Entertainment Television


By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox on Trump, Montreal and staying grounded. NETFLIX

Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox on Trump, Montreal and staying grounded. NETFLIX

Emmy-nominated actress and trans activist Laverne Cox is headed to Montreal to host her titular Just For Laughs gala on July 29. The Laverne Cox Gala will offer a multi-comic night featuring Family Guy's Alex Borstein, The Goldbergs' Bryan Callen and more chucklers at Place Des Arts. Cox is also the critics'fave to win a 2017 Emmy as Guest Star for her groundbreaking turn as a deconstructed Sophia on Orange is the New Black. 24 Hours caught up with the scene-stealer, who is also appearing this summer on CBS's Doubt.


You don't really escape it - even if you travel to Montreal! Recently, I was in Europe and the U.S. political discourse is very much alive all over the world. They're aware of what is happening in America.


I've only been to Montreal once but over a decade ago. It's a beautiful city and I had a blast last time. We're still talking to Just For Laughs Montreal about ideas for the gala. I know it'll be fun. I want to show a different side of me that people don't see often. That's what we're mining right now. It's definitely going to be an evening with Laverne.


(New York City naming June 22 Laverne Cox Day) was surreal and wild. After the ceremony, I went out with my girlfriends and we had so much fun. I had the inclination to show off the proclamation - but I didn't do that. It meant so much to me because, as a kid in Mobile, Alabama, I dreamed of living in N.Y. my whole life. The city nurtured me a lot - even though it can kick your ass too!


Remembering the struggle of where I come from helps. But staying grounded is hard when you gain privilege. I'm trying to be really critical as I get used to living a new kind of lifestyle. I try to remember there are still people struggling out there because that could easily still be me. It's a lot of work!


If you look at Brexit, the U.S. election and how close France came to becoming a populist country, a lot of it is about immigration and people scared of scarcity. What's going on is people are scared there are not enough resources to go around so we don't want strangers in our communities. And if you add greed to that ...


We were supposed to go to the Supreme Court to hear Graham Grimm's case to rule on transgender students and bathroom use but Donald Trump rescinded President Obama's guidelines, which then kicked it back to the lower courts; so we're in a space now wondering what kind of policy we're going to get on a federal level for transgender students and washrooms.


(Creator) Jenji Kohan really has her finger on the pulse of our culture and is inserting it into the Orange is the New Black narrative. We're definitely more relevant than ever. The prison riot/rising this season is emblematic of the protests against the patriarchy we're seeing right now.