So Jill Soloway was profiled in the New York Times Magazine this weekend regarding her Amazon Studios series Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor as a middle class, white trans person. Here are the craziest, most God-I-really-can’t-stand-her, and Is-she-really-getting-a-pass-on-saying-that? moments from that story.
When she forgets about Ally McBeal‘s unisex bathrooms from almost 20 years ago.
Later, during the meal, I found Soloway in what was normally the women’s bathroom but had been de-gendered for the event. She was talking to two women, marveling at the fact that men kept coming in and out. Soloway stayed, watching. “This,” she said, amazed, raising her hands to indicate the all of it. “Can you believe this? The bathroom is ground zero for all of this gender stuff.”
When she says that next year, Jeffrey Tambor will win the GLAAD Award that went to Laverne Cox this year. As a straight man (and not a trans person, as Soloway kind of sidesteps throughout the interview as she argues about the inclusivity of her set), Tambor will not be eligible.
When she sighs that she wishes she could be a man and stand around all day saying hello to women because they want to have sex with her.
Soloway was greeted heartily by workers around the back lot as she made her way to the set of “Transparent.” She had mixed feelings about all the chumminess: Yes, it’s only hello, but sometimes you just want to get to work. She said “hi” back, of course, because what are you going to do, but even a small exchange like that can lead Soloway to rant on gender roles. “I don’t have the privilege to just stand there and go, ‘Hi,’ ” Soloway said, mimicking the men.“ ‘Look at that walking by. I’m trying to have sex with that.’ ”
When she complains about those mean words used for TV production, like “Action!”
Soloway built her writers’ room to favor people who didn’t have too much TV experience. She didn’t want people who had to unlearn the traditional way that shows were run, which she describes as “militaristic” (filled with commands like “Shoot!” “Cut!” “Action!” she explained, plus all that yelling). She wanted to replace it with what she called “a more feminine approach” to direction. She hired a novelist she liked and met at a retreat (who had been working at a grocery store), and a few screenwriters too, including her former assistant. She hired her sister, Faith.
When she rails over the fact that professional magazine photo editors might presume she owns attractive clothing.
She received an email from Bust magazine — Bust! Of all places! — in which it was suggested to her that she style herself in jeans and a “cute top.” “I got so mad. How dare you assume I have a cute top, or want a cute top. Like, cute tops!” She let loose a guttural sound of disgust.