In April 2020, Variety reported that Billions had shut down production on Season 5 and that Showtime was planning to air a partial season. The first part of the season premiered that May and ended that July after seven episodes.
And production had not yet resumed by October 2020, when Showtime renewed the show for a sixth season. At the time, Deadline speculated that the cast and crew would start filming Season 6 immediately after the remaining episodes of Season 5.
Now, more than a year after Season 5 went on hiatus, a Reddit user commented that it was “jarring” to see Paul — who plays New York Attorney General Chuck Rhoades Jr. — looking so different.
“He lost a bit of weight, shaved off the beard (after a lot of years), lost a bit of hair (right at the top of the head), and his hair is now all white,” that viewer observed. “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.”
Paul’s co-star David Costabile, who plays Mike “Wags” Wagner on the show, told Extra in July that he had “no idea” how Paul dropped the pounds.
“Maybe he just fasted the entire pandemic,” David quipped. “I decided to keep the beard and add weight. I added all of Paul’s weight. That’s a lifestyle choice.”