Laverne Cox was on hand last night at the Billboard Music Awards to introduce Rihanna and she also took a few minutes to chat with Entertainment Tonight about her upcoming debut as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the retelling of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Since the remake was announced last October, there has been some marked anxiety about Cox accepting the role of a crossing-dressing cisgender man, due to her being a transgender woman and the confusion that many in mainstream culture have about the differences between the two identities. Other fans and critics are just plain upset about a remake happening at all. GamesRadar.com notes that within 24 hours of the film's trailer premiering on YouTube, it had "received more than a quarter of a million views, with roughly equal numbers of Likes and Dislikes."
However, Cox says she has given the film "250 percent" and she's hopeful audiences will respond positively to it. "People can be very… challenging and critical, but I put everything I had into this," she told Entertainment Tonight. "'Rocky Horror' is sacred to people. It's the longest-running movie in theater history, in movie history. For 41 years, people have been going to midnight showings and dressing up, and there's been shadow casts all over the world. It means so much to so many people."
Cox is one of the most highly visible transgender people in Hollywood, having become the first transgender person to appear on the cover of TIME magazine nearly two years ago. Aside from "Rocky Horror," she will also star in the upcoming fourth season of "Orange Is The New Black" and, according to Deadline.com, will reportedly make history as part of the new CBS show Doubt, which "will be the first broadcast series featuring a transgender series regular character played by a transgender actor."
The remake of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is expected to premiere on Fox on Halloween 2016.