“I have so much girl in me”

Richard O’Brien has revealed that the inspiration for his most famous creation – Dr. Frank N. Furter, the “sweet transvestite” mad scientist played by Tim Curry in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show – was inspired by his own experiences of cross-dressing and struggling with his gender identity as a young aspiring New Zealand actor living in London in the early 1970s.

“It actually came from me,” says O’Brien, who wrote the book and the original score. rocky horror show stage play that inspired the film (which turns 50 this month) and starred butler Riff Raff in both. “I used to blame myself for the hand that was dealt to me. I don’t know how it works. I have no idea. I have read many tomes on the subject of transvestite nature. These are the cards that are dealt to you. In a binary world, it’s a bit of a curse, really. Especially when homosexuality was a crime. It’s just one of those things that Western society didn’t like very much.

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Half a century later, after having written The gender- and sexually liberted rocky horror, O’Brien said, “I guess it must have been cathartic. I guess that must have been the reason why. I certainly wouldn’t have thought of it in those terms.

O’Brien, 81, has been married three times, to three different women, and has three children from the first two marriages – two sons and a daughter. When it comes to his own gender identity, however, he says no one binary answer is enough.

“Who I always wanted to be was whole – whole and complete at the center,” he says. The Hollywood ReporterIt is It happened in Hollywood podcast. “But I have so much girl in me that it doesn’t make any sense. I think it would have made more sense if I was born a girl. It’s true. But it’s a fucking patriarchal and misogynistic world So I’m out of luck? Because I’ve been able to walk the streets and go places I never would have been able to go if I was a girl. You just have to put it all in perspective, really. .

Later in the podcast, O’Brien admits that while he admires much of the clever artistry that goes into audience participation in Rocky Horror Picture Show projections and staging of The Rocky Horror Show around the world, sometimes the raucous response of rocky horror fans go too far.

“It got a little rude, actually,” O’Brien says of fans’ tendency to shout things at actors. “You know. And not so witty. I totally agree. But it’s intrusive sometimes. We had to be very careful with the actors on stage. If we weren’t careful, the audience would take over. the party. I’m talking about one-third of the audience taking over the party and the other two-thirds are now at a party they weren’t invited to. In the movie, it makes no difference because it’s is the same every night.

Still, some of the tried-and-true sight gags may still manage to tickle O’Brien. “When I’m dressed like american gothic and throw the pitchfork overboard [of the screen]someone stands below and shouts ‘Arrggh!’ he said with a chuckle of appreciation.

Celebrate rocky horrorof the 50th anniversary of by visiting its special collection of NFT. And listen to the full Richard O’Brien episode of It happened in Hollywood below and be sure to subscribe for lots more content for movie history buffs.

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