The 31-year-old actress shot to fame by playing transsexual prisoner Sophia Burset in the Netflix drama Orange is the New Black, and said while the role has opened countless doors for her, she is terrified her popularity may fade.
Speaking about her success, she said: ”It’s very joyful, but also very scary, to suddenly have all of your dreams come true. There’s this fear: will it go away? I had 15 years of being told no, and you get used to it. It’s been incredible to have one show change your life so completely. I was just on the cover of Variety magazine, I won a daytime Emmy award last month, I won a SAG award. I’ve met the President, twice. It’s insane.”
But Laverne – who reprises her role in the third series of the drama, which will be available from Friday – said playing the character is a ”gift” because she, and many other transsexual men and women, can relate to her.
She told The Sunday Telegraph: ”When I got the script, I said to my brother, ‘This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for my entire career.’ Sophia’s relationship to her family, her feelings of guilt over abandoning them and all that shame that she has around that – they are things I very much related to. I think a lot of us have been in relationships where being authentically true to ourselves might be in conflict with being in that relationship.”