Laverne Cox on Groundbreaking Doubt Role: 'It's Wonderful to Be a Black Transgender Woman on CBS'

Doubt Katherine Heigl

On CBS’ midseason legal drama Doubt, Laverne Cox plays a fiercely competitive Ivy League-educated attorney. Oh, and she’s also broadcast television’s first full-time transgender character — a distinction not lost on Cox.

“What’s so exciting about [the role of] Cameron and being on CBS is I’m an avid TV watcher and, growing up, I did not see people like me on television,” the Orange is the New Black actress told reporters Wednesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “It’s wonderful to get to play a character like that. And to be a black transgender woman in that position on CBS feels really special.”

More than anything, Cox admitted, “I’m really grateful to have a job as an actor.”

Doubt also marks a return to television for Katherine Heigl following her short-lived NBC drama State of Affairs. Jumping back into a new TV project —and one shepherded by her former Grey’s Anatomy EPs Tony Phelan and Joan Rater — is “always kind of thrilling,” Heigl shared. “You cannot deny that every time this opportunity happens and this coalescing of events takes you to this moment right now…it’s an exciting process.

“But it’s also terrifying and stressful and, if one goes there — which I’m trying not to — scary,” she added, “I’m trying to stay focused on how fun it’s been. I’m just really excited for people to see this.”

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