Adam Lambert explains why Laverne Cox is playing ‘sweet transvestite’ Frank-N-Furter in Rocky Horror remake
Adam Lambert has revealed he turned down a cross-dressing role in the upcoming Rocky Horror remake – in favour of trans actress Laverne Cox.
The singer, who has toured the world with the band Queen, is in line to play Eddie in the remake of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, set to air later this year.
Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox, who is transgender, confused some by signing on to play Dr Frank-N-Furter – a role that is traditionally played by a cross-dressing man.
However, Lambert explained why he thought Cox would be a perfect fit for the role in an interview – revealing he turned it down himself.
Speaking to Idolator, he said: “I kind of felt like in 2016, to be cis and playing the role of a trans character, it felt inappropriate to me. In the ’70s, it was different.
“But nowadays we have such an amazing conversation that’s started about trans and gender in this world. I think casting Laverne [Cox] was so brilliant. It’s so appropriate, you know what I mean?
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“And to re-imagine [the character], as well, because she’s entirely different.
“So I said no, but when they started announcing the cast, I said, ’Wait a minute — what about Eddie? I wanna play Eddie! I could do that — that’s like one song. Let me just come in and do a bit part!’ – because I really, really wanted to be a part of it.
“I’m a big fan of the original movie, and [director] Kenny Ortega’s a lovely guy. And then I heard that Cisco Adler was producing the music and thought, oh, this is gonna be good.
“So, I went in and I recorded my songs already. I did my vocals, and they turned out really cool. Now I’m going in for a week in April, in Toronto, to film.”
He added of turning down the role: “You know, I thought to myself, my friends that are trans — how are they going to feel about casting a non-trans person saying, ‘I’m a sweet transvestite from transexual Transylvania?’ It’s dicey.
“I think they made a really bold, refreshing choice on that. It’s very forward-thinking and it feels very right now, which is going to make this remake really interesting.”
Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien – who wrote the original musical and screenplay – has spoken about how his gender identity influenced the show previously, saying: “I believe myself probably to be about 70% male, 30% female.”
However, he stirred controversy recently by suggesting that trans women can never truly be women.