- - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

If you have seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” chances are you’ve seen it more than once. Forty-one years in, the campy flick remains the most popular cult film of all time. The ultimate midnight movie musical that launched the careers of Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick and Tim Curry — and taught generations of college students how to do the “Time Warp” — has been remade by Fox TV, and will air Thursday night at 8 p.m.

Stars of the original film Nell Campbell (Columbia) and Patricia Quinn (Magenta) spoke to The Washington Times at the Hollywood Show autograph convention as part of a “Rocky Horror” reunion. The duo discussed the remake and why the original film stays relevant after four decades.

Prepare to shiver with antica … pation!

Question: Do you get to reunite with your castmates often?

Nell Campbell: Yeah. I see Pat and Barry [Bostwick] a lot. I see Tim [Curry] whenever I’m in L.A. But I haven’t been in L.A. for a couple years. Pat, Barry and I see each other a few times a year at events like this. We get on very well.

Patricia Quinn: It’s wonderful.

Q: What is the most common things fans say to you when they meet you?

NC: Thank you for giving me years of enjoyment. Which is a fantastic thing to have said to you. As you know, it’s because people like to see the film hundreds of times. I get a big kick out of the fact that they get such a big kick out of it.

Q: Why do you think people not only watch it again and again, but new generations also discover it?

NC: It’s basically the combination of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — without the drugs.

The music is great music. The show is short and funny. It doesn’t take itself seriously. I think also the fact that it includes cross-dressing, homosexuality, bisexuality. When the film came out 41 years ago, that was a new thing then.

It’s also done in a very playful way that the film is not offensive in any way. Combined with the great songs — not a dud in it — and a funny script. The characters are so unusual and yet endearing in a way. People still get a kick out of the characters.

Q: What do you think is the lasting appeal of “Rocky Horror”?

PQ: The thing that gives me shivers down my spine, and I know it’s the biggest cult film in the world, it is now the longest-running film in cinema history. That is special. People say, “What about ‘Gone With the Wind’?” Well, that went. ‘

The reason we are history is that the film never, ever left the cinema. It’s the only film that has ever done that.

Q: Is it true the film was banned when it first came out?

PQ: In many places. It was banned in Capetown, South Africa, for corrupting the youth. It was banned in Germany for cannibalism, because we had Meat Loaf. [laughs]

Q: Obviously Richard O’Brien had a lot to do with the show being a success.

NC: He had 100 percent to do with it. He wrote the music, he wrote the script. It’s his show. But also of huge importance was Jim Sharman and set designer Brian Thomson contributed enormously to the whole feel of it, as did Sue Blane, the costume designer.

Q: Do you think the new acceptance of LGBTQ has brought a new audience to “Rocky Horror”?

NC: It’s the longest-running film in history. A lot of people see it in small towns in America and other parts of the world. I would imagine it’s extremely hard to be transgender in the center or Los Angeles or New York, let alone if you’re even homosexual and you’re brought up in a small town.

I love it if “Rocky Horror” has helped people accept who they are and their sexuality and made them feel that they can be open about it.

Q: What do you think about the fact that Fox TV is doing the remake?

NC: I think it’s great that they are doing a remake. Why not? Shows have always been redone, and it will be fun to see. I’m not involved, but Tim is as the narrator. That will be fun to see.

PQ: It will only remind people of us, which is wonderful. When “Glee” did “Rocky Horror” [songs], the popularity went up. Even though they couldn’t say works like “transsexual.”

Q: When you look back on the original, do you have one favorite memory of filming?

NC: No. [laughs] We all knew each other well. Most of us had been in the original production in London at the theater together. We all got along swimmingly. It was a very short shoot. It was only five weeks, which is incredible for a musical, let alone the one that was gonna turn out to be the longest-running one of all time.

PQ: When I first auditioned for this, I asked my agent, “What is this thing?” He said, “Well, you have to sing a rock ‘n’ roll song. I think it (the film) is something about a circus.” He wasn’t wrong. I’ve been in this circus ever since.

Q: What are you up to these days?

NC: I live in glorious Sydney, Australia, and do as much as I can.

PQ: I’ve become like Maria Callas — a diva. I can go on any stage. The show is always on. All across Europe. Japan. England. Dresden. Milan. A massive stadium in Germany.

I come in, sing “Science Fiction,” which is my song, get a bouquet and pick up the brown envelope from my dressing room table, and I’m gone. It’s marvelous.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” premieres on Fox Thursday at 8 p.m.


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