They say a lady never reveals her age. It's a rule Laverne Cox lives by. ''I don't discuss my age,'' she says playfully, ''except to say I'm officially over 21.''
Though guarded on this particular point, Cox is largely eager to share her story, to be out and proud as one of the limelight's most prominent transgender performers. But don't mistake her embrace of the spotlight as some sort of entertainer's arrogance. Cox, now appearing on the blazing hot Orange Is the New Black, has worked hard to get where she is. It's the latest from writer/producer Jenji Kohan who brought us Showtime's award-winning Weeds. Based on Piper Kerman's prison memoir of the same name, Orange Is the New Black continues Weeds' exploration of a plucking a relatively privileged woman from her upstanding existence and dropping her on the wrong side of the law.
This time, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) leaves Manhattan and her fiancé (Jason Biggs) to serve 15 months in prison for her part in trafficking a girlfriend's (Laura Prepon) drug money a decade prior. There's a broad range of characters on the inside. This is a cast of dozens.
One standout, however, is Cox, as transgender inmate Sophia Burset, who broke the law trying to fund her gender-transition. While she's appeared on TV and in the 2011 film Musical Chairs, this new role is a big step for Cox.