Actress Alexandra Billings has signed on for a recurring role on the Roseanne spinoff, Deadline reported.
In a multi-episode arc, Billings will play Robin, a transgender woman who works as a supervisor at the local Wellman Plastics factory where Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Ley Gormamson) have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans know that the factory was the longtime place of employment for late Conner matriarch Roseanne in the original ABC sitcom more than 30 years ago, when George Clooney played supervisor Booker Brooks. A lifetime later, Billings will serve as a “no-nonsense” boss and “friend and mentor” to Rosanne’s daughter Darlene.
Billings will make her debut on The Conners in the November 25 episode titled “Friends in High Places and Horse Surgery.”
“Darlene begins to develop a friendship with a manager at Wellman Plastics, which lands her in an awkward situation between the boss and her sister, Becky,” a synopsis for the episode shared on the ABC press site noted.
In a series of sneak peek photos from the episode, Billings’ Robin character is seen joining the Conner family for dinner. The Wellman boss is pictured sitting at the kitchen table with her two co-workers as well as Darlene’s son Mark (Ames McNamara), Conner patriarch Dan (John Goodman), and his girlfriend Louise (Katey Sagal).
The 2018 reboot of Roseanne, which spawned The Conners after series star Roseanne Barr’s firing, addressed real issues in society from the get-go.
Gilbert, one of the producers on the ABC spinoff, previously told Entertainment Weekly that the show “represents the world,” a mantra that has continued nearly three years later as new characters continue to be introduced.
Early on, fans wondered if the pre-teen Mark was transgender because he likes to wear female clothing.
“He’s not a transgender character,” Gilbert told ET. “He’s a little boy. He’s based on a few kids in my life that are boys who dress in more traditionally feminine clothing… He doesn’t identify as transgender, but he just likes wearing that kind of clothing and that’s where he is at this point in his life.”
Billings is known for her role as Davina in the popular Amazon series Transparent. She was also one of the first openly transgender women to play a trans character on TV, in the 2005 made-for-TV movie Romy and Michele: In the Beginning. Billings went on to play transgender characters in several other shows, including ER and Grey’s Anatomy.