Laverne Cox's New Role Is Major

by Emily Lackey

It's about time. When I heard that Laverne Cox has been cast as Frank-n-Furter in FOX's upcoming remake of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I just about jumped out of my chair. Even though the role was first made famous by Tim Curry, it’s great to see a transgender actress finally be cast in the role of a transgender character. Not that Tim Curry didn’t do that role serious justice, because he did — it's just that there are so few roles for transgender actors (and even fewer that are filled by transgender actors when they exist) that it’s great to see the new production moving in the direction of progress and greater representation.

The 1975 film, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, continues to gather fans and draw big crowds to midnight screenings around the country — so I can only imagine the fervor that this remake will create. According to The Hollywood Reporter , the new Rocky will premiere as a two-hour special feature on Fox in the fall of 2016. (And don't worry: original producers Gail Berman and Lou Adler have signed back on the produce the remake.)

For Cox, the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy for her role in Orange Is the New Black, the role is another starring part and another role about a transgender character. And, as great as it is to see so many movies and TV shows featuring transgender characters, a large amount of these characters are portrayed by cisgender actors and actresses. As great of a job as they might do with the roles, there are already so few parts available to transgender actors in Hollywood that it’s always disheartening to see these few and far between roles being doled out to actors who can find plenty of work.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

So, Cox's casting in Rocky is just another reason to look forward to it. The actress has made great strides in Hollywood, a very white and very cisgendered town — and this most recent casting decision is another step in the right direction.