Transparent creator, stars talk killing off Maura in musical finale after Jeffrey Tambor's exit
Transparent is facing the music for one final chapter.
After Jeffrey Tambor was fired following sexual assault allegations (Tambor denies the allegations), the Amazon family dramedy is returning for a movie musical that addresses the elephant in the room by killing off Tambor’s character Maura. And speaking at the 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour Saturday, series creator Jill Soloway promised that the show’s final bow featuring original music from their sister Faith Soloway will stay true to the heart of the story.
“Our tone has always been vigorous tonal shifts,” Soloway said. “You’re watching Transparent and you’re laughing, you’re crying and then it’s sexy and then it’s sad again. It’s kind of a thrill ride for erotic people. We’re rolling around trying to shake the anxiety out of you and of course that occurred to us, is this going to be taken as a celebration? But in fact when you watch the movie there are so many unbelievably painful heartfelt moments where our cast are mourning Maura, our characters are mourning Maura and as actors and as creators we’re mourning what happened with our show.”
Soloway explained that the theme of “Jewish pain” has always been at the center of Transparent and it never has been more relevant than with what happened with Tambor.
“There’s a kind of Jewish pain through line running through here including that kind of evil eye Jewish question of if we’re having too much fun, something bad is going to happen,” Soloway said. “This is too good. Golden Globes, Emmys, it’s coming for us. It did feel like for a minute, like we celebrated too much. We had too much fun. And this movie goes straight with that question with songs that Faith wrote, this idea that our legacy of pain and our legacy of feeling like we deserve it and it’s our fault, the movie just attempts over and over again and finally succeeds (I hope) at offering something other than our legacy of pain and suffering.”
And the reason why they chose to present the finale in musical form is because “there are certain things that can’t be said with words,” Soloway added. “As storytellers and as artists, this was our chance to heal together. Every time we got together… we were just trying to find our way back to that holy belief that what we were doing mattered. We had to find our way back to joy and the musical allowed us to do that.”
New cast member Shakina Nayfack revealed that the “grief was palpable” on set over the fact that Transparent was ending because of what happened with Tambor. “Everyone from every position on the project had an agreement that we spoke aloud often and frequently before every day of shooting that this show has literally saved lives, changed and saved lives, and there’s so much magic and opportunity that has been created by the show the last couple of years that if we were to let it go down because of an unfortunate event, we’d be taking that away from everybody,” Nayfack said. “Especially the trans folk who need this representation, who need these jobs. The commitment to keep going and push through the fire and create something truly celebratory was shared and was there from the beginning.”
And Alexandra Billings added, “Every human, and I’ve been on this show from the beginning, everyone, producers, makeup and hair, wardrobe, Amazon, every human, trans or cis, straight or gay, has had this spiritual need to be involved in this story. So any kind of cracking that happened on this show, and there were many, we were able to get through it together. Each human was there to create more opportunities for other. We were able to sail through because of the human experience of this show.”
The Transparent “Musicale Finale” is a “dazzling movie fantasia inspired by the classic musicals that shaped a culture.” When the Pfeffermans face a life-changing loss, they begin a journey hilarious and melancholy, brazen and bold. As they face this new transition, they confront grief and come together to celebrate connection, joy, and transformation.
Watch the trailer for the fantastical musical finale below:
Transparent‘s musical finale debuts Sept. 27 on Amazon Prime Video.