How 'Transparent' Changed Jeffrey Tambor

By Lowman, Rob | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), September 22, 2016 | Go to article overview

How 'Transparent' Changed Jeffrey Tambor


Lowman, Rob, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Jeffrey Tambor, left, in Season 3 of "Transparent" on Amazon. Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Transparent

What: The 10-episode third season of the acclaimed comedy.

When: Available Friday.

Where: Amazon.

Jeffrey Tambor is finishing up a photo shoot in a sunlit room, gladly posing for "one last picture."

The longtime character actor known for his roles on "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Arrested Development" is relishing this time in the spotlight, which has come in the wake of his role on the acclaimed comedy "Transparent."

On Sunday, Tambor received his second-straight Emmy as best actor in a comedy for his sensitive performance as Maura Pfefferman, a retired university professor transitioning to a woman, who must deal with her own questions of identity and those of her family.

The Amazon series is returning for a third season; all the new episodes are available Friday.

As we sit down to talk, Tambor quizzically stares at me and says, "I know you." I tell him we met two years ago when I interviewed him prior to "Transparent's" debut. At the time, he told me he liked my hair and was trying to figure out how to make Maura's fall like mine.

"I think I took a picture," says Tambor. That memory speaks to the actor's intensity in developing every nuance of the complex character.

"I always felt a certain chemistry with the role, but I think I'm a little bit more eager now to accept the challenges," he says.

The actor explains that at first it was easier to deal with the exterior elements of the character -- wearing dresses, walking in heels -- than her interior. He observes that Maura has been going through the same process.

"It's been a very interesting challenge learning to being more comfortable."

Season three of the boundary-pushing, Peabody-, Golden Globe-, and Emmy-winning "Transparent," created by Jill Soloway, will involve a flashback to 1958, telling the story of Maura as a 12- year-old who is not out yet. In the present day, the 70-year-old Maura is exploring options for gender confirmation surgery.

"I would never call her 'assured,' but I think her confidence level is up," says Tambor about his character this season.

"Maura has changed me. Jill has changed me, not only as an actor, but more importantly as a person, as a daddy and a citizen," says Tambor. "I'm certainly more appreciative and grateful."

The actor has four children with his wife, plus an adult daughter from a previous marriage. …

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