Laverne Cox will show off her musical talents in the upcoming Fox Rocky Horror Picture Show remake, where she's set to play Dr. Frank-N-Furter (originally portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1975 film). The actress spoke to Vanity Fair about her take on the memorable "Sweet Transvestite" number, which you can stream above.
Cox explains that she had some issues with the use of the word going into the project. Calling it an "antiquated term," she told the magazine, “I had a conversation [with director] Kenny [Ortega]. We talked about the word ‘transvestite.'" She didn't want the audience to be left confused.
“Historically, the terms have changed [and] it doesn’t mean the same thing today that it meant in the '70s,” the actress continued. “It’s not appropriate to refer to trans people as a transvestite [today], but it is [used here as] the character in that specific moment in history.”
Cox also discusses taking on Curry's iconic role:
“I didn’t think about how we’re going to make it different [from Curry] so much as how we’re going to tell the story through my instrument and be true to the spirit of what is intended. We were able to explore those lower tones in my voice, which I’ve been afraid of doing for years because I’m a woman and I have a low voice. Being trans, it took me a long time to really embrace that part of my voice, but with this character, it was absolutely perfect."
The Rocky Horror Picture Show premieres on Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. It will also star Victoria Justice as Janet Weiss, Ryan McCartan as Brad Majors, Adam Lambert as Eddie, Christina Milian, Reeve Carney and Annaleigh Ashford. Tim Curry, who plays Frank in the original movie, is set to make a cameo.
After listening to Laverne Cox's spot-on version of "Sweet Transvestite," compare it to Curry's original version below: