HOLLYWOOOD — When Amazon Studios announced there would be a surprise moderator at their Emmys FYC event for “Transparent” Saturday night the candidates seemed slightly obvious. It would likely be someone from Hollywood’s LGBTQ community such as RuPaul (who has been everywhere lately) or perhaps transgender pioneer Laverne Cox. Amazon had a much bigger surprise in store.
The night began with the screening from two episodes of “Transparent’s” third season: “To Sardines and Back,” where Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) reveals she wants to fully transition, and, the season finale, “Exciting and New.” If you’ve watched last season (and if you haven’t why not?) you already know that the final episode ends with Shelly (Judith Light) surprising her family with an impromptu performance of her one-woman show “To Shell And Back” at sea. Light likely cemented an Emmy nod with her emotional performance of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in my Pocket” in this episode and it quickly faded out the audience on hand was overjoyed to see Light appear in a spotlight and start singing the same song live. Obviously, the two-time Tony Award winner knocked it out of the park and you can catch some of her performance in the video embedded at the bottom of this post. The other major surprise was that the moderator turned out to be none other than Morissette herself.
The Grammy winner’s research was evident in what turned out to be a 40-minute conversation with series creator Jill Soloway, staff writer Our Lady J and members of the cast that included Light, Tambor, Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker, Kathryn Hahn and Trace Lysette.
Openly trans actress Lysette, who plays Shea, spoke at length about the difficulties transgender people (let alone actors) are facing in the current political climate, but leave it to Tambor to bluntly explain why the existence of a show such as “Transparent” is so important.
“Well, y’know we had an interesting beginning this year. Y’know there was an election. And we congregated shortly after,” Tambor says as the audience laughs. “And we did this rehearsal with this talented cast, which is the most genius cast to act with. Unbelievable. And I want to say that anything that has happened to Maura isn’t just the writing… but acting isn’t just what you are saying but also what you receive. And to work with this cast is one of the most amazing things. But we are political by our stance and it’s wonderful. Most people say, ‘What do we do? What do we do?’ We can do the work. We get to kick ass. In other words we can move people’s consciousness and these writers, they tell the truth!”
“Transparent” season three is available on Amazon Prime.
— Gregory Ellwood (@TheGregoryE) April 23, 2017