The panel for Showtime’s Billions’ at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys began with some news: Asia Kate Dillion, who plays introspective financial whiz Taylor Mason, has been upped to a series regular for Season 3. The performer helped deliver the news along with fellow panelists — creator/executive producers/showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien and Maggie Siff.
“We’re thrilled to say that going forward Dillion is going to be a series regular on Season 3,” said Koppelman, who went on to explain how Dillion’s character came about. “We really wanted to introduce somebody into Axe Capital, this testosterone-heavy world … We wanted to bring somebody in who wouldn’t seem like they’d be someone that Axe (Damian Lewis) would gravitate towards from the outside, from the external characteristics. But someone who Axe would be able to recognize had great intellect and would be able to process and synthesize information very quickly. Someone who could play back to Axe.”
He said one way to bring forth that role was to cast a gender-binary character and how they had been thinking more about what inclusivity meant. They read a lot of people for the part but “Asia was perfect for the role.”
The EPs also talked about how the relationship of Taylor and Wendy (Siff) will grow in the next episode. Wendy is back at the company, but her relationship with Axe is “thorny and very guarded,” Siff explained.
“We set up Taylor’s extremely insightful and intelligent character and Maggie’s character, [who] is clearly so thoughtful,” said Koppelman. “When Wendy comes back, when those two characters eventually bump up against each other, it’s going to [be great].”
The black comedy is an adaptation of the award-winning British show and is about a dysfunctional family led by an alcoholic patriarch (Macy) — a single father of six kids who end up fending for themselves.
“The writers have been great with writing such outrageous things for my character to do,” Macy said. “And then every once in a while they plant a little moment of humanity and it keeps people behind Frank’s trajectory. And every once in a while you feel sorry for him and get a glimpse that there’s a person in there, and you’re willing to give him another break.”
He added: “This is the first time I’ve ever done this and I’m certainly not tired of it. I’m Lutheran from Western Maryland — I read these scripts and I have the same reaction as the audience, ‘that you need therapy.’ I’m just as shocked as every one else and it’s such a unmitigated joy.”
Macy also discussed how it was “a lot of work to direct” an episode, adding he’ll have more opportunities because “Shameless is going to run for four more years so. Oh you didn’t know? Keep it to yourself because Showtime doesn’t know yet.”