Rocky Horror Creator Richard O’Brien Interviewed
New Zealand-raised Richard O’Brien, the creator of the cult Rocky Horror Picture Show is not going quietly into his 70s. O’Brien, who lives with his third wife, Sabrina, just outside of Katikati, talks with Guardian journalist Ryan Gilbey about coming out as trans, going ‘loopy’ on crack – and speaking in tongues after suffering a stroke.
O’Brien has spent his life pinballing back and forth between Britain and New Zealand. Born in Cheltenham, he moved to Tauranga with his parents as a child. What he admired about the new country was its lack of a class system, Gilbey writes. “No one was allowed to be your social superior. When I got back to Britain, that was a hugely wonderful card to be holding. Lords and ladies? Fuck that. New Zealand gave me that gift.”
Gilbey also interviews O’Brien about the six-part Baron Munchausen-esque audio comedy The Barren Author, “in which he plays the Brigadier, a spinner of deliriously tall tales. Surreal flights of fantasy are lent an extra comic gleam by O’Brien’s plummy, unfazed delivery.”
Original article by Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian, November 5, 2020.
Photo by Shaun Webb.