The genius behind Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s goth makeup is credited to Pierre LaRoche. The glam-rock elements were a perfect mix. LaRoche was a fastidious worker. It required four long hours to do Tim Curry’s makeup, and wearing it was hot!
Finally, Curry learned how to do it on his own. He said it wasn’t difficult; he just had to “stick it on with a trowel, really,” which saved himself and cast and crew untold hours of time.
The ‘Time Warp’ Sequence
“It’s astounding!” The “Time Warp” number is vital to the movie and a central component of the vibrant audience partic—i—pation festivities. Yet the truth remains, this musical gem was not a part of the original Rocky Horror script. Richard O’Brien’s finished manuscript produced only a 40-minute show, so they “padded” it with this song. Plus, he said, every musical needs a dance number.
Styled on old-time rock n’ roll ditties like “The Twist,” the high energy dance tune delighted fans. As the narrator chimes in, “It’s just a jump to the left, with your hands on your hips,” theatergoers do the “Time Warp” dance in the aisles.
Scoring the Music
Giving life to the musical, Richard O’Brien teamed up with composer Richard Hartley. According to "The Guardian," “Richard [Hartley] and I listened to the same records when we were growing up, so we just put all the things we loved in,” said O’Brien, giving the examples of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones.
For the movie, he said they recorded the backing tracks in four days, and the vocals took a week. To give it a more gothic sound, they brought in musicians from the British rock band Procol Harum. O’Brien said they “sweetened” it for Hollywood by adding strings and a brass band.
Sharman Created a Role for Just for British Pop Singer Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull was supposed to play Magenta, a house servant of Dr. Frank, also Riff Raff’s sister. The domestic with Elvira-like hair was a brand-new character that the production team carved out from Columbia, Dr. Frank’s groupie, and lover played by Laura “Little Nell” Campbell. We love her best for her tap performance, which is, quite frankly, the actual reason Little Nell was cast.
When it turned out that Faithfull was on tour in India for the opening, the new part had to be filled. Patricia Quinn agreed to play Magenta so she could sing “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and you know the rest.
Princess Di Gave the Film the Royal Nod
Tim Curry was shocked to learn that Princess Diana hoped to meet him backstage while he was performing in a different play in Vienna. To his delight, he was placed at the end of the receiving line so they could chat a bit. She proclaimed that she loved the movie and even said that the musical “quite completed my education.”
Curry likes to add; she flashed a “wicked smile” as she commented. Prince Charles (now King) was less impressed but confident he’d seen the actor on television. It must be imagined the princess was pretty keen on his accent choice!