Laverne Cox has faced criticism for her decision to play the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show remake headed to Fox later this fall, but that doesn’t mean she’s letting it drag her down.
Diehard fans of the original film have given Cox grief on social media for accepting the role, which is traditionally played by a cross-dressing man. She’s also caught flack from some LGBT advocates for obvious reasons — they think playing the role of a self-described “sweet transvestite” would send the wrong message to people who recognize Cox for her outstanding advocacy work.
“People can be very… challenging and critical, but I put everything I had into this,” Cox told ET on the magenta carpet at the Billboard Music Awards last night. “I gave 250 percent, and I hope people like what we came up with.”
“Rocky Horror is sacred to people,” Cox added, explaining how it’s almost to be expected that fans of a cult classic will push back at new iterations.
“It’s the longest-running movie in theater history, in movie history. For 41 years, people have been going to midnight showings and dressing up, and there’s been shadow casts all over the world. It means so much to so many people.”
The 31-year-old Emmy-nominated actress also said she “had the time of [her] life” on set.
“What’s so exciting about being in this music show, is that the music, the soundtrack for Rocky Horror Picture Show is so incredible and so timeless, and I just have new respect for recording artists,” she said.
Earlier this year, actor Tim Curry, the original and most famous Frank-N-Furter, gave Laverne’s casting a huge stamp of approval.
“He wants me to do my own thing with it and it’s really been that kind of thing. We sort of talked about what he was thinking when he did it, and we talked about his intentions with certain moments,” Cox told ET in February. “For me, that movie when I saw it in college, changed my life. To get to do this and to not only do it but do it with the person who created the role that I’m playing, I’m a really really blessed girl!”
Check out a trailer for the new Rocky Horror Picture Show below.