Before Season 4 of Transparent started production, transgender actress Alexandra Billings, who plays Maura's friend and mentor Davina on the series, walked into the writer's room to pitch. She said she wanted to be naked.
That, of course, is a crude simplification of the process. Billings' friend and Transparent co-star Trace Lysette suggested that the two of them talk to the show's writers about their lives and experiences as transgender women, with the hope that they might incorporate them, and therefore a broader reflection of the varied transgender experience, into the show's storylines.
"And I asked for this specifically," Billings says, talking with The Daily Beast alongside Lysette ahead of the show's fourth season premiere. "It was Alexandra's idea," Transparent creator Jill Soloway corroborates. "She was like, 'I'm ready to show my body.'"