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‘Transparent’s’ Jay Duplass: Josh blew it with the rabbi, but don’t judge

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Jay Duplass discusses how his character on “Transparent” is committed to trying to be a parent and a man, despite not knowing how to be either.

One of the most involving story lines in the second season of the acclaimed Amazon series “Transparent” revolved around the relationship between the unreliable (but he’s trying!) Josh (Jay Duplass) and the lovely Rabbi Raquel (Kathryn Hahn).

“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway calls them the Luke and Laura of the show, name-checking the “General Hospital” power couple. Duplass likens them more to Ross and Rachel from “Friends.”

If you’ve watched the show and you’ve gotten to know Josh, you probably knew it wouldn’t end well. And it didn’t. But Duplass, who stopped by The Times recently for a video interview, says it wasn’t for lack of effort on Josh’s part.

“He doesn’t know how to parent, he doesn’t know how to be a man, he doesn’t know what that looks like,” Duplass says. “I work with a lot of stuff internally, which keeps Josh, in my mind, in a positive and constructive place. He grew up in a family of strong women and the one man he thought was a man in his family wasn’t present and turns out, in the end, was also a woman and, now that she’s come into her own, she’s also a strong woman.”

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Duplass talked about how some of the show’s fans have a hard time differentiating him from the character in public, particularly because he lives in Eagle Rock, near where “Transparent” is set.

“People get confused when they see me with my kids or my wife,” Duplass says. “There’s a disconnect.”

VIDEO: Exclusive interviews with TV stars from your favorite shows

He also notes that people were squarely on Rabbi Raquel’s side, telling him, “If you mess it up with that rabbi, I will take you down!”

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Before “Transparent,” Duplass was best-known for the movies he wrote and directed with his brother, Mark. He resisted the “Transparent” acting gig (“It felt insane,” he says), particularly because it started at the same time he and Mark were about to begin their great HBO series, “Togetherness.”

We talk about all that here, as well as a bit about “Transparent’s” upcoming season, which will debut later this fall. Look for Josh to bond with his younger sister, Ali (Gaby Hoffman) to the point where you wonder, Duplass says, “are they going to end up in a Grey Gardens situation.”

Watch the full conversation here:

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Jay Duplass discusses his role on “Transparent” and viewers’ connection to the Pfeffermans.

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