Based on an early preview that was provided to critics, Cox serves up an unforgettable performance that's nothing but legs, fishnets and fierceness — a far cry from her ashy inmate Sophia on Orange is the New Black. She belts, purrs and vamps in her opening number, sashaying and shimmying with a regal presence that conjures iconic divas of the past.
"We drew from everything," Cox told TVGuide.com in an exclusive interview. "But the great thing about Rocky Horror is that the original was inspired by B-horror and '50s rock 'n' roll. ... We took Faye Wray and that stuff, but we also looked at old Hollywood divas like Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis and Joan Crawford."
As is often the case with iconic characters, nobody will ever top the original Frank-N-Furter that Tim Curry created but Cox makes the role her own — and sprinkles in influences from some R&B legends too.
Cox cites Grace Jones as a major influence, and one that's very evident when Frank-N-Furter makes a grand entrance in an over-the-top costume. Producers also channeled David Bowie, Eartha Kitt, Tina Turner and Little Richard, according to the actress. "Frank-N-Furter at the end of the day is a campy character who constructed her persona based on people that she loves," Cox says. "So us taking our inspirations for our Frank from all these divas that we loved felt really appropriate to the spirit of high camp that is Rocky Horror."
The Rocky Horror Picture Show premieres Thursday, Oct. 20 at 8/7c on Fox.