When you think of Amazon's original video offerings, despite Golden Globe Awards for shows like Mozart in the Jungle, there's really only one name that comes to fans' lips: Transparent. And it was the big show at the streaming show creator's day at the Television Critics Association fall previews.
The cast and crew (minus creator Jill Soloway, who is taking a much deserved break after crafting Season 3) gathered on stage to talk about what to expect in the upcoming season, including revealing the theme: "coming out of your shell."
This idea will affect all of the cast and characters, but most of all Maura (Jeffrey Tambor), with flashbacks peppered throughout, going all the way back to 1958, when she was a 12-year-old who hadn't yet come out as trans. Here's everything else we learned from the panel:
1. The kids are all right."I think they took a little bit of a hit coming out, some people called them selfish," Tambor said of the younger characters on the show. "They have righted themselves."
2. There's no net, and that's OK. "Neither Maura, nor Jeffrey knows what will happen in that scene, and that's very new," Tambor noted. "It's nice to not know quite what will happen until you do it."
3. Tambor is always Maura. Tambor told a story about meeting Soloway at a Le Pain Quotidien, joking that all his stories involved restaurants in some way, before continuing. "There's no doubt [Maura] changed my life," Tambor said more seriously. "I go on a set and become Maura." But at the end of the day, "I take off my costume, but I never take off Maura."
Alexandra Billings, who plays Davina on the show, broke in and said she wanted to note something Tambor himself would never say out loud. "This thing that's happening to him is not about putting anything on, it's coming from inside of him," Billings said. "It's about revelation, and release, and surrender. ... What Jeffrey does cannot be hung up in a closet."
4. Maura will continue changing in Season 3. "What do you mean?" asked Tambor when asked how much Maura's appearance can change without changing Tambor. After the laughter died down, he added, "No spoilers, but stay tuned," teasing that Maura's physical journey will continue in the new season.
5. It's not safe, and that's what makes it safe. Amy Landecker, who plays Sarah Pfefferman said that her first day shooting Season 3, she was in leather, with whips. "I tried reversing roles, and I was totally freaked out," Pfefferman said. "It's not easy to push yourselves. But with Transparent, it's OK to not be OK with it."
Landecker add that she's met members of the BDSM community, who are some of the "nicest" people she's ever met, and beyond stretching how you can perform, it's great to have the full support of the cast, crew, and even in the editing room.
Judith Light, who plays Shelly Pfefferman, agreed, and credited being able to share scenes with Tambor for how she was able to tackle more complicated or emotionally dangerous scenes. "Jill made us feel incredibly safe," Light said of the bathtub scene from the second episode of Season 2. "You always feel safe. It's a connection of everybody hearing everybody else."
All 10 episodes of Transparent Season 3 drop on Amazon on Friday, Sept. 23.