EXCLUSIVE: Laverne Cox Tears Up Over SAG Awards Win: 'I Can't Even Believe I'm Here'
By Meredith B. Kile
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The cast of Orange is the New Black took home the 2016 SAG Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series on Saturday night, and afterwards, some of the stars of the Netflix show joined ET backstage to talk about their win.
“I can't even believe I'm here,” said Laverne Cox, tearing up as she celebrated with her co-stars. “I dreamed about this for a very long time and I know a lot of people like me are out there dreaming.”
Cox became a breakout star after the show’s first season as a transgender actress playing a transgender inmate, and her star has only continued to rise as shows like Orange Is the New Black and Transparent continue to bring more awareness to issues facing the transgender community.
“I have a transgender sister and that to me is a huge, huge step in the right direction,” co-star Selenis Leyva agreed. “That we're recognizing the beautiful community, accepting [them] and that conversations are starting.”
Orange Is the New Black wasn’t the only SAG winner with a prominent transgender character -- Jeffrey Tambor also won for his role in Transparent, as did Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl -- and Cox and her co-stars acknowledged the importance of those wins as they work to increase transgender visibility in the media.
“To have someone like Jeffrey up there, talking about the issues continuously -- Laverne doing the same thing -- it's a beautiful thing,” Leyva added. “I couldn't more proud to part of a show that kind of started this whole thing with this woman right here.”
“I just got really emotional,” Cox said with a laugh, gushing over her co-stars and expressing her joy that they all get to share in the SAG honor. “So often, things don’t happen. There's so much effed-up stuff happening in the world, so many of us are just struggling to survive. I've been there. It just feels good to share this.”