To say we’re fans of Transparent would be an understatement. We’ve loved the show ever since it began, particularly for it’s honest depiction of modern family life. Amy Landecker’s performance as Sara Pfefferman stands out as a favorite, even with such a stellar ensemble cast, which is why we couldn’t wait to sit down with her. We grilled Landecker on everything from her favorite foods to Pfefferman family memories. Read below for her take on women’s rights, Transparent’s cultural significance, and where to find the best coffee in LA….
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
For lunch, I would go to the new True Food in Pasadena because it’s such a beautiful space and the cauliflower with fig and gluten-free lasagna are insanely good.
For dinner, I would go to Commissary at the Line Hotel. They do things with vegetables that are inconceivable and you feel like you are sitting in a garden and you get seeds with your check!
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I try to work out four times a week and walk every day for at least a mile or two. I weight train with Steve Zim at A Tighter U in Culver City and take yoga with Steve Ross at Maha Yoga in Brentwood and Pilates with Kinga Knight at Yoga Works in Pasadena.
As far as food, I find myself eating more and more as I get older and happier. I am ten pounds heavier than I was in my thirties because I am more aware that life is short and I don’t need to deprive myself to get work. That said, I try to eat gluten-free as much as possible and cut every portion in half of whatever I’m eating – especially at restaurants. I also try to not drink too many of my calories because I find myself hungrier more often.
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
I meditate and write a gratitude list in the morning, which seems to make my day go better, evidenced by the fact that when I don’t it doesn’t seem to go as smoothly.
I use a bunch of different products. I like to mix it up. I am a fan of Rodan and Fields. I cleanse, tone and moisturize every morning and night. And I am obsessed with L’Oreal Blur. I wear it every day. It smooths out fine lines, has sunscreen and keeps makeup from getting into your creases and pores. I keep tubes of Colorescience mineral sunscreen in the car to dust on my hands and face and neck when I drive.
What’s been your biggest discovery in playing Sarah on Transparent?
That I have so much sympathy for someone that others often think is selfish and destructive and that there is so much joy playing someone so complicated and emotional.
We obviously know why this show is so important, but would like to hear from you why you think it’s so important in this day and age…
Trump’s ascendency reminds us that we have been lulled into a false sense of complacency and comfort when it comes to the rights of people in our country who are not white, straight men. The rest of us have seen so much progress – the marriage equality act, our first black president, Transparent winning so many awards – that we think the whole world has changed. But many parts of the world and this country have not changed at all and in fact they are very pissed off by all those changes and are going to push back and push back hard. So, while the show pushed the boundaries, it all has to help hold them in place when the world pushed back by continuing to tell these stories. So some kid in North Carolina who is trans and being discriminated against can find strength by watching our show and know they are not alone.
Is there any element of the show you relate to the most? What about the least?
I relate to the combination of humor and sadness because I feel like that is what life is at its best – laughing and crying. I relate least to playing a person who doesn’t seem to be co-dependent. I am definitely co-dependent. Very co-dependent.
Were you surprised at how much people fell in love with the show at first?
I have to say it’s only this year that it has really sunk in that people are in love with us. After we were parodied on Saturday Night Live, I felt like I really knew we were part of the cultural conversation – and winning the Emmy two years in a row. The first year you are in some sort of dream and denial and you don’t really believe it’s actually happening.
What’s the best part about working with Jill Soloway?
She is a total genius with a clarity of vision and the power to carry it out.
What’s been the best advice you have ever received? The worst?
Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want to have happen. That was from my ex-husband. And the worst was my Dad’s – ‘Get married! Marriage isn’t forever!’ Well, I guess he was right about that one.
What advice would you give women getting up in the morning, looking in the mirror and getting dressed?
Skip the mirror part, wear comfortable shoes, and be kind to yourself. When I’m shooting, I never look in a mirror because I don’t want to think about my looks. Sometimes I think mirrors are the cause of all our problems. My Grandfather was blind and I have gotten to know many blind people and it’s just fascinating what happens when you take out the judgement of self and others through looks.
Is there an issue right now you feel most passionately about? What is it?
A women’s right to her own body – and I mean that medically, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When the Access Hollywood tape came out, I was keenly aware of all the times I have not stood up for my own body and it’s well-being and safety. I’m not putting up with any more bullshit.
What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
I would love French fries from the Athenian Room in Chicago, a roast beef Potbelly submarine and red velvet cake from California Pizza Kitchen. Comfort food from my youth.
What’s your go-to snack on set?
Peanut butter and apples and Peanut Butter M&M’s. Sugar and protein and stamina.
Do you and your boyfriend [Bradley Whitford] cook together? What do you make, or order in most of the time?
He cooks. I eat. He grills veggies and fish or steak and it’s delish. We order Sushi from Roku every week.
What was the most memorable date for you two?
We went to the Tony’s just to celebrate Hamilton because we love it and Lin Manuel Miranda so much and wanted to witness the coronation. We danced to LoveQuest at the Hamilton afterparty at Tavern on the Green until 5am. It was one of the best dates of my life.
Has the Transparent cast had a memorable meal? What was it?
It was actually on camera when we shot the BBQ scene for the pilot. We shot it for two days and ate so much BBQ I never wanted to eat again for the rest of my life. It was also when we first tapped into the magic of the show and knew we had something special. Whenever the Pfefferman’s sit down at a table to eat, something amazing is going to happen.
In the same vein as the new black in fashion, what is the new potato right now?
Lady Gaga’s new album. It just seems like it’s going to slay in the most massive way.
*Amy Landecker, photographed in Los Angeles, CA by Danielle Kosann