AceShowbiz - Jeffrey Tambor has blamed his longtime anger issues for contributing to his abrupt exit from hit show "Transparent", but insists he is "absolutely not" guilty of sexual harassment allegations. The veteran actor was dumped from Amazon's award-winning drama series in February, after he was accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour by his former assistant, Van Barnes, and Trace Lysette.
Tambor has repeatedly denied the claims, and in his first interview since his firing, he admits he can be "difficult" and "moody" to work with, but insists there is no truth to Barnes' allegations of sexual misconduct, including reportedly watching her while she slept nude. "I dispute her account," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I did raise my voice at times, I was moody at times, there were times when I was tactless. But as for the other stuff, absolutely not."
The pressure of playing transgender lead character Maura Pfefferman onscreen made Tambor lose his temper frequently on set, and he regularly had to apologize for screaming at his cast and crew, including show creator Jill Soloway.
"I drove myself and my castmates crazy," the 73-year-old said. "Lines got blurred. I was difficult. I was mean. I yelled at Jill - she told me recently she was afraid of me. I yelled at the wonderful (executive producer) Bridget Bedard in front of everybody. I made her cry. And I apologized and everything, but still, I yelled at her. The assistant directors. I was rude to my assistant. I was moody. Sometimes I didn't talk at all."
Tambor claims part of the reason for his rude behaviour was down to the stress of portraying his character accurately, because he is not transgender in real life. "I was scared, because I was a cisgender male playing Maura Pfefferman," he explained. "And my whole thing was, 'Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right?' To the point that I worried myself to death."
Tambor goes on to suggest the sexual misconduct scandal was used to oust him from the series to appease show critics who objected to his casting, in order to make way for a transgender actor instead. He revealed he received an email detailing as much from Soloway's sister and "Transparent" producer, Faith Soloway as the controversy rumbled on.
"I can quote (the email) verbatim because I've looked at it for five months," Tambor shared. "It said, 'We are in a coup. You are f**king fantastic. You have changed the world. We have changed the world. We will get through this. Love, love, love, Faith.' "
Tambor, who hasn't spoken to Jill for several months, is still trying to get over his axe from the show, because he put so much into his character, he's in a period of mourning. "(Maura) was like a friend," he said. "That may trigger eye rolls, but she was very real to me. And I think in many ways much more awake than I."