We Just Saw the First 25 Minutes of 'Rocky Horror' and It's Very Self Aware
Also, Victoria Justice says it closes the Nickelodeon chapter in her life, and Christina Milian was psyched to get sexual.
Are you ready to do the "Time Warp" with an all new cast? We just got to see the first 25 minutes of the upcoming TV remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at San Diego Comic-Con, and now we have a much better idea of what to expect from the film. After the preview, Reeve Carney (Riff Raff), Victoria Justice (Janet Weiss), Ryan McCartan (Brad Majors), and Christina Milian (Magenta) held court to fill in some of the details. Here's what we learned.
1. It's Very Self-Aware
The new Rocky Horror pays tribute to the movie's rich history and enduring legacy by incorporating elements of midnight screenings into the movie. This means we occasionally cut to an actual audience watching the movie in an actual theater, and they're doing some of the callbacks and holding props. Also, some of the characters seem to be totally aware of the Rocky Horror history like they're just playing along. Except Brad and Janet. They're clueless. Whether you're able to get with this gimmick will probably determine whether you like the movie.
2. The Songs Have Been Rearranged
This is a different production, and to make sure it gets to stand on its own, the songs have mostly new arrangements courtesy Cisco Adler, son of original Rocky producer Lou Adler. The songs sound the same but different, with new inflections, emphasis in different places, and all new staging. Whatever this production is, it isn't an unimaginative recreation of the original.
3. Everyone Hams Everything Way Up
As Brad and Janet, Ryan McCartan and Victoria Justice are the most subtle of the new cast, but this crew mostly cranks the camp up to 11. If there's a spot for a smirk a leer or emphatic gesturing they will find it and they will wring it dry. If you've ever seen the movie in a theater with an actual cast, it's kind of like that. In that spirit it's actually pretty fun.
4. Victoria Justice Has Officially Grown Up
In her words: "I think I can say with certainty now after doing this that the Nickelodeon chapter of my life has closed!"
She went on: "When I screen tested I had to sing with a bunch of different Brads and Rockys, and I remember I had to crawl over a lot of, like, oiled up men and serenade them and sing 'Touch Me.' It was an interesting experience."
5. Ryan's Audition Sounds Less Sexy
"Her audition consisted of other people. Mine did not," he explained while laughing. "So that looked like me molesting myself on a couch in front of [choreographer] Kenny Ortega and [producer] Lou Adler. It was a really intimidating experience."
6. Christina Milian Is the Real Sexpot of the New Cast
Milian said during the panel that she was relieved to be cast as Magenta for the movie after playing it straight for so long on Grandfathered.
"I was doing a TV show called Grandfathered and I felt like on Grandfathered — it was a great role — but I felt a little bit muted as far as the type of person and the character. I'm very, uh, well let's just say it, a sexual person! I'm a 'Dip It Low' girl. Let's just keep it real. [Laughs] I been dippin' it low since 21. And I felt like I lost part of that spirit because I dove into my character on Grandfathered. And then here comes Magenta, and the day that I found out I got the role, I felt like, 'Wow okay I really need this.'"
7. Tim Curry Can Still Steal a Scene
Original Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry hasn't been seen much by fans since suffering a debilitating stroke that's severely limited the kinds of work he can do. In the new Rocky Horror he plays the Criminologist and proves he can still steal a scene with a well-timed raise of the eyebrow. Seeing him back onscreen was clearly a highlight for everyone watching Thursday. Producer Lou Adler says Currry has seen the finished film and is wishing them the best.
8. Kenny Ortega Was Thrilled to Be Doing the Choreography All Over Again
After choreographing the original Rocky Horror movie, Ortega came back onboard for the TV remake, and he obviously couldn't be happier. "I love these kinds of musicals. I love these kinds of aliens. I f---in' had the time of my life!"