Jeffrey Tambor praises Amazon's 'guts' for 'Transparent' role

Transparent's Tambor: playing a trans woman has changed me
Transparent's Tambor: playing a trans woman has changed me

When "Transparent" first streamed in 2014, no one had never seen anything quite like it.

Before Bruce became Caitlyn, Mort became Maura, giving Amazon's its first commercial and critically-acclaimed hit.

The just released-second season explores the reverberations of the main character's coming out as transgender.

"At 70 years old [having] made my break for authenticity and made a break for freedom - how do I manifest that?" Tambor wonders. "Who are my friends? Will I ever be in love?"

The first season focused on the main character's gender, meticulously skirting the separate question of her sexuality. Now, the audience gets a sense of Maura's intimate desires, making for the first-ever senior-citizen transgender sex scene in mainstream media.

Taking on all the changes of a transgender person endures has also changed Tambor.

"I'm more present as Jeffrey Tambor than I ever been," the first-time Emmy winner says. "I think it's affected me, not only as an actor and an artist, but also as a person. You become very present and you go, 'Oh, I was just sitting in this little box living my life. There's a much bigger box, a much, much bigger box to play in.'"

With Maura's gender identity out in the open, the series' attention shifts to the transformation the family is living. The relatability of the individual characters draws the viewer in, but at times the family's unruliness may leave many asking if a family can really be this dysfunctional?

"Yes! Love is not just Mel Torme singing. Love has a lot of beats," Tambor says. "You have to understand that the parent has left the building. And I think the kids have taken a bit of a hit because they're scared. People, when they're scared, do really funny things."

Amazon's hands-off approach has allowed the show's creators to push the limits even further this season, but Tambor still isn't comfortable with all aspects of the streaming and binging.

"Our show will go out and then on Monday I'll get these emails or tweets," Tambor explains. "And they'll say, "'Oh, well I binged all 10. Where's the next season?' That's very new for me. It's interesting."

Tambor never imagined becoming a part of the LGBT movement, but he's incredibly comfortable with this role.

"A man came up to me on the airplane," Tambor says waving his finger. "And I went 'This is not going to be pretty.' He came up to me and he said, 'Thank you for introducing me to an area and to a subject I had no idea of.' That is the revolution. That is who I'm after."

The show is already preparing to film a third season and Tambor sees no reason why there won't be a fourth installment.

"What's so fantastic is this Amazon, they have taste and they have guts."


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