The Star Trek universe just got a little bigger. CBS All Access revealed groundbreaking news Wednesday by casting the franchise’s first non-binary actor Blu del Barrio and transgender actor Ian Alexander (The OA) . The two actors will be portraying non-binary and transgender characters on Star Trek: Discovery’s third season, making it a watershed moment via Indiewire.
Star Trek is a major franchise that has been around since the 1960s. First airing on television in 1966, it was created by Gene Roddenberry and became an instant hit. Since the beginning, it has been applauded for its diverse set of characters coming from various different backgrounds.
In Star Trek: Discovery’s upcoming third season, Alexander will portray Gray, a Trill with big dreams. Del Barrio will portray Adira, a non-binary resident of the 32nd Century coming aboard the U.S.S Discovery.
Michelle Paradise (The Originals), the showrunner and co-producer of the show, expressed her excitement about the addition of the new two actors. Indiewire picked up Paradise’s statement as follows: “Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because it believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach…We take pride in working closely with Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander and Nick Adams at GLAAD to create the extraordinary characters of Adira and Gray, and bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment and joy.”
Del Barrio was finishing up school at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic arts when they auditioned and got the role, according to Indiewire. Ian Alexander is known for his role in the critically acclaimed Netflix Original series, The OA. In it he Played Buck Vu, becoming the first openly transgender Asian American actor on television. Season three of Star Trek: Discovery will debut on October 15, 2020.