“Transparent”s second Emmy campaign, which launched Thursday at Hollywood’s DGA Theater, is officially underway. The Amazon drama’s inaugural 2015 run garnered an impressive 11 nominations and five wins, including honors for outstanding lead actor and outstanding directing in a comedy series.
As the cast and creators gear up for round two, they reflected on the hit series’ transition into an ensemble cast, contributions to social change and intense, deeply-emotional subject matter.
“What’s great about Season 2 is that it’s really an ensemble,” Jeffrey Tambor, who plays transgender woman Maura Pfefferman, told Variety before the event. “Even though it nominally went through Maura’s story, now everyone’s having their story. That’s what’s so brilliant.”
“We encountered this amazing gift in ‘Transparent,'” creator Jill Soloway said during the panel discussion. “We all got sucked onto this thing that has its own velocity, which is this story, this family, the Pfeffermans — they have their own place. I just come and try to write their story.”
“What we’re doing when we’re at work is attempting to find the truth in any one emotional moment,” Soloway, who’s also directed 12 episodes between Season 1 and 2, continued. “We’re trying to create space for people to feel things and know how these feelings unfold over beats.”
The showrunner added, “I’m always wanting to walk that tightrope of having no idea where we’re going and we could go anywhere at any moment. Those sort of tonal shifts that feel like a ride, that when you’re watching the show you’re holding on for dear life — that’s our goal.”
The Golden Globe-winning series has extended acting opportunities to trans actresses including Trace Lysette, Hari Nef, Our Lady J and Alexandra Billings, who have all appeared in recurring roles. Billings, also present on the panel, briefly discussed her emotional transitioning process.
“The fact that I’m breathing, alive, present, awake and on this particular artistic journey is beyond words,” said Billings, who was diagnosed with AIDS in the 80s.
“Transparent” cast members Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Gabby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, Kathryn Hahn, Alexandra Billings and Cherry Jones were also in attendance at the panel, which also included a special appearances by Norman Lear.
Season 3, which is still in production, is set to premiere later this year.