Laverne Cox charmed Stephen Colbert in their first meeting Monday, wearing a stunningly beautiful, violet lace dress and displaying the same friendly, funny and elegantly honest demeanor she displays in her everyday life.
Barely 24 hours after appearing at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Cox arrived on the red eye to grace his Broadway TV stage, ostensibly to promote the new CBS legal drama, “Doubt.” Cox was disarming right from the get go and had the Late Show studio audience cheering and laughing.
“I’m part of the CBS family now,” the actress told Colbert. “That means we’re in the same family. Did you ever imagine that a girl like me would be in your family?” Ever the quick wit, Colbert joked in response that one day he’d show her his dream journal.
Colbert showed his audience Cox’s Instagram post from meeting Beyoncé at the Grammys, and Cox revealed her biggest fear was that she might not meet her idol, but that she’d break down in tears the moment she did.
“Stephen, I met The Queen. I met The Queen!” Cox told Colbert to another roar of laughter from the audience, adding a personal anecdote:
“I’ve often imagined this day. I dreamed of the day,” Cox said. “When I was getting ready yesterday, I thought, ‘Oh my God if I meet Beyoncé, I’m going to cry, and I started to cry just thinking about it. But in her presence a calm comes over you. A calm came over me, I was strangely calm.”
Cox gave a shoutout to her friend and fellow actress Trace Lysette of “Transparent,” “Blunt Talk” and
“Drunk History” fame, who accompanied her to the awards show Sunday night. Then she regaled Colbert and viewers with the fact that when the “beautifully pregnant” Beyoncé spotted Cox, “She sees me and her face lights up,” Cox said.
“Beyoncé got up, she got up for me. Beyoncé got up for me!” And after they chatted and posed for pictures, Cox said, “I cried when I got back to my seat.”
“I felt people weren’t talking about this case,” Cox said, adding: “If we lose this our rights could be set back.”
For his part, Grimm — the 17-year-old transgender boy whose fight to use the boys’ rest room at school will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next month — was ecstatic at the mention, reported the Washington Post. Grimm told the paper he learned of the shoutout when he heard his mother, Diedre, shrieking while watching the Grammys.
“I was just so thrilled because I love her. She’s just a beautiful person inside and out,” Grimm told the Post. “I was really touched and thrilled and honored that that was the first thing out of her mouth.”
Talking with Colbert, Cox quoted attorney Chase Strangio of the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS Project, in saying “these anti-bathroom bills are not about bathrooms, they’re about stopping transgender people from existing. If we can’t use public bathrooms, we can’t go to school, we can’t go to work, we can’t exist in a public space.
“I exist and I have a right to exist in a public space,” declared Cox to loud cheers from the audience.
Colbert asked if her attorney character on “Doubt,” Cameron Wirth, was a good enough defense lawyer to get her “Orange Is The New Black” character, Sophia, spring from Litchfield Penitentiary.
“I think Cameron could get Sophia off, um, acquitted,” Cox replied with a smile at her apparently unintentional double entendre.
“Doubt” premieres Wednesday on CBS. Click here for a preview of the premiere episode. Click below for a clip from “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”