Jeffrey Tambor says Maura Pfefferman, his transgender character in "Transparent,"would be envious of the attention Caitlyn Jenner's getting.
"You bet," Tambor told a TV critics' Q&A session Monday. "Maura loves a red carpet and loves a party. Definitely, that's something she would really like."
The former Bruce Jenner is documentingher fledgling public journey into womanhood in an E! reality series and has been feted at the Espy Awards, on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and elsewhere.
"We love Caitlyn," said Tambor, who's had dinner with Jenner. She's gone on record as loving "Transparent," he said.
Tambor was asked to compare his experience playing a man who opens up to his family about his gender identity with Jenner's real-life experience.
"If my knees were knocking, you can imagine her knees," he said after the panel. "I think she is courageous and I told her so. The example she is setting is so, so beautiful and it's gonna go very, very far. (It's) not only illustrative but also very inspiring to me."
He doesn't think of himself as a spokesman for the transgender cause, he said, "But I think as an ally I can do great good."
Tambor said that he didn't foresee Jenner appearing on Amazon's "Transparent." She has her own show, he said, smiling.
During what he called "field trips" dressed as Maura, Tambor said he was surprised to find it was easier than he had expected.
"It was life changing.... People don't look at you," he said, aside from a few glances. A highlight came at a restaurant, when a man got up to leave and passed by Tambor's table.
"He said, 'Have a good day, ladies.' I said, 'Yes!' I felt so good because I had made it up in my head it's much more."
When Tambor was asked about the possibility of more "Arrested Development," he said that "there's been talk." But he's focused strictly on taping season two of "Transparent," he said, and was carrying script pages in his pocket.
The series returns Dec. 4 on Amazon, which has greenlighted a third season. "Transparent," which also stars Judith Light and Bradley Whitford, received 11 nominations for next month's Emmy Awards.