Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox has a new gig and that’s taking on the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. According to Entertainment Weekly, Cox has signed up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show reboot and will take on the role that Tim Curry made famous.
In the original film, Tim Curry made history by being one of the first men to dress up in drag to portray a transgender person. The 1975 film in all its glory is one of the first films to comment on transgender people, so it makes sense that Laverne Cox, a transgender woman, would take on the role.
The reboot will be televised in a two-hour special by Fox and choreographed and executive produced by Kenny Ortega.
— New York Лайф (@ma3tza) October 22, 2015
Aside from her new role, Laverne has already made history on her own. When she signed on to be featured on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, Cox was the first openly transgender person of color featured in a mainstream series. Going forward, she was also the first person to receive an Emmy nomination for her role on Orange is the New Black.
In addition, Cox was the first transgender person to be featured on Time magazine. Since then and even a bit before, Cox has took her platform to speak out to the youth and those struggling with acceptance. At the time, she spoke with Time magazine about the transgender tipping point, and Time labeled it as “America’s next civil rights frontier.”
Cox has used her platform to speak about a multitude of issues. Around the same time as her feature on Time, Cox gave a speech at the United States Conferences on AIDS, to speak about breaking stereotypes, “I stand before you today as a person who is somehow HIV negative. I feel weird even saying that. We live in a world that assumes because I’m black and transgender, I must be HIV positive. And that stigma is so crippling to me as I go out in the world and look for love and affection.'”
— broadwayworld (@broadwayworld) October 21, 2015
Not only is she shedding light on transgender issues plaguing young people, by opening up discussions, but she’s also turning it into an art form. Her documentary the T word, made waves on MTV when the network aired the hour long documentary. The documentary followed seven transgender people from ages 12 to 24 and how they survive the world while living transgender. The documentary showed young people going through the growing pains of coming into their own skin while figuring out their identities.
Rolling Stone said it “celebrates the liberation all seven subjects experience after being able to live as the gender they knew they were since birth, it explores the unique and sometimes devastating challenges facing anyone who identifies as trans today.”
Cox took another hand at working behind the scenes for the new documentary Free CeCe. The film, which is set to be released in 2016, follows the life of a transgender woman who went to an all male prison to serve time. Cox has stated that she is the inspiration behind her character in Orange is the New Black.
Cox has always represented a forward thinking attitude of breaking heteronormative stereotypes. So it makes perfect sense that she would continue to do this with her acting roles in addition to her role as an activist. Her role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter should be just as powerful as her work on the screen thus far.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]