Laverne Cox is a living legend — a trailblazer, a pioneer, and a warrior for equality. So when the actress — who rewrites (and rectifies) history this October in the TV movie remake of Rocky Horror Picture Show — agreed to host a Q&A with Transparent’s Hari Nef, we were (of course) honored. “It was amazing to connect again with this young woman who’s beginning her career,” Laverne says. “Hearing from her how her journey has inspired her to live her dreams was so deeply affirming that having the courage to live our truths out loud can shift the world.”
Below, you’ll see Hari fully acknowledge that living her truth became a little less scary after season one aired of Orange Is the New Black, and a certain character named Sophia Burset flashed across millions of computer and television screens worldwide. Laverne became the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted show a legacy she has never taken lightly. “The whole thing feels like a huge responsibility, and it is there’s lots of pressure. But I have to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can, and to stay in the love.”
If now it seems that Laverne’s road to success was paved and proper, she’s quick to urge fans and viewers not to get it twisted. “Being black, trans, and a woman kept me in very limited boxes for years,” she says. “But I believed as I persevered and changed my own thinking about myself and my talent, and things shifted around me.”
Hari and Laverne engage in a very special conversation about making it in Hollywood — and how authenticity is the secret to leading a truly successful life.
LAVERNE COX: Hey, girl. I’m so excited we’re chatting! I actually just saw your Ted Talk. How did that happen?
HARI NEF: Oh my gosh, I’m so happy you watched it. I guess they had maybe read some things I had written and they asked me to do a talk at Connecticut College.As soon as any female celebrity gets the diamond on their left hand becomes the focus of much interest and speculation.
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