Tanya Wright (Crystal Burset) Reflects on Working with Laverne Cox and Her Journey to Greater Understanding

Tanya Wright has never portrayed a character like Crystal Burset ever before. When she first learned about the role, she was just excited that she would have the opportunity to play such a unique character on a television show, and she also remembers hoping that people would watch the show.

She certainly got her wish. As it turns out, Wright learned a whole lot about  herself and life from portraying Crystal, a character whose once-husband transitioned to become a woman. Wright explains,

“My life is different — very different — from Crystal’s. I am a single woman who has been engaged three times. Yes, you read that right. Three! All nice guys, but, ultimately, not ones I really wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” I have no children, but I do have a dog that I love (hi, Macarena!) My private life is very simple and quiet while my professional life is loud, extreme and deeply fulfilling.”

Wright notes that her experience playing Crystal has opened her eyes to the complexities of people’s lives, even though hers, as she notes above, is not particularly complicated. The role has also taught her a lot about life and love, namely that love is no gender:

“I am a heterosexual woman. The relationship between Sophia and Crystal illustrates beautifully that love has nothing at all to do with gender. [. . .] Love is love. It’s a wonderful thing. Period, that’s all.”

Wright has also learned a lot about gratitude. She reflects on how Sophia gives Crystal her blessing to date her pastor and how it allows Crystal to move on with her life, even though Sophia’s is at a standstill while she’s incarcerated.

Although Wright does not know what the writers of Orange have in store for her character, she looks forward to the development of their story.

To read Tanya Wright’s full blog on the Huffington Post, click here.


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