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Jeffrey Tambor Talks About 'Transparent' Responsibility
August 8, 2016  | By David Hinckley
 

After the Amazon series Transparent launched in February 2014, Jeffrey Tambor says he could hear the murmurs.

Tambor, who has since won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his portrayal of transgender Maura Pfefferman, told television writers Sunday in that “there’d be that voice, the one saying ‘what you’re doing, that’s not right.’

“That’s dwindling now. The zeitgeist is happening, the times they are a-changing. Thank God.”

With the third season of Transparent set to drop on Amazon Sept. 23, and a fourth season already ordered, Tambor and his colleagues said they’re delighted not only with the success of the show, but with the way it has joined in the surprisingly rapid march toward LGBTQ rights.

“This show treats our community with great respect,” says Alexandra Billings, who plays Davina. “It’s changing the political climate in regard to how we talk about gender. It’s adding to the revolution.”

Tambor says the show has changed his own thinking on gender issues.

“It made me more aware of women being judged by their looks first,” he said. “I had to understand.”

And yet, he added after a pause, “I was watching a woman politician the other day and noting how she looked and what she was wearing. And suddenly I realized I was in the bag, I was doing the exact same thing.”

There’s a responsibility to being on this show and playing this character, Tambor said. “I always have some trepidation about doing it right. . . . But I think I’m more comfortable this year. I was shooting movies in Germany and France and people would come up to me to talk about Transparent. I think it’s had a little more influence.”

He also suggested that as the show has run more episodes, its message has become more solid.

“At first, some people called the reaction of the kids [to Maura’s decision] selfish. But thanks to the writing, I think you see now that it’s more in more in balance, that they’ve kind of regulated themselves.”

“We know the level of responsibility we have,” said Judith Light, who plays Shelley, Maura’s ex-wife. “We know we have to go deeper, to dig deeper.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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