“Transparent” is more than just a television show. “This is a moment. It’s a perfectly timed creative explosion,” said creator Jill Soloway from the stage at the Ace Hotel’s United Artists Theater Monday night. In welcoming cast, friends and guests to the premiere of the new Amazon comedy, Soloway took the opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in the show in some way, from her actors to the transgender community who inspired the piece.
“Transparent,” follows the Pfefferman family as father Mort (Jeffrey Tambor) finds who he really is, and transitions to Maura, “but really it’s a story about everyone in the family,” said Jay Duplass, who plays middle child Josh. “And everyone is undergoing a massive sort of evolution so, five different family members, very different types of people, and there’s something in there for everybody.”
“You see someone who is saying ‘I want to live an authentic life, I want to be courageous, I want to be as the person I was meant to be, and live that way’ and what happens to the rest of us who are not living as authentically as she is,” noted Judith Light, matriarch of the Pfefferman family.
The audience roared with cheers and applause as the first two episodes of the series played out on the big screen — the loudest praise for Tambor. Though the focal character of the series, Tambor remarked that he certainly wasn’t seeking to be center of attention. “All I thought of was ‘This is important. This is the part of a lifetime. This is why you went into acting, and let’s go!” he said.
“I’m still learning,” he shared, adding that he has had a lot of help preparing for the role from the LGBT community and doesn’t think of himself as the answer to a larger issue. “The revolution is here and it needs to keep going. Any small part I can play in getting rid of the trans-phobia and the trans-prejudice, I’m down for it.”
Amy Landecker, who plays Sarah, the oldest Pfefferman child, said that she was initially attracted to “Transparent” by Soloway’s writing. “The fact that it was combined with such a personal story, and that us telling it could actually — and I’m not being hyperbolic — save people’s lives, was really important.”
“The best part is realizing all the permutations there are of family – of normal, and that what constitutes family has very little to do with people’s outside perceptions,” said Carrie Brownstein. Brownstein remarked that she “was ready to do anything” to take part in the Soloway production, and was thrilled when the creator expressed writing a role specifically for her.
“This is a new perspective,” she said, “but it’s also not new. People’s families are all full of all different people and it seems remarkable to me – this is just a family and a lot of people are going to be able to relate to it.”
All ten episodes of “Transparent” drop on Amazon Sept. 26.
(Pictured: Amy Landecker, Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light and Jay Duplass at the “Transparent” premiere)