Tambor Felt Great 'Responsibility' to Transgender Community in 'Transparent'

"Lives are at stake," the "Transparent" star says.

— -- Actor Jeffrey Tambor said that that when he first read the script for "Transparent," he was so excited about the possibilities he told creator Jill Soloway "I'm in 50,000 times," he told ABC News.

But he also said he realized that playing the part of Maura Pfefferman, a transgender parent, carried with it a "responsibility" that "makes me tremble."

"I met Jill at this Le Pain Quotidien [to read the script years ago] ... I think I said, 'I'm in 50,000 times,' she couldn't get a word in edgewise. I knew it was such a great script, but I had no idea I would be standing at the GLAAD Awards [being honored]," he said. "I'm as equally if not more joyous about the responsibility, though it makes me tremble."

He continued, "lives are at stake."

Tambor, who spoke to ABC News while he was in Houston for Super Bowl LI, promoting a commercial he shot with Tide, said he believes the show, which debuted in 2014, is part of a bigger movement.

"What Jill Soloway [the show's creator] did was shoot this arrow into the zeitgeist, the revolution was already there," he told ABC News. "I just think the timing was amazing and momentous."

Tambor has been lauded for his portrayal of a father coming to terms with who he really is later in life, becoming Maura. For his efforts, he's earned Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG awards, among others. He's called "Transparent" the role of a lifetime, but never imagined he'd be this on-screen symbol of hope for the transgender community.

Tambor said he's seen a change in how people perceive the transgender community and even approach him as the show is enters its fourth season.

He told a story of a man "from the other side of the spectrum," approaching him in public. He believed something nefarious might happen, buy instead, "he just put his hand in mine and said 'Thank you for teaching me about something I didn't know.' That's the whole thing."

The man wasn't the only person who's treated the acclaimed actor differently.

"When I started this I would get the odd comment or odd tweet that was less than salutary," he said. "That doesn't happen anymore. I'm so grateful ... I'm more aware as a citizen, as a husband, as a guest, as a parent if you will. It woke me up and I think everyone is waking up."