For her role in the Netflix series, Cox became the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted series.
Laverne Cox is getting candid about her journey toward stardom.
During the Paley Center's Pride Month programming, A Salute to LGBTQ+ Pride Achievements in Television, the actress revealed she almost quit acting before booking her now-iconic role in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.
"In the fall of 2012 we started shooting this show and I was just so happy to have a job; I was in rent arrears on my apartment, I had rolled back rent and I was in all kinds of debt and I was going to give up acting actually, a few months before I booked Orange", Cox recalled when asked about her experience on the hit series. "I had turned 40 that year and had a breakout moment and I was in debt and things weren't going the way I hoped they would."
Cox went on to reveal that she planned on heading back to graduate school.
"I was just like, 'I've got to do something else. Who do I think I am? I'm a Black trans woman — no one's ever done this before, let me go and do something, have a real job or something", she said. "So I was going to go to grad school. I was studying for the GRE and then the audition for Orange happened and I didn't go to grad school — Orange turned out to be my grad school."
Thankfully, it all worked out in the end and Cox became the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted series and the first trans actress to be nominated for an Emmy.