Laverne Cox (‘Orange Is the New Black’) on the power of ‘seeing a formerly incarcerated, Black, transgender woman winning’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Laverne Cox continues to collect Emmy nominations for her work on “Orange Is the New Black.” She now has four bids from the Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance, with this year’s being for the final season of the Netflix dramedy. She is also the only representation for “Orange Is the New Black” in its final year, of which Cox is well-aware. “Sophia changed my life and this will be the last Emmy nomination for ‘Orange Is the New Black’ so I don’t take that lightly,” says Cox in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. Watch the exclusive interview above.

Cox appears in the “God Bless America” episode of the final season of “Orange Is the New Black.” In it, we see Sophia has opened up her own hair salon and treats her former fellow inmate Piper (Taylor Schilling) to a new hairstyle. She also discusses how she is not looking back on her time in prison and is content to just look forward. It is the rare happy ending for a character on the series, and as Cox points out, it is even rarer to have such a positive ending for a character like Sophia. “I think it is a beautiful thing seeing a formerly incarcerated, Black, transgender woman winning, especially after the seven seasons of what Sophia went through in prison,” observes Cox. “I just wanna see more of that in real life.” Through stories like Sophia’s, Cox is hoping to see the real world reflect what we see onscreen. “What I love about film and television is that we can reflect reality but then we can also tell stories that create the possibility of new realities.”

“Orange Is the New Black” isn’t the only Netflix project Cox has been working on. The documentary “Disclosure,” directed by Sam Feder, was just released this spring, which features Cox as a talking head and executive producer. The film features prominent trans individuals discussing the representation of transness in film and television over many decades, most of which has been harmful and perpetuating stereotypes. “I think people have not fully understood until ‘Disclosure’ how disparaging the representations of trans people throughout history and film and on television have been,” states Cox. “It’s just been paradigm-shifting for so many people watching.”

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