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Asia Kate Dillon's Non-Binary John Wick 3 Role Is Redefining Action Movies

Asia Kate Dillon's Non-Binary 'John Wick 3' Role Is Redefining Action

Asia Kate Dillon's Non-Binary 'John Wick 3' Role Is Redefining Action

Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski knew Billions star Asia Kate Dillon was perfect to play The Adjudicator in the latest installment of the action-packed film franchise.


Keanu Reeves is back for another heart-pounding installment of action series John Wick and the latest installment, Chapter 3 - Parabellum, isn't holding anything back. Stacked with an all-star cast that includes Halle Berry, Lawrence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, and more, the film is gloriously bloody with exquisitely choreographed fight scenes and jaw-dropping cinematography. 

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Nonbinary Billions star Asia Kate Dillon plays The Adjudicator, a role that director Chad Stahelski says was initially imagined "like the judge in Blood Meridian," but was reshaped after he and Reeves fell in love with Dillon.

In a genre dominated by straight, cisgender men, Dillon is excited to redefine what an action film can look like and the types kinds of characters that typically get cast. 

"There's so much diversity in these [John Wick] films right from the get," Dillon told PRIDE at the red carpet premiere of John Wick 3 held at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theater. "There's cultural diversity, ethnic diversity, these films travel all over the world. And so it's a real credit to Lionsgate and Chad and Keanu that when I said, 'Look, I'm a nonbinary trans actor let's make this character a nonbinary trans character,' they were like, 'Heck yeah.' Gender diversity feels really natural for this third film, I think."

At first, Stahelski and Reeves had a very stereotypically masculine idea of the character.

"Keanu came up with this idea of The Adjudicator like the judge in Blood Meridian kinda vibe we were going for," Stahelski explains. "We were gonna go really big and masculine but it just didn't feel right with the action vibe we had going on. So we wanted to take a new approach."

He continued: "I didn't have a great vision to figure out how I wanted to bend the character. I was reaching out for all different kinds of avenues to try and find the right person to play something I hadn't seen before."

The film's line producer, Jeff Waxton, put a bug in Stahelski's ear to watch the Showtime drama Billions. When he finally took him up on that advice, he fell in love with Dillon as an actor. "I saw Asia perform and I was just mystified, I was like, 'That's cool. that's a great performer.' I didn't really know anything other than that was a great performer."

So Stahelski reached out to Dillon to be a part of the John Wick family.

"I got a call that Chad wanted to meet me because they had seen my work on Billions," said Dillon. "They wanted to meet me because they were interested in me playing this character, The Adjudicator. Chad had mentioned to me that it had been written as he/him as well as she/her, but nothing had felt quite right. And I said, 'Well, we have a real opportunity here. I'm a nonbinary trans person, so let's make this character nonbinary and trans.'"

And so it was written.

"We met and they were just super impressive," Reeves told PRIDE. "Some of their work, their presence, their authenticity, their strength and meeting them in person they were just so cool and they had a real, wonderful take on the role. It just worked."

Stahelski agreed. "Asia was very gracious, came and met Keanu and I, and at the end of the read we all decided it was a great fit, and I've been very thankful ever since." He added with a chuckle, "Best stare I've ever seen." 

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Dillon, who hopes their role will inspire more LGBTQ+ characters in action movies, is proud to be a part of the blockbuster franchise and praised the executives for being so open to a nonbinary/trans character.

"It's a real credit to Lionsgate and Chad and Keanu that they were just like, 'Of course.'

Our only complaint? Dillon never gets their hands dirty with John Wick, opting instead to loom over their underlings with the menacing air of someone at the top of the food chain. Maybe Dillon will get a fight scene of their own in the next film? 

"I wasn't upset that I didn't get any because I was just thrilled to be there every day that I got to be there," Dillon laughed. "But also, I'm totally excited for the possibilities of what The Adjudicator has in their future."   

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum hits theaters on May 17. Watch the trailer below.

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