'Orange Is the New Black' 's Laverne Cox Opens Up About Her Childhood: 'I Was Bullied a Lot as a Kid, and I Always Ran from the Bullies'

"I'm a lover not a fighter," says Cox

Photo: John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

When Laverne Cox got the script for her pivotal season 3 episode of Orange is the New Black, the actress was speechless.

“When I read [my character] Sophia’s assault in her own salon, that brought me to tears,” Cox says of in a video exclusive to PEOPLE.

Cox – who will become the first transgender person to play a transgender series regular role on broadcast television when CBS’s Doubt premieres in the fall – admits she had some hesitations about filming the scene.

“I’m a lover not a fighter. I was bullied a lot as a kid, and I always ran from the bullies,” she says. “A lot of that came back when I was in that scene and our director … wanted me to be strong and sort of this defiant person and that’s not really who I am. I run.”

Warning: There is some NSFW language used in the video below.

“Violence against trans people is such a huge issue in our culture, and I was concerned about the trans people watching our show … being triggered by that,” adds Cox, who will star in Fox’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the fall. “But I thought it was a very important story to tell – and tell truthfully.”

Season 3 of Orange Is the New Black is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Season 4 of the Netflix show will begin streaming June 17.

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