'Transparent's' Melora Hardin Talks Emmy Nomination and Tammy's Season 3 Fate

The 'Office' alum earned an Emmy nomination for her role on the critically acclaimed Amazon series.
Courtesy of Amazon Studios; Michael Boardman/WireImage
'Transparent'; Melora Hardin (inset)

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the second season of Transparent.]

Melora Hardin did not see her Emmy nomination coming.

"I never, in a million years, thought this was going to happen," the Transparent star told The Hollywood Reporter one day after picking up a nomination for best guest actress in a comedy. She was home alone, washing the dishes, when she received the text message from Amazon: "Nobody's in the house but my cat and my dog — I'm just shouting to nobody! I'm just blown away."

Hardin, who played Jan Levinson during The Office's nine-season run, earned her first Emmy nomination on Thursday for her portrayal of Tammy Cashman on Transparent, the award-winning series created by Jill Soloway.

The half-hour series, which is set to release its third season in the fall and has already been picked up for a fourth, stars Jeffrey Tambor as the patriarch of the Pfefferman family who comes out as transgender. Known now as Maura, the show charts her journey and its effects on the ever-changing lives of her ex-wife Shelly (Judith Light) and their three kids, Ali (Gaby Hoffmann), Sarah (Amy Landecker) and Josh (Jay Duplass). 

Tammy plays the love interest to Sarah and after reconnecting — and leaving their respective spouses — in season one, season two kicked off with a Cashman-Pfefferman wedding. But the pair's relationship came to an abrupt and heartbreaking end, leaving Hardin's fate on the show up in the air.

 "I'm not in season three," she tells THR. "But who knows, I might be in season four. I've been told that I'm still part of the Pfefferman family, as we call Transparent."

Now, fans of the breakout character can only hope that Hardin's Emmy recognition will serve as one more reason to bring Tammy back for season four.

"The hardest part about playing Tammy is that I want to play a butch lesbian in a way that makes butch lesbians feel proud and feel seen and feel like they've got a representative on television," the actress says about the groundbreaking role. "That's the thing the whole show is trying to do. To show transgender people in an honest way, to show a butch lesbian — which you don't see on TV — but to show it in a way that's authentic and real and not some cartoon character."

Transparent earned 10 Emmy nominations on Thursday, including for best comedy series, a repeat nomination for Tambor and best supporting actress mentions for Light and Hoffmann. Bradley Whitford also earned a nom for his guest-starring role. The series is no stranger to awards accolades: It has already won two Golden Globes, including one for Tambor; five Emmys, including one for Tambor; a Screen Actors Guild Award for Tambor; and DGA and PGA honors.

Watch Hardin's full Facebook Live chat with THR for more on Tammy, Transparent and some of her other favorite roles, including The Office's Jan Levinson, who she says is "such an amazing straight man."

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