Laverne Cox reveals she almost quit acting before landing her 'OITNB' role

Laverne Cox reveals she almost quit acting before landing her 'OITNB' role

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.

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