Tim Curry made a rare appearance four years after suffering a stroke at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday to promote Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show redo.
The original Rocky Horror star makes a special appearance as the narrator in the two-hour TV musical, which is led by a star-studded cast, including Laverne Cox, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCarten and Christina Milian.
Curry, 70, was his usual witty self, cracking jokes about the legacy of his iconic character, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, in the 1975 cult film, and the legacy of the Rocky Horror franchise.
“I’m pretty much there,” joked a wheelchair-bound Curry, when asked if anything Rocky Horror-related failed to surprise him anymore. Later, he deadpanned that Dr. Frank-N-Furter would be synonymous with him for the rest of his life, drawing laughs: “There’s not a lot I can do about it, really.”
Curry was absent at Comic-Con in July, when Fox presented the first 25 minutes of the anticipated television event, but he made the most of his appearance this time around.
“I remember a lot of the original film because it was my first movie and I didn’t miss much. It was fun, though, to do it again,” he said. “I actually offered myself as Dr. Scott [played by Ben Vereen in the new film] because I was already in a wheelchair. They thought the narrator was a better fit and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Because of his participation in the upcoming musical, it was fair to assume Curry was all-in when it came to Fox’s re-interpretation of the wildly popular flick. But, it had to be asked if he gave his full endorsement: “I do indeed,” Curry said.
“Just doing it again, but in a different role,” Curry said of what made the new Rocky Horror magical for him. “[Director] Kenny [Ortega] runs a set where you can try anything and it was a lot of fun.”
Ortega recalled a moment on set between Cox, who plays Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Fox’s reimagining, and Curry that put into perspective just how special this entire experience was.
“Laverne was standing at the piano and was getting ready to sing ‘Sweet Tranvestite’ for the very, very first time, and Tim was sitting at the piano next to the pianist. When she finished, the first voice that came out was ‘Brava!’ from Tim Curry,” Ortega said. “That’s what we all felt throughout this entire experience working with Tim. His generosity, his wit, his charm, his elegance -- he is just a true pro. Every day on the set with him, he placed his trust with us and we had a blast. We had a ball.”
Ortega turned to Curry to thank him for being a part of the project: It was so great to have you there, Tim. You made the difference.”
The Rocky Horror Picture Show premieres Oct. 20 on Fox.