Jeffrey Tambor feels like he’s landed the part of a lifetime.
The actor, best known for his roles on Arrested Development and The Larry Sanders Show, is now starring in Transparent as a father with three grown children who is transitioning from male to female.
To play transgender female Maura Pfefferman in the dramedy, which premieres tonight on Amazon Prime, Tambor did his homework.
‘I have had so much help from the LGBT community and I’m still learning,’ he told Gay Star News at last week’s splashy Los Angeles red carpet premiere.
‘I didn’t think of (breaking new ground) all I thought of was this is important, this is a part of a lifetime, this is why you went into acting.’
The 70-year-old actor and five-time Emmy nominee is very passionate now about trans awareness and equality.
‘The revolution is here and it needs to keep going,’ he said. ‘Any small part I can play in bringing consciousness here and getting rid of the transphobia and the trans prejudice, I’m down for it.’
Judith Light, who plays Pfefferman’s ex-wife and mother of his children, is happy to be a part of what she says is a superb acting ensemble.
‘We did a lot of work beforehand ‘to help us get emotionally connected to each other in these really powerful ways and I think you see that on the screen and I think you’re going to see that through all the storyline,’ said the actress who also was a regular on the most recent season of TNT’s Dallas.
The two-time Tony Award winning actress is a longtime LGBT activist so being a part of Transparent is especially gratifying for her.
‘I hope we are going to be a part of changing the culture and removing bigotry and prejudice and give people more of an understanding of the transgender community,’ she said.
Light added: ‘The entire LGBTQ community is actually a demonstration to the world that people can be authentic and courageous and live their truth. They can be a demonstration to all of us how we can do that.’
Creator Series creator and executive producer Jill Soloway said that while the show will certainly be educational for many, it is above all entertaining.
‘We’re going to teach and we’re going to do so with comedy and with love and with sexuality,’ she said. ‘It’s really fun to watch and hopefully will resonate on all levels. You can laugh your head off, cry, get turned on – lather, rinse, repeat over and and over again.’
Soloway is especially passionate about the show because in real life, her father transitioned to female.
For her, and for the fictional Pfefferman family, the experience is ‘about family, about love, about being accepted for who you are. It’s about a family and about being yourself.’
But Maura is not the only person with drama in her life.
Says Soloway: ‘Everyone in the family is asking the questions "What happens if I tell the truth?" and "Will you still love me if I tell the truth?" So, I think it resonates for everybody.