Billions is back to finish what it started in the year of COVID.

Yes! The brutal cut-throat world of finance and drama that had to hold back the production of its fifth season in 2020 will find a conclusion, at least in part, in the second installment set to be released this year. The show will have another season too.

As for the second installment of the fifth season, a new trailer was released to get the hype going. 

Paul Giamatti's Amazing Weight Loss

Still, if anything got more attention to the latest trailer, it had to be the amazing weight loss transformation of one of the lead cast members, Paul Giamatti. 

In conversation with one of the show's lead actors David Costabile, Extra TV went as far as to say that Giamatti was half of what he was in the first part of the season, and it wasn't just him getting rid of his beard. 

Even Costabile went on to joke that maybe Giamatti fasted for the entirety of the pandemic. Then, shifting the conversation, he jokingly claimed that he decided to keep his beard and put on the extra pounds that Giamatti had shredded. 

Paul Giamatti Had Six Months to Lose Weight

According to a report from Variety, Billions put the production of its fifth season on hold in April 2020. The outlet announced that Showtime had decided to run with whatever they had for a partial season for the time being. 

The first part of season 5 premiered in May 2020 and ended in July 2020, after just seven episodes. The decision was obviously influenced by the global pandemic that was on the rise for the better part of 2020. 

A couple of months later, Deadline reported that the show resumed production in October 2020, right around the time Showtime announced that they had renewed the show for a sixth season. 

The outlet also speculated that the production of the sixth season would start immediately after the cast and crew wrapped up the remainder of the fifth season. 

With that in mind, it is fair to assume that Giamatti had less than six months to make up his mind and put in the necessary effort to undergo a total revamp. 

Fans Are Surprised

Fans of the show soon got around to sharing their reactions to Giamatti's amazing weight loss via Reddit. One user claimed that it was outright jarring to see Giamatti looking so different in the new trailer.

Another fan took the time to examine the actor's appearance properly and collate their thoughts over a post that noted how he had lost weight, shaved off his beard after many years, lost a bit of hair from the top of his head, and comfortably wore his hair white. They added, 

All those changes in his appearance, which almost all of us are seeing at once for the first time in over a year, make for a huge impact.

Understandably, the fans were surprised by Giamatti's transformation. However, while the actor's weight loss was completely unexpected for most of us, Gary Levine, Showtime Networks’ president of entertainment, has assured everyone that the show's narrative would not change even with the forced hiatus.