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Laverne Cox: 'Beyonce represents excellence'

Published 07/09/2016

Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox related to so many of Tina Turner's songs as she grew up, because of the "pain, pleasure and agony" she expressed in her tunes.

Laverne Cox kept Beyonce's work ethic in mind whenever she struggled with her role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show remake.

The 32-year-old actress plays Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the reboot of the cult 1975 movie, and previously described it as "the scariest thing I've ever done in my life".

But whenever Laverne felt herself flagging during the tough regime she had to undergo to prepare herself for the musical part, she just thought of Formation singer Beyonce, and what she would do in her situation.

"(She) represents excellence. Her work ethic is like nobody else I’ve ever seen," Laverne told America's Cosmopolitan magazine. "There were so many moments when I was shooting Rocky Horror and I’d be exhausted. My body would be hurting and I’d be like, 'Beyonce. Beyonce does this.' You have to just put in the work."

The Orange Is the New Black star dresses as Beyonce for the October issue of the publication, as part of a feature about the women who inspire her the most. She dons a black bodysuit and metal glove in tribute to the singer's now iconic Single Ladies video look.

Another person who has inspired Laverne dramatically through her life is Simply the Best hitmaker Tina Turner. Wearing the singer's trademark big hair with a denim jacket over a black dress, Laverne explained that she was able to relate to Tina's songs.

"The pain, pleasure, and agony of all she's been through is in her voice," Laverne said. "Her story is the story of so many black women who’ve endured abuse and come out the other side in such a brilliant, beautiful way."

As well as her acting work, the star has become famous for being an activist for the rights of the transgender community, being a transgender woman herself, and Laverne cites trailblazer 70's model Tracey Africa for helping her start the campaign she now works so hard to promote.

"She was a black trans woman who modelled in the ’70s and had cosmetics deals and a hair contract with Clairol," she gushed. "It was a big deal.

"People think, 'Oh, this trans revolution is just starting,' but we’ve been around for a very long time. It’s important to know that there's been a path blazed for me."

Laverne also honours singers Janet Jackson, Josephine Baker, and Leontyne Price in the magazine.

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