Inspired by and loosely based on true events, Transparent draws themes from series creator Jill Soloway's own father coming out as a trans parent three years prior to the show's release.
Jill Soloway has said that Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank (2009) made her decide to take the leap from writing to also directing. Arnold has since directed several episodes of Transparent (2014).
Jill Soloway always had Jeffrey Tambor in mind for the role of Maura: "Everyone knows how funny Jeffrey is, but he is also a great actor because he can make you feel."
Gillian Vigman was cast as Tammy and worked on the pilot, but after Amazon picked it up for series was replaced by Melora Hardin.
The opening titles are updated with different clips every season. Season 1 featured footage from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Season 2 reflected the queer Weimar era and women's movement. Season 3 focused mainly on families in the queer community. Season 4 keeps many of the previous themes while incorporating the landscape of Israel and Palestine.
(February 2018) Jeffrey Tambor was officially fired from the show after Van Barnes and Trace Lysette accused him of sexual harassment (acting inappropriately and making sexual advances) in November 2017. Tambor denied any claims made against him by the actresses when they were first revealed. Already months before the firing was made official, Tambor stated that he can't see how he could return to the show due to set's "politicized atmosphere".
Henry Simmons played Derek the trainer in the pilot episode but was replaced by Cleo Anthony when the show got picked up.
Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light worked together when he guest starred on Who's the Boss?: Tony Kills (1990)
Cinematographer Jim Frohna prefers using natural lighting whenever possible in order to give the actors freedom to move and not be distracted by a cluttered set full of gear.
The title is a clever play on words. The word 'transparent' refers to Maura's journey, letting the world see who she really is. Whereas if you break it down to 'trans' and 'parent', trans is short for transgender, and Maura is a transgender parent.
Decades before his role as Maura Pfefferman on Transparent (2014), Jeffrey Tambor played gender confused/transgender Attorney/Judge Alan Wachtel on Hill Street Blues (1981) from 1981 to 1987.
Cinematographer Jim Frohna would use a different lens when shooting in Israel instead of the type he would use in LA to subtly indicate the change in scenery.
Series creator Jill Soloway described season 4 as being about "borders and boundaries." She describes the story as less about Israel's politics but more so the search for God and love.
Like her character, Davina, actress Alexandra Billings had previously competed in beauty pageants for transwomen.
The character of Davina, played by Alexandra Billings, is given a more elaborate storyline and arc in season 4 than she had received in previous seasons.
The L.A. backdrop of the show is a Los Angeles not typically portrayed in films or media, but rather an authentic L.A. featuring Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods.
Jill Soloway begins every day of shooting with an activity called Box, a space in which the cast and crew can share whatever is on their mind, be it "it jokes, meditations, personal revelations, deep despair, joy or fears."
Jill Soloway and sister Faith collaborated with music supervisor Bruce Gilbert to weave Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack through season 4 due to their own spiritual connection of the film.
When directing early episodes of the show, Jill Soloway would often use mood boards to help convey the feeling and emotional scope of a scene.
When Rhys Ernst was designing the opening title sequence for Transparent (2014) season 1, he cut together clips from various Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. His prototype for the sequence, by complete coincidence, featured the cousin of series creator Jill Soloway.
The first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first show produced by a streaming media service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series-- in this case, the Comedy or Musical category. The Handmaid's Tale (2017) became the first show produced by a streaming media service to win the Golden Globe for Best Television Series - Drama three years later.
The production team re-created the look of the now-defunct LA nightclub The Queen Mary for Davina's pageant scenes.
Music Supervisor Bruce Gilbert was thrilled when he was asked to incorporate song selections from Jesus Christ Superstar into the show's fourth season. Gilbert is a huge fan of the musical and listened to its soundtrack on repeat throughout his childhood.