"Prince is just trying to do his thing and Chuck just won't let go," Stoll tells EW of the dynamic in season 6.

Bow down to the new Billions king.

After debuting in the Showtime drama's fifth season as Michael Prince, a rival billionaire to Axe (Damian Lewis), Corey Stoll steps into lead status for season 6 (premiering Sunday), following Lewis' departure. It's quite the promotion for the House of Cards alum, who admitted to EW ahead of his arrival that he'd previously been approached by Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien for different roles, but, "frankly, I was holding out for something a little bit more exciting." And what an investment he made. "We waited and bided our time and then really set this up so that he could have full banquet with this character," said Levien when discussing the elevation.

Corey Stoll in 'Billions' season 6.
| Credit: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME

Season 5 initially featured Prince teaming up with Chuck (Paul Giamatti) to take down Axe, but then, in the season finale, Prince saw an opportunity to strike a deal for Axe Cap, the newly-formed bank, and Taylor Mason Carbon. With Axe fleeing to Switzerland to avoid arrest, Prince became Axe's successor, both as a businessman and as Chuck's target.

"What Prince did to acquire Axe Capital, he was really in some ways the only person actually working towards his own benefit," Stoll says. "Everybody else was working out of emotion and resentment and trying to get the other guy. While all these rivalries were happening, Prince could come in and take what was his. I think now coming back, the question for the audience is, can Prince remain so clearheaded and logical and above the fray?"

Prince's position as an opponent for Axe meant that most of Stoll's scenes were with Lewis, but the actor says the end of season 5 "shuffles the deck and creates a whole different set of allegiances and power plays." This will include "some fun stuff" for Prince with Wendy (Maggie Siff), as well as the new chess match at the center of the series.

"It's interesting, Axe and Chuck were oil and water; they couldn't stand to be in the same room and the hatred was so deep," Stoll shares. "I think Prince and Chuck enjoy each other's company in this strange way. It's a little more asymmetrical, where Prince is just trying to do his thing and Chuck just won't let go. And Prince actually kind of respects it, but he's got to shake this tenacious attack dog somehow."

Billions airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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