Jeffrey Tambor's passion for 'Transparent': 'This is about changing people's lives'
"It is the most transformative role I have ever done," Tambor told the assembled press corps after winning Best Actor in a TV Comedy for his performance as a transgender woman in the Jill Soloway-created series. "Bottom line, not to be glib or slogany, this is about changing people’s lives. This is about freedom and I get to partake in some aspect of that and I am honored. ...My hands shook every day, not for the reviews or awards, but just to get it right. I was honored."
The show, which also won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series, is a huge win for Amazon, a very recent player in the realm of original programming. Tambor had high praise for the studio as well.
"Amazon and [comedy head] Joe [Lewis] behind me, they have guts and they have taste," he continued. "And when they would come to the set, they would just — it was like to me it was like off Broadway, go, go, go. That to me is what I have always wanted as an actor. And working with Jill and working with these people, it’s a very safe set. There is no wrong. There is no — we are just getting it right, and next take and next take and next take."
Speaking of Jill Soloway, who joined Tambor backstage along with a number of the show's cast and crew, the show idea occurred to her after her own father came out as transgender three years ago.
"It was a lot and a huge announcement," she said. "My first thought was 'I love you and I am proud of you and thank you for being you and telling me who you are and being so brave.' And my second thought a couple moments later was I think I had a TV show. I could just feel it from that moment. ...The content of the show is transformative and the way this is really going to affect the trans community is transformative."
For Tambor, who won his first Golden Globe Sunday evening, the award more than anything gave him a grand opportunity to praise Soloway for giving him the role of a lifetime: "Jill transformed my life and changed my life."