A performer on the Showtime drama “Billions” had an exchange with the Television Academy that challenges the traditional assignment of the categories “actor” and “actress.” Variety reports that Asia Kate Dillon, who has become a key player on the show this season, “is stealing scenes as Taylor Mason, the financial wunderkind who is helping Damian Lewis’ Bobby Axelrod scheme his way to fame and fortune.”
“Showrunners David Levien and Brian Koppelman auditioned cis, trans and gender non-binary actors for the role, and cast Dillon after the third audition,” Variety reports. “Dillon’s performance not only inspired the writers to give Dillon more to do, but also impressed everyone on set.”
Variety adds: “That the star would be a contender for the upcoming Emmy Awards is a given — but when Showtime asked which category Dillon wanted to be submitted under, Dillon had to give it some thought. The performer identifies as gender non-binary, and choosing between ‘supporting actor’ and ‘supporting actress’ sparked a conversation — as well as some homework.”
Dillon researched the origins of the words “actor” and “actress” along with reaching out to the Academy about how it interprets its categories. “I found them to be 100% supportive,” Dillon said of the Academy. “I really couldn’t have been happier.”
The Academy essentially said Dillon was free to choose either category, and Dillon subsequently decided to enter as a supporting actor. We encourage readers to click on the link to Variety above to read more about the exchange between Dillon and the TV Academy.