Barry Bostwick talks 'Glee' and 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' 35 years later
The void will be calling on Sept. 25 as Sins O’The Flesh presents a 35th anniversary screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” hosted by Barry Bostwick in Los Angeles. The movie comes out on Blu-Ray on Oct. 19.
As Hitfix found, the genial Bostwick is surprisingly still game to discuss playing Brad Majors in the classic film after years of moviegoers screaming “Asshole!” whenever his character appears on screen and having countless dinners interrupted by fans requesting him to sputter “Dammit Janet.”
Bostwick was already a Tony-nominated Broadway star (for originating the role of “Grease’s” Danny Zuko) by the time he went to England to film 1975’s “Rocky Horror.” The movie was shot sequentially. Like uptight Brad — whom he based on his growing up in a “very Republican family”— Bostwick says he felt a bit like an outsider at first, but by the time they filmed the floor show, he fit right in.
“The worst thing about the shoot was whenever I had to pee, I’d have to leave the soundstage and go to another building where the bathroom was,” he says. “We shot in October, November and December in England. I was always wet. The castle where we shot was leaking. We’d have to walk through a field to get to it.” He laughs and adds, “It was a miserable shoot. Susan [Sarandon] got pneumonia.”
Even though the movie has never stopped running in theaters since it opened 35 years ago, Bostwick says he didn’t fully realize “Rocky Horror’s” iconic place in pop culture until a second generation of fans embraced it. Now, he says, “I have 12-year olds coming up to me telling me they’ve seen it with their grandparents.”
As for his own children — his 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter — “My son says he’s seen it several times, but not with me, so I’m not really sure how.” His daughter hasn’t seen it.
Now a whole new generation of fans may be exposed to the movie via a “Rocky Horror”-themed episode of “Glee,” airing Oct. 26. Bostwick and Meat Loaf, who played Eddie in the movie, play right-wing station managers at the television station where Sue Sylvester delivers her biting “As Sue Sees It” commentaries. Bostwick doesn’t sing in the episode, but he hints that his character may come back and be “involved” with Sylvester. “We were stunt casting and our parts are small, but the cast was great. They showed me sufficient adoration.”
Bostwick watched the movie again for his commentary on the Blu-Ray DVD. “I like it more and more every time I see it,” he says. On the rare occasion he’s gone into a theater to catch the film, he enjoys the spectacle, “but I wish that maybe once a month there was a showing where people would just watch the movie as we made it.”
The Tony and Golden Globe winner has always found steady work, doing many parts he loves, including playing George Washington in two acclaimed mini-series and a six-year stint as Randall Winston, the slightly befuddled mayor of New York City in “Spin City.” We’re pretty sure Bostwick is joking when he says, “I’ve only had to do two or three porn films, but you’ll never find those.”
Bostwick recently played the obsessed Captain Ahab in a modern adaptation of “Moby Dick.” Instead of a small boat, the action takes place on a submarine, meaning the great white whale had to be commensurately larger. “So you can imagine how big he is,” Bostwick says. “Definitely bigger than a bread box.” The producers are shopping the movie to potential television outlets now.
Saturday’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” screening, at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles, is part of the Sept. 23-25 SinsCon, a three-day festival dedicated to all things “Rocky Horror.” The screening includes a live shadowcast performance, featuring many performers who are featured in the Blu-Ray disc. For more information, go to http://sinscon.com/
The movie is the same night as the Hollywood Bowl’s much loved “Sound of Music” sing-a-long, so we couldn’t resist asking Bostwick which selection from “Rocky Horror” he’d like to see Maria, the nun played by Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” sing. Without missing a beat, he replied, “Oh, it would have to be ‘Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me.’” Conversely, he’d love to see the cast of “Rocky Horror” remake “The Sound of Music.” If he had to pick one song, he’d pick “Edelweiss.” “But it would have to be ‘Edel-Vice,’” he says and continues riffing on the title until he comes up with something so hilariously profane that it would make Brad Majors blush. But Frank-N-Furter would be very proud...and willing.