A defining role can be both blessing and curse. In August of 1975, the week the The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened, its 29-year-old star, Tim Curry gave an interview to STOIC, the Student Television Of Imperial College.
In between clips of Curry’s Frank-n-Furter sashaying through such destined-to-become cult favorites as “Sweet Transvestite” and “The Time Warp,” in fishnets, merry widow, and maquillage designed by David Bowie’s personal makeup artist, the actor entertained questions…in luscious black and white!
Kudos to the young interviewer, Mark Caldwell, for never interrupting or trying to elbow his way into the spotlight with jokey asides or double entendres. The reward is a serious consideration of the filmmaking process and the actor’s craft.
(Bear in mind that it would be at least a year until midnight audiences at New York’s Waverly Theater started throwing toast, rice, and toilet paper at the screen, thus initiating an entire script’s worth of audience participation.)
Having originated the role on the London stage (he auditioned with Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti”) and reprised it in L.A., Curry was clearly ready to put some space between himself and his iconic creation, announcing—correctly, as it turns out—that any sequels would have to proceed without him.
Then he clammed up for three decades, refusing to discuss his most iconic role until 2005, when he broke the silence during an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air .
It’s clear that Curry saw the making of the film as a serious business, but Rocky Horror fans will find plenty of juicy morsels to feed their obsession. Even virgins will enjoy the story of Frank’s evolving accent —from middle European to “Belgravia Hostess with the Mostest.”