Trace Lysette, who portrays Shea on the Amazon series “Transparent,” is very appreciative of creator Jill Soloway’s effort to employ trans talent in front of and behind the camera. “It breathes authenticity into the project at all phases,” she reveals in our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above). She adds that that type of environment and opportunity “gives us the skills we need to bloom and have a future in this industry.”
Shea is a yoga teacher who lives with the show’s main character, Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), and Davina (Alexandra Billings). Shea and Davina both help guide Maura through her late-in-life transition. Lysette says that some of her favorite scenes to shoot are when Shea, Maura and Davina are just hanging out around the house. “Those scenes are so near and dear to my heart because when do we get to see trans characters talk to each other? I get to be with Alexandra Billings, who is such a pioneer for trans actors, and Jeffrey, who embodies Maura so well that he is just one of the girls in those scenes. You can feel the love and authenticity that’s there.”
“Transparent” has been a big Emmy hit for Amazon. For the past two years, the show has claimed the prizes for Best Comedy Actor for Tambor and Best Comedy Directing for Soloway. With the universal acclaim that show’s third season received from critics and fans, it’s looking to be a big player once again in this year’s nominations.
Lysette also discusses how she had originally auditioned for another character on the show: “I auditioned for the role of Davina first. I didn’t get it as it went to my lovely co-star Alexandra Billings. But then Jill e-mailed me and she asked if I would read for another role that was a yoga teacher.” She went for the audition and got the part without even having to do a call back.
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