Tag Archives: laverne cox

Tim Curry, Laverne Cox commit to ‘Rocky Horror’ remake

Tim Curry’s participation in Fox TV’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show helped erode fan resistance to a remake of the 1975 cult film, producer Lou Adler said.

“As you can imagine, when we announced we were doing this there was a tremendous backlash from fans who have been with us for 40 years,” said Adler, who was behind both the big-screen original and the Fox version airing in October.

“That all loosened up,” he said, when Curry signed on to the role of Narrator. The actor played scientist and transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the film.

“You really made the difference,” director-choreographer Kenny Ortega told Curry during a Q&A with TV critics about the project.

“It was a blessing. I loved being there,” Curry replied. Asked how he felt about Frank-N-Furter being his most enduring role, his reply was droll.

“That’s not much I can do about it, really,” he said.

The lovefest resumed when producers discussed the performance of Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) as the new Frank-N-Furter. Cox didn’t participate in the panel.

“She had so much to give to it,” Ortega, also a producer on the project, said of Cox, citing her depth of talent, life experience and “incredible respect” for the movie. He recalled the first day of rehearsal for the cast album, when Cox performed “Sweet, Sweet Transvestite” with Curry, who uses a wheelchair, sitting alongside the pianist.

When she finished, Ortega said, Curry was the first to respond, shouting “bravo!”

There was a note of cynicism introduced, this from reporters who asked why a remake of a beloved film was needed.

Ortega replied that the remake gives an “incredible cast” the opportunity to bring new life to the characters with “vivacity and creativity.”

The stars include Ben Vereen as Dr. Everett Scott, Staz Nair as Rocky, Ryan McCartan as Brad Majors and Victoria Justice as Janet Weiss.

The TV movie, airing Oct. 20, also incorporates the audience-participation element — including costumes and commentary — that ultimately became a staple of the film’s late-night screenings in theaters.

Justice, playing the role filled by Susan Sarandon in the movie, said she’s a longtime “Rocky Horror” fan herself: She saw the film first as a fifth-grader and attended one of those midnight showings, at age 15 and in fishnet stockings and feather boa, with her mom.

“I’d never seen anything like it before in my life,” including the music and the campiness, Justice said, calling the part “a dream come true.”

Laverne Cox to star in ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ remake

Laverne Cox has signed to star in a remake of the The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the 1975 cult classic flick that’s still shown in midnight screenings throughout the English-speaking world. A twisted homage to B-grade sci-fi and horror films, Rocky Horror is the longest running movie in history.

Cox, best known for her role as Sophia Burset on Orange Is the New Black, will take on the lead role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, self-described in song as a “sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania.” Actor Tim Curry originated the role, and the film also brought a young Susan Sarandon to fame.

According to the Hollywood rumor mill, the lead role in the new production was first offered to Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert.

Emmy-nominated for her work in OITNB, Cox recently co-starred in Lily Tomlin’s feature film Grandma. She’s also guest starred in a number of TV series, including Law & Order, The Mindy Project and Bored to Death. She produced and starred in the VH1 series TRANSform Me.

Cox is also a widely respected and much-honored activist for LGBT rights activist. Among her laurels is an award from GLAAD. She appeared on the June 14, 2014 cover of Time magazine.

Fox 21 Television Studios is co-producing the Rocky Horror reboot, and Lou Adler, who produced the original, is one of the executive producers. The show will air on Fox as a two-hour special next fall.

Laverne Cox stands with transgender student appealing ‘manifesting’ prostitution conviction

A student and activist at Arizona State University is appealing her conviction under Phoenix’s “manifesting” intent to engage in prostitution ordinance.

Monica Jones is seeking a reversal of the conviction with the support of her pro bono attorney at Perkins Coie, the American Civil Liberties Union and Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox.

Jones, who is a transgender woman of color, was convicted in April in Phoenix Municipal Court for a misdemeanor under a city code that criminalizes waving at cars, talking to passersby and asking of someone is a police officer, according to her legal representation.

“The officer who arrested me profiled me as a sex worker because I am transgender, I am a woman of color and I live in an area that is perceived to be low income,” Jones said.

Jean-Jaques “J” Cabou, an attorney at Perkins Coie, said Jones was denied a trial by jury, convicted of a misdemeanor she did not commit and prosecuted under a statute that is unconstitutional.

“This law is unconstitutional, her trial was unfair and her conviction should be reversed,” Cabou said.

Jones also has found support from the ACLU, the ACLU of Arizona, the Transgender Law Center, Lambda Legal and the Urban Justice Center — the civil rights groups have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on the student’s behalf and against the Phoenix law.

“Transgender women, especially transgender women of color, are too often perceived by law enforcement to be engaged in prostitution solely because of their transgender status,” said ACLU attorney Chase Strangio. “Vague and overbroad laws, like Phoenix’s manifesting ordinance, give too much discretion to police officers, encouraging biased policing against women of color, particularly transgender women of color, people living in poverty and other members of the LGBT community.”

The amicus brief argues, in part, that Jones was assumed to be engaging in sex work because of how she looked.

During Jones’ bench trial, the arresting officer said that Jones’ presence in an area he claimed is “known for prostitution” and her outfit, which he described as a “black, tight-fitting dress,” suggested to him that Jones was manifesting intent to engage in prostitution.

The arresting officer at trial, and about 20 times in his written report, referred to Jones as a man.

Lending support to Jones’ cause, LGBT civil rights advocate and actress Laverne Cox, said in a statement, “Our society is unfortunately filled with negative assumptions about trans women. This law allows all of those assumptions to be acted upon, emboldening officers to arrest people just because of how they look or act. Walking while trans should not be a crime, but this law can certainly make it one.” Cox is starring in Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

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Jennifer Lopez, Laverne Cox win GLAAD Media Awards

Jennifer Lopez has added a couple of more trophies to her block.

The pop star and “American Idol” judge was honored over the weekend at the 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards with the Vanguard Award, which lauds efforts to increase visibility and understanding of the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender community.

In addition to being an outspoken advocate for LGBT civil rights, Lopez serves as executive producer of the ABC Family series “The Fosters,” which centers on a lesbian couple raising their children. “The Fosters” also won the award for outstanding drama series.

Other winners at the Beverly Hilton Hotel ceremony included NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” for daily drama, Fuse’s “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” for reality program, Tegan and Sara for music artist and “Young Avengers” for comic book. “Bridegroom” and “Call Me Kuchu” tied for the outstanding documentary trophy.

“Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is given to a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender member of the entertainment community. Previous recipients include Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres and Ian McKellen.

Norman Lear, the veteran producer of such sitcoms as “All in the Family” and “Maude,” was honored with the Pioneer Award.

The awards salute fair, accurate and inclusive representation in media of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. Other winners will be presented at a New York ceremony on May 3.