How Transparent Became the Most Trans-Inclusive Show in Hollywood History

15 Surprising Facts About Transparent

How Transparent Became the Most Trans-Inclusive Show in Hollywood History

Since its Amazon debut in 2014, critics have fallen madly in love with the Pfeffermans, a difficult family trying to make sense of their lives in the wake of their father coming out as trans.

Earlier this month,Transparent's second season earned Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Soloway their second consecutive Emmy awards for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Directing for a Comedy Series, respectively.

On the heels of Transparent's season three premiere, here are 15 facts you might not know about the groundbreaking show that cemented Amazon as a major player in the TV game. 

1. A STORY ABOUT COURTENEY COX'S BUTT HELPED JUMPSTART JILL SOLOWAY'S CAREER

While working her first L.A.

writing gigs at The Steve Harvey Show and Nikki (which she called «the worst sitcom in the world»), Transparent creator Jill Soloway had some time on her hands to mess around on a show called Sit 'n Spin with her friends.

The show involved people reading monologues and/or fiction, for which Soloway penned the hilarious «Courteney Cox's A**hole,» a work of fiction told from the perspective of Cox's personal assistant. 

Soloway later sent the piece to a handful of literary magazines, while her agent passed it on to Alan Ball, executive producer of HBO's Six Feet Under.

 Ball was impressed, telling TIME that the story, albeit a few pages long, was able to «convey the very real pain of a soul yearning to be authentic in a completely inauthentic world.

» Also: He felt confident she'd be able to «write the hell Claire and Brenda.» Soloway won a spot in the Six Feet Under writer's room. 

2. SOLOWAY AND LENA DUNHAM COMPETED FOR THE SAME HBO SLOT. (DUNHAM WON.)

This huge victory was not without a series of painful rejections, too.

In what The New Yorker called a «downward slide»—the period immediately following her Six Feet Under residency in 2005—Soloway was fired from both HBO's United States of Tara and Grey's Anatomy.

Then, she was beat what seemed to be a promising HBO slot by Lena Dunham (who would go on to create Girls). To add insult to injury, Soloway recalls people would frequently ask her if she was related to Dunham—»People were, , it’s you, but younger and better.”

3. TRANSPARENT IS EXACTLY TWO PERCENT AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL

Soloway knew she wanted to make her own family show ever since working on Six Feet Under. What she didn't know is that her father would come out as trans at the age of 75—a pivotal moment which would eventually become the central storyline of the hit Amazon series. Speaking to Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, Soloway called it her «creative destiny.»

Soloway has also gone on record saying that the storyline of Shelly and Ed was informed by the death of her mother's husband, who had frontal temporal dementia. Nevertheless, Soloway has been resistant to the label of «autobiography» through the years, telling Rolling Stone back in 2014 that Transparent is «98 percent fictionalized.»

«The Pfeffermans are just very real people,» she said. «The reason I wanted to cast Jeffrey [Tambor] is because he's always reminded me of my parent. They really have a very similar sense of humor and that was just immediate. Other than that, it's not really autobiographical.»

4. IT'S THE MOST TRANS-INCLUSIVE PRODUCTION IN HOLLYWOOD HISTORY. 

Transparent

producer Rhys Ernst told OUT that he felt strongly about casting a trans actor to portray a young Maura (Tambor) in season three's flashback sequences, ultimately bringing 12-year-old Sophia Grace Gianna (who had recently transitioned) on for the part. 

This trans-inclusiveness has been a through line for the show's three-season production: Ernst said that the show has employed more than 50 trans and gender-nonconforming people in the capacity of «crew members or as actors with speaking roles.» That doesn't include what he estimates to be «hundreds of extras.»

5. JAY DUPLASS FELL INTO THE ROLE OF JOSH PFEFFERMAN

During a get-together for directors that Jay and his brother Mark regularly hosted, Duplass got to talking with Soloway, who told him that she was struggling to find someone for the part of Josh Pfefferman.

After he'd rattled off a list of actor suggestions, a light bulb went off in Soloway's head: He was just the guy she was looking for, even though he wasn't an actor and was already swamped with work on developing Togetherness for HBO.

In Soloway's mind, Duplass was the «wildly charismatic and wildly insecure» Jewish guy in his mid-30s that she'd been looking for the whole time. 

6. PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME SEPARATING JAY DUPLASS FROM JOSH PFEFFERMAN

Living in Eagle Rock—a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles, and the same general area where Transparent is filmed—has created a host of funny situations for Duplass.

Particularly because people can't seem to separate his on-screen character as the «roving male id» from his off-screen one as a father and husband when they bump into him at a Trader Joe's.

(Yes, he's been known to have locals tell him not to «mess things up» with the rabbi—as if that were something he had control over.)

The differences don't end at father and husband, either. Duplass told Gold Derby that he grew up going to Catholic school and «being overly responsible to everyone around [him].» Also, the sex: «I think Josh Pfefferman has more sex in season one than I've had in my entire life,» he said.

7. SOLOWAY EMBRACES IMPROVISATION ON SET. 

Season two of Transparent opens with a four-minute scene so perfect and categorically «Pfefferman,» it ly did not occur to you that the whole thing was predicated on a mistake. The whole family is gathering for a wedding portrait and we hear the photographer mis-gender Maura. Maura doesn't let the flub go unnoticed, snapping back, «Did he just call me sir? This is over.»

Gaby Hoffman told Vanity Fair that this scene began as a «one-line moment in the script.» That is, Soloway stepped back and let «everybody [say] whatever the hell he or she was saying.» It was Tambor who made the snap decision to incorporate this mistake into the scene. 

Michaela Watkins (Yetta and Connie in season two) echoed Hoffman's sentiments in an episode of WTF with Marc Maron, telling Maron that she remembered Soloway encouraging her to just use the script as a «roadmap.» «Throw it out, you know what happens. You do it.» Coming from such an accomplished writer, these words left an impression. 

«She's not ego-driven,» Watkins said. «She didn't do it because she needed to be revered. It's how she does every single scene—whether it's with two people or 100 people. She just horse-whispers you before it. And then you shoot it, and you're operating from this other place.»

8. CHERRY JONES'S CHARACTER IS POET EILEEN MYLES, WHO IS SOLOWAY'S GIRLFRIEND.  

Among Transparent's slate of new cast members introduced in season two is Leslie (Cherry Jones), an intense feminist scholar who lures Ali in with her sexual confidence and wisdom. 

Soloway's writing staff had encouraged her to read up on the work of Eileen Myles while fleshing out the character. Later, the two met while speaking on a panel at a museum event in San Francisco. When the opportunity presented itself, Soloway asked Myles what she meant by a line in one of her journals. «Whoever falls in love with me is in trouble,» that line read.

“It could also be true that anybody who falls in love with Jill is in trouble—deeply, deeply in trouble,» Myles responded. «If you both have strong wills, you’re always pushing the boundaries. Love is trouble, you know, which is one thing that is so great about it.”

(Funnily enough, the real Eileen Myles later appears as an extra in a scene opposite her «copy.» Her poetry is recited by many different characters throughout the season.) 

9. CARRIE BROWNSTEIN WAS ORIGINALLY SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROLE OF TAMMY

As the story goes, Portlandia and Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein was so adored on the set of Transparent that a role was created just for her. «Originally, when we were trying to cast Tammy, her name came up,» Soloway said.

«But I always felt Tammy was really tan and blonde, Lady Diana or someone who spent some time in her childhood on a ranch.

And Carrie just seemed too Jewy to play Tammy, but I really, really wanted to work with her, so in the writers' room we created this character of Syd for her.»

10. SOLOWAY HAD GABY HOFFMAN IN MIND FOR THE PART OF ALI AFTER SEEING HER IN LOUIE

In the season three premiere of Louie, Gaby Hoffman is introduced as Louis C.K.'s girlfriend just as the relationship is about to end. Though brief, her role in the larger arc of the series is vital, forcing C.K. to confront his introversion head-on. Soloway was blown away by the performance, telling Rolling Stone:

«I just loved the way she was talking the whole time and he's trying to get a word in edgewise and he lets her break up with him. I just loved the way words rolled off her tongue and nothing seemed written. I loved how free she was. I was just who is this really cool, Jewish lady? And she's not even Jewish.»

11. JEFFREY TAMBOR USED MORE OF HIMSELF FOR THE CHARACTER OF MAURA THAN ANY OTHER ROLE. 

Jeffrey Tambor anticipated the biggest challenge of playing a trans character would be the physical transformation, though this was quickly proven incorrect.

He told Terry Gross in a Fresh Air interview that that part turned out to be «very, very easy» for him. The hardest part? Coming to terms with his true self.

«I got to use more of Jeffrey than I've ever used in any role. Probably even in playing Jeffrey,» he said.

12. TAMBOR WENT «METHOD» TO WARM UP TO HIS ROLE AS MAURA

Ahead of shooting the pilot episode of Transparent, Tambor was taken on a field trip by producers Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker. To get to the heart of his character, Maura, Tambor was encouraged to put on his full wardrobe and go out in public for the first time. The scariest part wouldn't be the club-hopping but, in fact, the inevitable walk through the hotel lobby. 

«I can remember my legs were shaking, literally trembling—not so much because we were going to a club, but I was so nervous about the walk through the hotel lobby,» Tambor told the Los Angeles Times.

«And I remember telling myself: 'Remember this. Don't forget this. Let this instruct every single one of your shots and your days.' And it did.

It has nothing to do with the entirety of what being a transgender person is, by any means, but it informed me.»

13. JUDITH LIGHT WAS VERY NERVOUS ABOUT SHOOTING THAT NSFW BATHTUB SCENE

Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Light's reaction to reading the now-iconic bathtub scene in «Flicky-Flicky Thump-Thump» for the first time went something this: «Oh my god, I can’t do this. I can’t do this.

» Upon further encouragement from her manager Herb Hamsher, as well as castmates Amy Landecker, Gaby Hoffman, Kathryn Hahn, and Jay Duplass (all quite experienced with the art of the sex scene), she agreed to the intimate scene with her ex, Maura (Tambor). 

«When it was done they wrote me and said, ‘That was so beautiful.’ That’s the kind of working circumstance we have,» Light said.

She continued: 

“Jeffrey texted me afterward and I believe the text was something , ‘It doesn’t get any better than this and thank you.’ Thanking me. He’s the most remarkable man. I’ve known for forever how incredibly talented he is.

But this really just allows him to shine in a way he has long deserved. For my friend, I rejoice. He was there for me every single second of that scene.

We were so present for each other and I think it comes across in the scene.»

14. FAITH SOLOWAY, JILL'S SISTER AND SHOW WRITER, WAS HARI NEF'S CAMP COUNSELOR. 

One of Transparent's breakout stars is the 23-year-old trans actress, model, and writer Hari Nef, who plays Gittel.

Faith Soloway, who is a writer on the show (and also Jill's sister) evidently knew of Nef because she had been her camp counselor at the Charles River Creative Arts Program in Dover, Massachusetts.

Nef recalled that she received an email seemingly the blue from Jill asking if she'd be interested in being her date to a New York gala. «So I showed up, we hit it off, and she wrote me a part,» Nef said. 

15. TRANSPARENT'S EMMY AWARD-WINNING MAIN TITLE THEME MUSIC WAS COMPOSED ON AN 80-YEAR-OLD PIANO

Do not underestimate the power of a man and his 80-year-old piano.

The nostalgia-inducing composition at the beginning of each episode is the work of Dustin O'Halloran, who is largely responsible for setting the «understated» tone of the rest of the series.

Speaking with Song Exploder, O'Halloran described coming up in a «hippie Methodist church» community and learning to play the piano there. 

O'Halloran said that he used a Swiss piano from the 1930s for the theme song, the same piano he had recorded Piano Solos Vol. 2 on.

He also admitted that he'd composed an earlier version to be used for the show but felt that it wasn't right.

«I was probably thinking too much about it being an opening title piece—more of a statement, 'the show is beginning!'» O'Halloran's secret for the finished tune: A «fuller» but still understated sound. Also, some killer harmonium. 

All images courtesy of Amazon.

«,»author»:»Colin Gorenstein»,»date_published»:»2016-09-16T20:00:00.000Z»,»lead_image_url»:»https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/c_fill,g_auto,h_1248,w_2220/v1555299981/shape/mentalfloss/screen_shot_2016-09-12_at_4.16.09_pm.png?itok=YgBr9WXW»,»dek»:null,»next_page_url»:null,»url»:»https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/86003/15-surprising-facts-about-transparent»,»domain»:»www.mentalfloss.com»,»excerpt»:»3. The show is exactly two percent autobiographical.»,»word_count»:2274,»direction»:»ltr»,»total_pages»:1,»rendered_pages»:1}

Источник: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/86003/15-surprising-facts-about-transparent

ONE Archives brings LGBT history to television

How Transparent Became the Most Trans-Inclusive Show in Hollywood History

[RoyalSlider Error] Flickr Responded: «Photoset not found»

When Amazon launched Transparent in September, it was one of this year’s many breakthrough moments in transgender visibility.

The comedic drama brought depth to the challenges of being a transgender person, exploring the life of a Los Angeles family whose patriarch, Mort, comes out to his children as Maura.

“My whole life, I’ve been dressing up as a man,” Maura tells her daughter at one point.

The show explores her transition into a new public life as well as the emotionally fraught history of transgender people living on the margins of mainstream culture.



Shaping the story with USC’s help

USC had a hand in telling that story: ONE Archives at USC Libraries, the largest LGBT archive in the world, was visited by Transparent creator Jill Soloway and her writing staff during the research phase of the show.

ONE Archives provided transgender activist periodicals from the 1960s through the 1990s that shaped the story and characters; the show’s staff studied magazines Chrysalis, Transvestia and TS-TV Tapestry, coming away with photocopies that covered the walls of the writers room.

The articles in those magazines ranged from coming out experiences to political manifestos and makeup tips, said Loni Shibuyama, an archivist with ONE.

many LGBT magazines, those publications — which explained where to find support groups, trans*-friendly doctors and businesses —sometimes represented the only outlets for readers to find information about people themselves, Shibuyama said.

“These were all limited distribution,” she said. “If you were a trans* person living in a small town in the Midwest, you might grab one of these in a major city and find out where people in your state were meeting.

“These magazines gave the community a voice and let its members know they weren’t alone,” Shibuyama added.



Authentic angles

In one episode of Transparent, Maura and a friend attend a retreat for cross-dressers. The show depicts the uneasy tension between transvestites, who are generally straight, and transgender people, whose experience throws doubt on the gender they were born with or even the notion of a permanent gender.

These scenes in particular were informed by material found at ONE Archives, said Zackary Drucker, one of two transgender artists brought on as consultants to ensure the show depicted the trans* community authentically and with sensitivity.

“It’s events and community organizing that was happening in the ’90s,” Drucker said. “Cross-dressers were sort of a more organized caucus before trans* women. Cross-dressers wanted to set themselves apart.”

The fact that many transgender women first found their identities through cross-dressing was incorporated into Maura’s backstory. So was the sense of isolation with which many transgender people live.

Trans* people for so long have been satellites. It’s been a fractured community and defined by its trauma.

Zackary Drucker

“Trans* people for so long have been satellites. It’s been a fractured community and defined by its trauma,” Drucker said.

Coupling creativity with realistic depictions

Drucker and her partner, Rhys Ernst, met in Los Angeles as Drucker was transitioning to female and Ernst to male (Relationship, a collection of photographs documenting this period in their lives, was exhibited this year at the Whitney Biennial). They were charged with hiring trans* cast members for Transparent and overseeing various creative projects on the show.

Drucker said that growing up, depictions of transgender people in mainstream media were rare, especially before the advent of the Internet. TV and films didn’t show characters Maura grappling with their identity; ultimately, those struggles being sight leave transgender youth more alienated, with no sense of being part of a community.

“Children aware of their family history and raised with traditions have a stronger sense of self and move through the world more confidently,” Drucker said. “The same is true of trans* people. Knowing your history, that people have come before you, that the path has been cut and you’re part of something bigger, is empowering.”

Shibuyama pointed out that there were a few early spokespersons for the community, such as Christine Jorgenson, who famously received the first widely publicized sex-reassignment surgery in the 1950s.

But the general trend was to go back into the closet: Trans* activist Andrea James told Shibuyama that people primarily wanted to blend in rather than pursuing activism.

For that reason, “the community was hidden for a long time.”



Trend-setting TV

That kept transgender issues on the margins, which is why the last couple years have been such a breakthrough. Before Transparent, Orange Is the New Black led the way with actress Laverne Cox, a transgender actress who graced the cover of Time in May.

While certainly welcome, the recent flood of news coverage creates a sense that the transgender community is somehow a new phenomenon, Drucker said. Organizations ONE Archives — along with shows Transparent — reveal a history that’s been part of the cultural fabric all along.

”I think it gives us a deeper place of cultural significance,” Drucker said. “The trans* community has been an underground community and an evaporating community. People who can pass as cis-gender, do. We’re constantly being assimilated into invisibility. And there are people who are visibly trans* who don’t have the privilege of fading into the dominant culture.”

A second season of Transparent is in the works, and while Drucker couldn’t say whether the writing staff would revisit ONE Archives, she personally expects to use it “over and over again.”

“I think it would behoove Hollywood to invest in LGBT history and to use ONE Archives as a resource,” she said.

More stories about: Entertainment, Gender Studies, Research

Источник: https://news.usc.edu/72801/uscs-one-archives-brings-lgbt-history-to-television/

Lgbtmoda
Добавить комментарий

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: