Laverne Cox, one of the breakout stars of “Orange Is the New Black” and an icon of the transgender community, will be taking on one of the most iconic roles in cinematic history — Dr. Frank-N-Furter — in a remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
The campy musical has been a midnight movie staple for 40 years and is well-known for paying homage to sci-fi of the 1950s, addressing themes of fluid sexuality, and for its catchy rock songs. The new version will be a two-hour TV movie that will be aired on FOX in the fall of 2016. It will be directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, who helmed the movies “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Newsies,” and “High School Musical.”
Cox became the first transgender performer to be nominated for an Emmy award last year, when her role in “Orange Is the New Black” gained her a nod in the “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” category. On that popular Netflix series, Cox plays Sophia Burset, a former firefighter who is serving out a prison sentence for credit card fraud she committed to pay for sex reassignment surgery.
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“I was told many times that I wouldn’t be able to have a mainstream career as an actor because I’m trans, because I’m black, and here I am,” Cox said in a July 2014 TIME magazine interview, “And it feels really good.” The month prior, Cox broke ground as the cover girl for TIME.
She has been busy and productive as of late, appearing in the Oscar-buzz-worthy comedy “Grandma” opposite Lily Tomlin, and signing onto the legal drama pilot “Doubt,” which is currently being developed by CBS, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Still, her upcoming role as the sexually ambiguous, mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Further, could be her most dynamic to date.