Asia Kate Dillon Talks Emmys, ‘Hypermasculinized’ World of ‘Billions’

'Billions' TV Show FYC Event
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“What do the words ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ mean to you regarding the awards?” “Billions” star Asia Kate Dillon recalled asking the Television Academy when they were deciding whether to submit under supporting actor or supporting actress for this year’s Emmy Awards.

Dillon, who identifies as gender non-binary (using the pronouns they, their, and them) and plays a non-binary character on the hit Showtime drama, eventually chose to submit in the supporting actor category after learning from the Television Academy that “any performer can enter either category for any reason.” Dillon, who plays Taylor Mason, a financial genius who becomes a potent weapon for Damian Lewis’ hedge fund king Bobby Axelrod, also mentioned a definition they learned for the term “actor,” which, in the late 1500s was often referenced as a non-gender and non-sex word.

“I’ve been aware of binaries in awards systems since I’ve been aware of awards ceremonies,” Dillon said at Friday’s “Billions” panel held at NYIT Auditorium on Broadway in New York. Also on hand for the event were stars Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, Toby Leonard Moore, David Costabile and co-creators and executive producers Brian Koppelman and David Levien.

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Asia Kate Dillon

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“It’s not the first time I’ve thought about this, but it was certainly the first time where I felt like I had a unique opportunity and a platform to engage in the conversation about questions that I had,” Dillon continued.

However, Dillon also wanted to note that they had no qualms with performers who do identify as “actresses.” “Many people who identify as women use the term ‘actress’ to denote their gender identity specifically. I think that’s fine,” Dillon said. “There’s room for people to use the word ‘actress’ if they want.”

The “Billions” breakout also touched on Taylor’s transition from fish-out-of-water intern to icy boss over the course of the show’s second season.

“One of the things that’s so fun about playing Taylor and seeing their journey unfold in full is what happens when you inject a person who is not hypermasculine into a hypermasculinized world, in which you assume you have to be hypermasculine in order to succeed,” Dillon said. “Taylor is always coming up against what it means to maintain their strong ethical and moral center but also do this job that they are very good at and they love.”

The second season finale of “Billions” airs Sunday. 

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  1. gustafus21 says:

    I hate popular culture and these twisted roles… but Asia is a powerhouse on Billions. My son called me and asked if I had seen the episode with the poker win…. He is a long time poker player and said her/his/it’s performance in that scene was staggering. I agreed.

    This actor deserves the Emmy for best supporting Actor. There is nothing worthy on TV these days… I cut the cable years ago…. I download Billions and Better Call Saul…. and that’s it for me.

    Asia is strangely sympathetic. Taylor doesn’t indoctrinate us or challenge our belief systems… he/she/it just earns our respect and attention. Hear Hear!!

  2. odiasuda says:

    Get a man’s haircut, wear a man’s clothes and voila, you’re a non-binary! I don’t see this as any different than being a cross-dresser. That aside, the actor/actress distinction is pretty outdated. They don’t have separate categories for other awards, For example there is no best directing male/female.

  3. Mickie Frazier-Koontz says:

    What possible difference could anyone’s preference regarding pronouns, both gender and number, make in your lives? And does it really need to translate to a liberal/conservative issue? Seriously folks, there are some really big deals out there, and this is not one of them. Let it go. Lots of people in our society need treatment, as one poster proclaimed, but this is not one such. Worry about Russia instead.

  4. Sharknado99 says:

    lol oh man, this stuff never ends does it?

  5. ‘Non-binary’ and trans-whatever term mandates are the new norm. But it’s only Saturday. Stay tuned…

  6. Bill Hampshire says:

    They would get my Emmy vote if I had one. One of the best characters on TV.

  7. Yip Yap says:

    This ‘non-binary’ and trans-whatevers need treatment, not political correctness.

    What have we declined to?

  8. The crazies run the asylum. Social Marxism strikes again.

  9. Kaboom! says:

    Wow!! Asia Kate Dillon is consumed with so much hate!!

  10. George Lewis says:

    She said ““There’s room for people to use the word ‘actress’ if they want.” Wow, she’s giving other people ‘permission’ to speak normally LOL? So-called incorrect ‘political correctness’ gone further amuck! She happens to be an excellent actress on BILLIONS. The “non binary” stuff is nuts & distracts from it.

    • Brittany says:

      The proper pronoun is they/them not she/her. Please be respectful. Thank you.

      • Wisconsin77 says:

        Sorry, I am not referring to one person in the plural form. Do these people still wonder why Trump won?

      • George Lewis says:

        Hello Brittany. I respect other people being entitled to their views/opinion, not their own facts or insanity. She/you can refer to herself however she wants, & I can refer to her as I choose. Each will consider their way to be correct. What isn’t correct is leftist so-called ‘political correctness’. You choose that fine but don’t force it on me or others. The issue is not “respect”, it’s mutual respect. That is what’s “proper”.

      • Jfa says:

        Only it’s not correct English, is it? They/them is plural, why use plural to describe an individual person?

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