Credit: ALEXEI HAY for EW

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly editor Henry Goldblatt on Friday, Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox explained how she had some trepidation about posing on the cover of EW dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

“I initially didn’t think it would work,” Cox said while appearing on EW Radio. “It felt a little cliche.” But the actress said the props she was given turned everything around. “It just turned out to be amazing. I really love it.”

The issue, which hit newsstands last week, is EW’s first dedicated to LGBT entertainment in 15 years. “That means so much to so many people,” Cox said. “Part of our job as people in media is to inspire people to get people to think about things in a different way. This cover, I think, is doing that.”

Credit: ALEXEI HAY for EW

The 31-year-old was an Emmy nominee last year for her role as Sophia on Orange is the New Black, and has become a key voice in the LGBT community. She recently launched the #TransIsBeautiful hashtag on social media “as a way to celebrate all those things that make trans folks uniquely trans, those things that don’t necessarily align with cisnormative beauty standards,” Cox wrote in a blog post earlier this month.

Speaking on Friday, Cox said her story was uniquely American and she was proud to share it with the masses.

“As many problems as I think there are in this country, nowhere else in the world — and I’m paraphrasing our president now — is my story possible: a black, transgender woman from Mobile, Alabama, even being on the cover of a magazine, let alone on a hit TV show and nominated an Emmy and winning an Emmy as a producer. It’s like, what?” Cox said. “It’s wonderful. It’s a testament to our country. That doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of work to do in the country, but … what a country.”

Listen to the segment below. Entertainment Weekly Radio airs exclusively on SiriusXM channel 105.

Episode Recaps

Orange Is the New Black

Jenji Kohan’s absorbing ensemble dramedy, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, takes viewers inside the walls of Litchfield, a minimum security women’s prison where nothing’s as simple as it seems—especially the inmates.

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