Jeffrey Tambor: ‘People’s Lives Depend’ on Transgender TV Show ‘Transparent’

Amazon Studios

Actor Jeffrey Tambor, who plays transgender woman Maura Pfefferman on Amazon’s Transparent, said he believes “people’s lives depend” on his award-winning show.

During a panel discussion held by the Television Academy on Thursday at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the cast and crew of Transparent discussed the anatomy of the show.

Tambor, 71, recalled the development of his character.

“We went on a field trip to the Oxwood Inn (in Van Nuys) and we went into the bathroom and we put Maura’s wig on and we looked in the mirror and there she was,” he told the audience, according to Variety. “It was like an old friend. And we danced. I was shaking. And I told myself, ‘Never forget this shaking.’ It was a very important night.”

The actor added: “The world is changing, and for us to be part of it is everything I thought acting was … People’s lives depend on this. Lives are at stake. And that’s quite a mission.”

Tambor described himself as being left emotionally naked by the “huge responsibility” of the role. He also said that the production of season two, episode nine sometimes made him “throw-up nervous.”

Star Wars director J.J. Abrams moderated the discussion.

The Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning show is one of Amazon’s first original television series.

Tambor’s co-star, actress Melora Hardin, previously credited the show with the way people view and interact with the transgender community.

“I just feel so fortunate to be on a show that’s really changing, I think, the way people might interact with a trans person,” she said. “I certainly didn’t have trans people in my life before the show. I’d met some trans people, but I hadn’t had an opportunity to have relationships with them.”


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