SAG Emmy Series: Conversation with Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox

7 Aug

Orange is the New Black is nominated for 12 Emmys with 5 in acting categories including the incredible Laverne Cox (for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series). As part of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Emmy nominee Conversations series Laverne Cox sat down with Mark Peikert, Executive Editor of Backstage – the series is in partnership with Backstage – to discuss the role/episode she is nominated for and her acting journey.

Laverne CoxThe focus is on training and the acting process which sounds like it could be rather stuffy to someone who isn’t in this industry, but this is far from the case and I think I could listen to Cox talking about her experience for hours. Anyone who visits TV Ate My Wardrobe regularly will know that I love these kinds of discussions (particularly with fascinating women) from Comic-Con panels to Emmy roundtables and one reason I am such a fan of these longer discussions is that you get so much more from the person being showcased than you do in a regular interview. Part of this is because there’s something more informal about these chats so the participants will share more, but as Cox also mentions she has to shorten everything to sound bites for live TV interviews, whereas in this setting she can provide further insight.

This includes not only talking about her background in acting, but also how Orange as the New Black as a cultural phenomenon is helping a wider audience understand more about the transgender community. Cox references the Time cover as the obvious point when she realized she was becoming a spokesperson for this community, but she also mentions the reality show she was on prior to OITNB as well as the Katie Couric interview as a major shift. One aspect of this role that she mentions is how it isn’t a PSA; instead this show has provided an affirming point of reference as Sophia is a “really human, nuanced, complicated chick who people can relate to and happens to be played by someone who is actually trans.”

Cox is currently writing a book (when can I pre-order?) and while her publisher would probably like her to hold back on certain stories she goes into detail of what her first day was like on the set of OITNB (Jodie Foster gave her a tour of the set), the scene that made her realize how incredible and unique OITNB is, which piece of costuming puts her in the right Sophia headspace, her academic background and how dance training helps when performing a scene (and why she chose acting over dance).

It’s a really fun discussion and kicking off this series with Laverne Cox has set the bar high for the other participants.

One Response to “SAG Emmy Series: Conversation with Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox”


  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - August 8, 2014

    […] includes creator Jenji Kohan as a cover star and the cast at a panel event- also check out this conversation with Laverne Cox. Plus we have other magazine covers to discuss, a Mad Men pair working on […]

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