Laverne Cox Opens Up About How 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' Impacted Her Before Her Transition

The actress said of discovering Frank-N-Furter for the first time: "I saw this character who was gender non-conformant like me, saying 'Don't dream it, be it,' "

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

Even though Laverne Cox is stepping into the iconic role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 2016 remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the actress admitted she didn’t see the musical until fairly late in life.

“I didn’t discover Rocky Horror until college,” Cox told reporters at Monday’s Fox All-Star Party in Los Angeles. “The first time I saw it, I was like, ‘What is this? This is me.’ It felt like me. Frank-N-Furter felt like me.”

“At the time, I hadn’t started transitioning yet, but I was sort of in the androgynous space. I had a shaved head and I wore makeup every day to ballet class,” added Cox, now 32. “Then I saw this character who was gender non-conformant like me, saying, ‘Don’t dream it, be it.’ That became a personal mantra. I am it – it being Dr. Frank-N-Furter.”

The Orange Is the New Black star, who will be taking over Tim Curry‘s legendary role, recalled her experience on set as a “dream come true.”

“It was magical,” she said. “I think the cast and the crew, working with Kenny [Ortega] and having Tim there and [executive producer] Lou Adler on set with us every day, it felt magical. Everyone was so committed and loved the original movie so much, we just wanted to honor it. We wanted to give our all and we all did. It was really wonderful. I feel like I have a new family.”

The musical comedy cast also includes Victoria Justice (Janet), Ryan McCartan (Brad), Adam Lambert (Eddie), Christina Milian (Magenta), Annaleigh Ashford (Columbia), Reeve Carney (Riff Raff) and Ben Vereen (Dr. Everett von Scott).

The Rocky Horror Picture Show premieres Oct. 20 on Fox.

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