Anyone who has been to a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show or a production of the musical stage version knows what a big deal it is to lose your Rocky “virginity.” Cast members from the upcoming Fox broadcast, which will hit television screens October 20 at 8 PM ET, talk about their first times.
Read below on who rented the film as a child and who waited until after filming of the Fox special was complete to check out the “Time Warp.”
Laverne Cox (Dr. Frank-N-Furter)
Well, I discovered Rocky Horror my freshman year of college—and it was a period in my life when I was in a gender-nonconforming, kind of androgynous place, and Frank-N-Furter came into my life through this movie when I was figuring out who I was. “Don’t Dream It, Be It” became a personal mantra for me. It gave me permission to be who I always thought that I was. Read more from Cox’s interview with transgender theatre pioneer Shakina Nayfack here.
Ryan McCartan (Brad Majors)
I’ve been saying 11, but I might have been 12, I might have been 14… I don’t even remember! But I went to the stage show [of] the musical with my parents, and my sister was in it [as] one of the Transylvanians. The concept for her costume was a slutty nun, so virginous little Ryan with his parents, watching my sister whore around onstage, was really awkward. But once we got past the initial [thought of], “This is a disaster,” I was like, “This show is incredible. What am I even watching?” I saw the movie shortly thereafter, and I became obsessed with it.
We actually went as a cast to a shadow-cast [showing], and it was insane. We were in Toronto; I don’t remember the movie theatre, but they served alcohol there. I was like, “That is a mistake!” Giving a bunch of rowdy Rocky Horror people booze was like, “Wow.” But we were all lit up and just watching, and everyone was screaming. It was incredible. The energy and the intensity of the fandom was just so intoxicating.
Victoria Justice (Janet Weiss)
I saw it for the first time when I was in fifth grade, and I had never seen anything like it. It was so different, and I had never seen characters like this before. I really just fell in love with it, and I went to my first midnight showing when I was 15. It was just the movie; I don’t think there was a shadow cast, but people were throwing things and doing the callouts. Read THE VIRGIN’S GUIDE TO ROCKY HORROR CALLOUTS
Annaleigh Ashford (Columbia)
In Denver, Colorado, the local Blockbuster Video had a musical section, and my mom would let me rent musicals every weekend, so I got through the whole section, and when I got to Rocky Horror Picture Show, my mom was like, “We’ve got to make sure that we have a newspaper and some popcorn.” We didn’t really know what we were doing, but we knew we were supposed to use the newspaper when we go through the rain and throw popcorn. Although I was only eight or nine at the time, I knew that the movie was important, I knew that it was special, I knew that it was really funny because it’s so campy, but at the same time, I knew that it had an important message.
Then, later on, my best friend Craig Jessup, [aka] Breedlove, played Frank N. Furter with another good friend of mine from college, MaryAnne Piccolo, [in the show]. I saw that production, but that’s the only live production I’ve seen. The music is unbelievable, and the first hour is just one hit after another. It’s literally like seven hits in a row.
Ben Vereen (Dr. Everett Scott)
The first time I saw it was the last day of filming. I kept [meaning] to go see it and never had the opportunity to, and then when [director] Kenny Ortega called and asked me to be in it, I said, “Let me watch the movie.” He goes, “You haven’t seen it?” I said, “No.” He said, “Don’t watch it until the last week of the shooting.” And then I had the privilege and the honor of working with Tim Curry! My God!
Reeve Carney (Riff Raff)
I hadn’t watched it all the way through until I got the audition. As a teenager, a friend of mine showed me the scene [of] the transition between the end of “Time Warp” and beginning of “Sweet Transvestite,” and that’s all I saw. I remember thinking, “This is really interesting,” but I felt like maybe it was something I shouldn't be watching, which I think makes it more enticing, especially when you’re a teenager. I never saw a live version except for the shadow cast.