Real-life Wendy Rhoades isn’t thrilled with Billions

Wendy Rhoades is a complicated character, wonderfully played by Maggie Siff in Billions. A psychologist whose job it is to be a performance coach, a guru on hand to help Bobby Axelrod’s team make even more money for him. In the series, initially, at least, their relationship was not romantic and she (strangely) was still married to her boss’s nemesis, prosecutor Chuck Rhoades. The unlikely couple fell apart, but Wendy – now attached platonically and sentimentally to the billionaire – did not accompany Bobby on the escape. It remains – I insist – open to a return, at least, to look for it. I hope at least Mike Prince is immune to your charm. I suspect so (theories on the way).

Wendy’s figure is so striking that one wonders if there are women like her in the financial market. The character is mirrored in real-life performance coach, Denise Shull.

Denise’s method uses tactics from neuroeconomics and psychology to help financial market executives and athletes. Founder of The ReThink Group, she advocates positivity to link with decisions under pressure, stressing the importance of identifying and recognizing that the emotional part is the main influencer of wrong and/or right decisions. The tactic is extremely interesting and efficient, worth a search.

Denise claims that she was approached by the show’s staff to help Maggie Siff and the writers. At first, that was fine, but the relationship quickly soured and ended up in a lawsuit where the coach accuses the creators of Billions of having plagiarized part of her work in the development of Wendy’s work on the series. Of course, the production denies everything. She also accuses them of not crediting or compensating her for the consulting work to create the character. The process is still in progress.

The coach laughs when clients identify her strategies and lines in the series. Of course, she’s been asked if she’s adept at the same sexual options as Wendy (who was a dominatrix when married to Chuck). As he insists, the answer is no.

Denise claims she no longer watches the series, but friends still look for her commenting that many of the phrases said by Wendy seem to have come out of the book she wrote. Apparently, I’m far from the only one having issues with Wendy Rhoades...


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