Aurelie Corinthios
February 15, 2017 02:33 PM

 

Laverne Cox‘s latest small-screen role is quite a departure from Orange Is the New Black‘s Sophia, but she jumped at the opportunity.

“I’ve wanted to play a lawyer for years,” Cox, 32, told PEOPLE Now of playing transgender attorney Cameron Wirth on the upcoming CBS drama Doubt alongside Katherine Heigl. “I love the law, the concept of the law — I like to think I’m a little bit of a smarty-pants, and I sort of get to show that off a little bit.”

“I love playing a defense attorney, specifically,” she added. “The idea of defending people who are in their hour of need is really exciting to me.”

So how did she feel about tackling several love scenes?

“I was super nervous,” the actress confessed. “I think it’s always weird when you’re, like, having to make out and make ‘love’ or get intimate with someone that you’re not intimate with. You want to make sure everyone’s comfortable.”

That said, Cox had nothing but good things to say about her costar and on-screen love interest Ben Lawson.

“I haven’t even talked about this — maybe he has kissed a trans woman in real life before, but I was assuming he had never,” she said. “I was like: ‘Oh my God, is he freaking out?’ ”

“But he’s such a professional,” she continued. “He always made me feel completely comfortable and I hope I made him feel comfortable and respected, as well. But it’s a scary thing!”

And steamy means steamy, Cox promised.

“You have to keep watching — it gets really good, people,” she said. “In the script it says, before our first steamy moment, that it’s ‘the hottest hotness that has ever existed.’ … So you have to keep watching for the hottest hotness that has ever existed. I hope that we were able to live up to that!”

And, of course, the role helped her grow close to her Heigl, 38, too.

“I love Katie so much,” gushed Cox. “She is so sweet and so funny, and I’m honestly amazed that she was pregnant when we were shooting! She was pregnant, and she has two kids and a husband and she had just moved to L.A. from Utah with her whole family — she was managing all of that while starring in a show.”

“I was like: ‘This woman is superwoman!’ ” continued the actress. “I was just amazed at everything she was managing and how good she is as an actress and how good she is in this show. She’s really amazing and the scenes she has with Judith Light, who plays her mom, are epic.”

Doubt premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

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