Laverne Cox sat down with OUTQ‘s Larry Flick this week to chat about her Orange is the New Black character Sophia’s story line this season, her thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, her hopes for the future and more.
Speaking about Ep. 12 of Orange is the New Black Season 3, Cox said she became very emotional when she first read the script.
“When I saw the script for that episode I was in tears,” she told Flick. “It was so triggering for me in such a real way. That’s an issue for me that I talk a lot about and to see it on the page was really intense. I was in tears. I was scared out of my mind. … It was so deeply triggering for me to read it and then to play it – I was literally talking to my brother about one of those scenes…it made him sick, too. When we were doing it, it was just really scary, but I was like, ‘I have to go there.’ I have to go all the way because this is so much bigger than me.”
She went on to talk about how her training as an actress has been beneficial to her own personal healing.
“I think it’s changed my life, and it saved my life,” she said. “When I started transitioning, you were required to go into therapy. I didn’t think I need therapy. I thought, ‘I’m a smart girl, I have my college degree.’ I thought I could intellectualize my way into health and well-being. The intellectual piece is important, but then when I started acting and really studying seriously… all this stuff was coming in my training…all of this intense childhood trauma I had not dealt with, and so I needed the therapy to support all of these places I was going to in the acting.”
And Cox talked about her hopes for the future.
“God, I would love to see this gender binary model just being exploded so that people can choose really how they want to identify,” she said. ‘And that might be different every day. So that we’re not enforcing this idea of blue for boys and pink for girls — that no matter how someone is assigned at birth or identifies they can play with a doll or a truck, that we have public policies in place, that the census actually counts transgender people so that we know how many transgender folks exist in the world…”