Showtime’s “Billions’” has the First Non-Binary-Gender Character: Asia Kate Dillon

asia-kate-dillon

Asia Kate Dillon

Here’s the viewing stats for this show:

“The Wall Street drama starring Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman has performed pretty wellparticularly in delayed and multiplatform viewing. The on-air premiere drew about 900,000 viewers and a 0.2 in adults 18-49, which grew to 950,000 and 0.3 in episode 2.”

Performing well in Hollywood these days really just means pushing an agenda.

From Hollywood Reporter: Asia Kate Dillon uses the pronouns “they, their and them.” Because, like their onscreen character Taylor Mason on Showtime’s Billions, Dillon self-identifies as nonbinary. And thanks to this groundbreaking role, these are pronouns that more people will hopefully feel more comfortable using in the very near future.

Taylor made their debut on the current second season of the Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis drama this month. As an intern at Axe Capital, their sharp intellect and hedge-fund know-how quickly caught Axe’s eye, launching a storyline that sees Taylor’s importance with the company grow as the season progresses.

Offscreen, the role is just as important, as it marks the first time a character has openly identified as gender-neutral on television. The fact that Dillon also self-identifies that way is kismet; showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien auditioned many members from the LGBTQ community for the role of Taylor, but a nonbinary person was not a prerequisite.

Fresh off of Taylor’s debut, which has sparked a conversation about gender identity on social media, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the Orange Is the New Black alum to discuss the historic role, crafting the character and their relevance in today’s climate.

What was your casting and audition process like?

There was an initial audition, and then there were two callbacks over the course of about a month. The first audition was with Allison Estrin, the casting director, and then at the callback, I met the co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien, and then the second and final callback was with Allison, Brian, David and Reed Morano, who directed the first episode of season two. My audition scene was the scene from the first episode, between Mafee (Dan Soder) and Taylor. I remember doing research was key for memorizing my lines. There some jargon in that speech, and I couldn’t quite commit it to memory, and I had to research all of that stuff before it really stuck. I still only know marginally a bit more than I did before. Taylor knows much, much more than I do.

What was appealing about this specific part?

The aspect that Taylor’s identity is one part of the many parts that make up Taylor is certainly what was appealing about playing the character. On top of that, Taylor is highly intelligent, a left-brain person and fits in really well, actually, at this hedge fund as this intern.

After you got the part, did you have conversations with the writers to help flesh them out?

I’d like to give a lot of credit to the writers in that, while they were writing the character of Taylor before I was cast, they auditioned people from the entire LGBTQ spectrum. They spoke with nonbinary people. They really wanted to make sure that they had an understanding about something that — as Brian and David like to say, they self-identify as white, cisgender, straight men, so this was unfamiliar territory for them. And so I really credit them and respect them for reaching outside of their comfort zones to investigate non-binary-gender issues and gender-identity stuff in general.

Then, once I was cast, as the season progressed, occasionally a script would come my way when a pronoun would be wrong, and I would just sort of send off an email to Brian and David with the catch. It would come back and it would have been changed right away, which made me feel really respected. It was a really collaborative experience.

Did you identify with the scene involving Taylor’s introduction to Axe about their pronouns?

There is a struggle involved, certainly, but then there’s also a lot more visibility and a lot more acceptance as well. I find that often when I tell people what pronoun I use, I don’t get a lot of backlash. I’m really lucky in that respect. That’s a credit to the visibility that we’re seeing and the conversations that are happening around the topic. I also think it’s because people actually have a much more innate understanding of gender being fluid and gender identity being on a spectrum than they even thought that they might. Those moments of conversation I find particularly exciting.

Do you feel personal responsibility with this role? What kind of reactions have you had from people so far?

Although my casting as a nonbinary actor to play this nonbinary character on a major television series was, in fact, a coincidence, it is certainly significant. Not only are people responding to the character of Taylor on Twitter and on Instagram and things like that, but I’m getting messages from strangers all over the world — mostly young people saying how much it means to them as a nonbinary person to see nonbinary representation in the media. Those messages just mean everything to me. That’s really what it’s all about — the media having the ability to reach places in the world where there may be someone who is isolated from anyone else who is having a similar experience. That’s the power that art can have, and I’m really proud to be a part of a piece of art that is reaching people. Particularly at a time like this.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Billions airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

DCG

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10 responses to “Showtime’s “Billions’” has the First Non-Binary-Gender Character: Asia Kate Dillon

  1. Another show not worth watching. However, I would recommend you identify all of the commercial sponsors and let them know you are no longer willing to support their gender confusion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reading the article I thought I already understood what was meant by non-binary, but I looked it up any how. Seems I did not grasp the full concept. Apparently it is just another term for “pervert” coined in attempt to normalize or de-stigmatize true gender denial, along with sexual deviancy(s). And the media will swoon over it and people will swallow.

    Still I wonder what the heck kind of movie or script writer would go out of their way to incorporate such perverse characters into a plot. There was a time when perverts and perversions were portrayed as the evil it is, making appropriate villainous characters to be done away with. But now there is a whole new agenda to turn morality upside down, or erase it altogether.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There was an episode of “Bones” a few years back that has an Oriental Medical Examiner assisting in a case,and all through the episode Bones’ co-workers are sleuthing about,trying to learn whether the assisting ME is Male or Female. Not exactly the same,but the subject HAS been broached before on the screen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am far too old, and too tired to even try to grasp whatever the heck “nonbinary” is supposed to mean. As has been previously noted above . . . it’s just another word for “weirdo,” “pervert,” etc. In the beginning God created male and female, I have never read anything about the creation of a “nonbinary” human, nor has a “nonbinary human ever played a part in the creation or continuance of the human race. I just refuse to fall for this nonsense. To those who wish to push their kismet of “they,” them,” and “theirs” . . . I would advise that they can stick it where the sun don’t shine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the media’s feeble attempt at indoctrinating their viewers into acceptance of transhumanism. First humans are reduced to IT’S, and then get ‘morphed’ into some bizarre satanic recreation that mocks God’s original. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the end of the age”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Just like I keep saying. ‘GAY’ is just another way to take the reality out of what it means to be HOMOSEXUAL. For future reference. Don’t use the term gay. It plays right into the hands of the demented left, progressive crowd. It legitimizes their disgusting behavior. Go for the jugular. Homosexuality is a mental disorder, and no good can come from it. And along with the manifestation of homosexual behavior many other mental disorders are present in these individuals. Depression and manic behavior, paranoia and schizophrenia, irrationality and narcissism are just a few of the behaviors displayed by these individuals. And they must not be treated lightly. They are a danger to rational society. Conservatism is more than a political stance. It means to follow the lessons learned through experience. To understand the rules that make up a stable society. Liberalism and progressiveness mean to break the rules; try new unproven methods; disregard the things that are known to be true. To go with what feels good at the moment. To throw out what is known to work. DO NOT LET DOWN YOUR GUARD. These people are relentless. Like good and evil. We that know what is right must never give up. Because man will always be tempted to do what is easy as opposed to what is right.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hmmm, no wonder math was always my most difficult subject—-I always thought “binary” was a math term? And then, with the advent of the first computer-driven school testing programs, they were run with binary codes. Non-binary must mean you can’t do math and you are computer illiterate?

    Language has been hi-jacked these days and I just can’t bother to learn it b/c tomorrow, it will be “so yesterday” and there will be new meanings for old words once again. It all changes as fast as the phones and PC’s….every few months a big turnover.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I find Taylor very interesting, mainly because the character is so brilliant. I live vicariously through brilliant characters, imagining the power I would have.

    Like

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