The cast of Amazon’s Emmy-winning series “Transparent,” couldn’t say enough about Jill Soloway‘s leadership and the set environment she’s cultivated during the show’s panel at PaleyFest New York on Monday.
“We’re in a cult. And it’s a great cult, guys,” Jay Duplass joked about the cast’s dedication to creator and executive producer Soloway, in what became a recurring joke for the rest of the panel.
Cast member Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker, Judith Light and Jeffrey Tambor were quick to play along, but Soloway demurred, claiming that her show is only different because of the lack of male ego on set. Rather than give explicit direction and forcing her cast to meet her expectations, Soloway saud that she prefers a “feminist” approach, standing back and letting the actors “play.”
“I bring to work a feminist and feminine style of leadership,” Soloway said. “I’m here to pump air into the balloon and let this thing rise … everybody knows that the most important thing is that we have fun.”
The result, says the cast, is that there is no fear of making mistakes on set. They are free to try anything without worrying about being shot down. “You cannot make a mistake on this set. Nothing is ever wrong,” said Light.
“On most sets, they say, “We’re running out of time, we’re running out of money, and we’re running out of light.'” Soloway said of why her approach is different. “The mantra here is ‘We have plenty of time, we have plenty of money, and we are the light.’ And it’s cheesy, but it fucking works.”
The attitude starts at the top, but it continues all the way down, said Tambor. The entire cast and crew is committed to Soloway’s way of thinking.
“I’m telling you, people are dedicated. People are really getting this on every single level,” Tambor said. “And there is no reason it has to be otherwise. Except fear, male superiority, and horse shit.”