Warning! Spoilers ahead for The Conners’ Season 3 episode, called “Protest, Drug Test and No One Leaves the Nest.”
It was announced last month that Alexandra Billings would be joining Season 3 of The Conners in order to play the role of Robin Shetsky, Becky and Darlene’s boss at Wellman Plastics factory. The actress was first introduced in the fifth episode of Season 3, but things already became very personal and “emotional” for Billings during a pivotal scene in The Conners’ fall finale.
In Episode 6 of The Conners' third season, Robin got candid with Lecy Goranson’s Becky and revealed that she is a transgender woman. The scene itself added depth to the episode and showcased the high level of trust between Becky and Robin, while also explaining why Robin wasn’t quite as willing to march along with her employees in protest of supervised drug testing. For Alexandra Billings, the scene meant a lot because it somewhat mirrored her real life experiences as a trans woman. Speaking with TheWrap, Billings was asked how she approached the crucial scene as her character. Here’s what she said:
I love this question, only because it was more difficult than I thought it was gonna be — story of my life, by the way. ‘Oh, this is gonna go great.’ And then all hell breaks loose. But I went in thinking, I’m gonna do the thing, and everything will be fine. But it got very emotional for me. And I really don’t, to be honest with you, know what happened. Because there’s a line, I’m paraphrasing, where she says something like, ‘I’ve already fought those battles’ when Becky asks her to come march and fight. And Robin says, ‘I don’t want to. I don’t want to because I’ve done it.’ You know, I’m a middle-aged person. I’ve been trans my whole life. And I’ve stood in those lines. I’ve marched in those parades. I’ve done all that. Robin is saying, ‘I have absolutely no desire to do it [anymore]. If you want to do it, that’s great. And I don’t think that’s where I am, but it’s part of where I am. I feel now that the younger generation needs to pick up the baton.’
Alexandra Billings went on to reflect on the various events from her past that have led her to a new perspective. Having been diagnosed with AIDS in the ‘80s, Billings explained how she has lived through two major global tragedies – the AIDS epidemic and COVID-19 – and how she’s marched and signed petitions throughout her lifetime. Ultimately, Billings related her experiences back to her performance as Robin to explain why her character now has that particular perspective during the conversation with Becky on The Conners.
The pivotal scene becomes even more interesting when you consider that Robin and Becky don’t have the greatest relationship. In fact, Robin is more of a mentor and friend to Becky’s sister Darlene. With that in mind, the scene played out as a much more intimate moment between the pair, which Alexandra Billings says was helped along by her and Lecy Goranson’s great rapport offscreen.