The 51-year-old actress is nominated for directing "Lesbian Request Denied," the third episode of the Netflix series' debut season. Foster tells Deadline the show immediately piqued her interest, and played to her strengths as a director.
"As a director, dramedy is what I do," she asserts. "It's not who I am as an actor."
"The genre requires a very specific skill set in terms of recognizing what is quirky and perverse, and to be moved by it. The female prisoners on Orange is the New Black have a very spiritual journey that's so complex. They're all soul-searching and they change through each other."
"Lesbian Request Denied" centers on transgender inmate Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox), and details the effect her gender transition had on her wife and child. Cox made history this week by becoming the first transgender Emmy nominee.
"It's all about the journey of Laverne's character," Foster details. "It's the beginning of the audience understanding what Orange is the New Black is really about. It's about identity and struggle." The director says she encouraged Cox to "dive a little deeper" into the role and "not play a heightened version of herself."
The third season of Orange is the New Black premieres next June, and the first two seasons are available to stream on Netflix. The 2014 Emmy Awards ceremony airs August 25 on NBC.