In April, it was confirmed that Caitlyn Jenner was joining the cast of Transparent, Amazon’s award-winning drama about a family patriarch who comes out as a transgender woman, in a guest-starring role.
Creator Jill Soloway first revealed the news to the Associated Press ahead of the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, California. While Soloway didn’t share any details at the time, Judith Light, who plays Shelly Pfefferman, tells ET Jenner will not be playing a new character.
“She's herself,” Light says of Jenner’s part in season three, which has already completed filming. “It's perfect. What could be more perfect? I'm not in that scene and I wasn't there the day that she filmed, but what could be more perfect than having her as part of the show?”
“It was fun to have her on set,” Jay Duplass, who plays son Josh Pfefferman, says while assuring fans that Jenner’s been appropriately worked into the fabric of the series. “People are nervous about how she shows up on Transparent. All I can say is that once they see it, they'll be really pleased because it makes a lot of sense the way that it happens.”
While Light didn’t work with Jenner on the series, she had nothing but praise for the former Olympian. “She's quite remarkable, I have to say,” Light says. “What you're talking about is a level of courage and living one's truth and that's what this show embodies. That you see what it takes for a person to have suppress themselves for so long and then to say, ‘I can't do this anymore. I cannot live like this.’ You root for someone to become their true self, to stand up in the face of everything, everybody, and your country, and your family, and your religion, and the law, and stand up and say, ‘This is who I am and I have to live my truth.’ I think we can all take a page out of that book, that kind of courage. It's incredibly inspiring to me.”
Duplass also opened up about the impact the series has had on Jenner’s family and the parellels they experienced. “It's like the Pfeffermans have evolved with the Jenners and the Kardashians,” he says. “It's been a weird symbiotic thing. Caitlyn has told us directly that watching Transparent with her family helped figure out the transition. They were able to watch together and to laugh and talk about the real stuff going on there.”
Jenner’s part on the series comes after months of media speculation about whether she might join Transparent, even prompting star Jeffrey Tambor, who plays Maura Pfefferman, to shut down the idea altogether.
"I don't think that's our show, no," Tambor explained at the time, adding that Jenner was always welcome to the set: “I think she will always be in Maura’s head. She can come to craft service anytime. I will walk her around and give her finger sandwiches.”
In addition to the casting of Jenner, Transparent has also been renewed for season four. The news comes just after the series wrapped production on season three, which is slated to debut in the fall. Season four will premiere exclusively on Amazon sometime in 2017.