OnlyOnAOL: Judith Light bares (nearly) all in 'Transparent'

Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light On "Transparent"
Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light On "Transparent"


There's a scene in the new season of Amazon's Golden Globe-winning series "Transparent" that is sensual and sexy and hilarious and wet, all at once. You'll know it when you see it. And it features Judith Light, who plays the ex-wife of the transgender Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), getting her rocks off.

"We rarely ever see mature women and their sexuality. You're seeing a mature woman and her sexuality, and a transgender woman dealing with her transition and her sexuality," says Light. "It's complicated and so fascinating on so many levels."

Light, who won back to back Tony awards for "Other Desert Cities" and "The Assembled Parties," plays Shelly, a self-centered mother of three who wouldn't win any parenting awards, but winds up being Maura's biggest supporter. The show, says Light, "has been a real gift to me. I became a regular this year. The real dynamics and issues and connections were made last year."

She takes the themes that "Transparent" explores very seriously, despite its darkly comedic tone, and very light touch when dealing with the complicated dynamics of the Pfefferman clan.

"Gender fluidity is something we know very little about," says Light. "When you fall in love with someone, you fall in love with who they are -- not their gender."

The show, created by Jill Soloway and based on her own family, has struck a chord.

"There's something that my manager calls divine choreography. It's an idea whose time has come," says Light. "This has needed to be talked about for a really long time, and it hasn't been. I get to talk about this with you, and lives are at stake."

She's joined later in the chat by Gaby Hoffmann, who plays her daughter Ali on the show -- a shiftless, unemployed and mouthy drifter. "Come sit, sweetie. How is the baby?" says Light to Hoffmann. "You look so chic!"

In real life, Hoffmann, a former child actress, is the mom of Rosemary, 1. And given her long history in Hollywood, she, like Light, is deeply appreciative of her "Transparent" role -- not the least because it gives her ample time to be an actual parent.

"It's silly. At work all we do is fall all over each other and talk about how this is the greatest job of our lives. We're very aware of how lucky we are," says Hoffmann. "We don't get used it. Every day, I am so grateful and aware of how easy we have it. I only have to work three months a year. It's fabulous."

Hoffmann looks over at Light. "I have been pregnant and had a baby and don't do anything else. And this lady is a madwoman who decided to do the hardest play on Broadway in our tiny hiatus," she says.

That's because Light has been pulling double-duty, co-starring in the Broadway production of "Therese Raquin," opposite Keira Knightley. The show runs through Jan. 3.

"It's what comes to you," says Light. "You figure out how to fit them in, and you just do."