Actress Laverne Cox was left starstruck after meeting Jodie Foster on the set of prison drama Orange Is The New Black.

The Silence of the Lambs star directed the third episode of the show's first season, which served as Cox's debut, and the transgender actress admits it was a surreal moment when she first came face-to-face with Foster.

She says, "It was so incredible. My very first day of working on Orange Is the New Black I... was in craft services and this woman comes up to me and was like, 'Hi, I'm Jodie, I'm directing episode three,' and I'm like, 'Um, I know who you are.'

"She's just standing there and I'm like, 'Why is Jodie Foster talking to me?' and she's like, 'This is your first day, right? Let me show you around,' and then she commences to giving me a tour of the set and I'm like, 'Why is Jodie Foster talking to me?' and she's asking me these questions about my life, like she's really interested, and of course at that point I didn't understand episode three would be my back story episode."

Cox was so shocked after the unexpected meeting, she worried she would not be able to pull off her job on camera.

She continues, "I got back to my dressing room and I call my brother and I'm shaking and I'm like, 'I just met Jodie Foster and I have to act now and I don't think I can do it,' and he was like, 'Just breathe, you can do it,' and I did it and now I'm nominated for an Emmy."

Cox became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award when the nods were announced in early July (14). She is competing for the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series accolade.