Chances are you’ve seen him if you’ve ever watched a movie or TV show. A lovable corporate criminal. An amoral defense attorney. A psychotic doctor. These are but a few roles in the eclectic career of character actor, Jeffrey Tambor. He’s reportedly about to do another role as a transgender parent in Amazon’s pilot “Transparent.”
The half-hour show centers on Tambor’s character “Mort,” a father who tells his children he’s been living a secret life as a transgender. The three adult kids, all of whom believe their father only wants to talk about the family’s money, are more than surprise at what their father reveals to them.
“Mort tells them that he’s been leading a secret life as a transgender, which, as you may imagine, turns everyone’s lives upside down. Relationships change, and everyone is forced to look at their lives through a completely different filter. Gabby Hoffman, who stars as the titular character in Sebastián Silva’s Crystal Fairy, has signed on to play Ali, one of Mort’s daughters. The other two children, Sarah and Joshua, have yet to be cast.”
The pilot’s writer and director is no stranger to redefining cultural barriers. Known for such works as “Tell Me You Love Me,” the Chicago-born author received the Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Jill Soloway, who wrote and directed the soon-to-release indie Afternoon Delight, is also writing and directing the pilot. Soloway has written and produced for such shows as Six Feet Under, United States of Tara and Grey’s Anatomy. Interestingly, she also worked on a few episodes of Dirty Sexy Money, which featured the first ever primetime role for a transgender (Carmelita) as actually played by a transgender actress (Candis Cayne).”
Set to start shooting next month, the pilot has not yet been picked up as a TV series. It seems some are still excited about what the collective artistic vision may bring.
“The pilot has been optioned by Amazon Studios — which entered the original content game shortly after rival Netflix announced it, too, would debut original, exclusive scripted content.”