Drama Quarterly: Building an Empire

Drama Quarterly: Building an Empire

A version of this article was published in Drama Quarterly, featuring Paper Empire.

Film and television actor Robert Davi introduces his latest series, Paper Empire, in which he plays a financial wizard on the run from the authorities after becoming the world’s biggest crypto fraudster.

As an actor, classically trained singer, producer and director, Robert Davi has a body of work that would make anyone curious about the movie business want to know more about its inner workings.

With a career spanning 130 films and television series, he is best known for Licence to Kill, The Goonies, Contract on Cherry Street and Predator 2 – all of which have shaped his outlook on his craft and the business in which he works.

But it is his latest project, Paper Empire, that he describes as not quite like anything he has done before, where “crypto is an evolution that turns into a revolution.” In the series, he takes the lead as Laurence Fintch, who seems to have it all figured out on the way to becoming the world’s greatest financial fraudster through the use of his cryptocurrency technology. After an FBI pursuit, Fintch ends up in jail but hatches a plan for a daring breakout.

“I had not played anyone like this prior, but elements of it,” he tells DQ while promoting Paper Empire in Cannes. “There’s an element of him in characters such as Franz Sanchez [from Licence to Kill], who has that criminal empire, or when I did The Taking of Beverley Hills. I like films like The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle, but this is beyond that because they are dealing with just the crime element. This is the creation of and exploration of the dangers of what crypto mining can do, couched in a lot of sizzle and fun.”