposite aircraft had gone into the south tower.”
The BGC occasion is held annually in reminiscence of the corporate’s 658 colleagues and the 61 Eurobrokers staff who misplaced their lives within the World Trade Center attacks.
TV presenter McCall mentioned she had taken half within the charity day many occasions and that it’s at all times thrilling, however emotional.
“There’s such a buzz right here immediately and there is a lot nice power and goodwill within the room,” she informed King. “So many tens of millions of kilos have been raised over time for charities, in reminiscence of their pals.”
McCall’s chosen charity is Motion Medical Analysis, which funds analysis into uncommon childhood ailments. The star first supported the charity as a nine-year-old, inspired to tackle sponsored walks by her grandmother, and mentioned she grew to become an envoy in later life.
“It is an incredible amount of cash for them to get, we’re so enormously grateful,” she mentioned. “However clearly, immediately can also be tinged with disappointment for these guys [at BGC], too. So it is very shifting being right here.”
McCall mentioned she was closely pregnant together with her first little one when the phobia assaults occurred and recalled sitting and crying “all the day, clutching my stomach, questioning what sort of a world I used to be bringing my little one into”.
She continued: “I simply could not see the world ever being the identical once more. However, I do really feel like we’re therapeutic little by little, and right here we’re immediately making an attempt to do one thing good out of all of that.”