What do Laverne Cox and Bill Clinton have in common? An undeniable fondness for Beyoncé. Whilst Bill celebrated #Beyday chatting up the icon herself at the fifth annual Budweiser Made in American Festival, Cox paid tribute to the Lemonade star in a manner totally befitting the Orange is the New Black actress. See above/below.
On the eve of her Rocky Horror Picture Show debut — in which Cox will attempt to best Tim Curry’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter — the transgender rights activist and Cosmo cover girl dressed up as several badass black women from who’ve inspired her, Queen B included. While you have to tune into Fox on October 20 for the most daring impersonation of all, in the meantime you can watch Cox transform into Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Tracey Africa, Janet Jackson, Josephine Baker and Leontyne Price in Cosmo’s October issue, on newsstands now.
In the accompanying interview, Cox explains how each of these super heroines has informed her career. Of the #BlackLivesMatter advocate, Cox told Cosmo, “Beyoncé represents excellence. Her work ethic is like nobody else I’ve ever seen. 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, ‘Beyoncé. Beyoncé does this.’ You have to just put in the work.”
As for Turner, Cox explained, “The pain, pleasure, and agony of all she’s been through is in her voice. 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.”
Of pioneering transgender model Tracey Africa, whom Cox holds close to her heart for obvious reasons, she stated, “She was a black trans woman who modeled in the ’70s and had cosmetics deals and a hair contract with Clairol—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.” No doubt aspiring transgender actors and actresses hold Cox in similar regard.