Rocky at Forty: Roxanne Pallett plays JanetDate: 1 January 2013
For the next in my series of interviews with the new cast of The Rocky Horror Show, I spoke to Roxanne Pallett about the show and Janet’s transformation from nice to naughty.
Are you having fun with the role?
Also, it’s great to be a part of it because it’s so nostalgic and it’s so iconic and the music – well, it’s a testament to how great the writing is that we’re celebrating its 40th anniversary and we’re playing sell-out shows.
How does it feel being passed around the cast every show?
Obviously, we have become a very close-knit group now, but it’s certainly a great ice-breaker when you’ve got to do that type of bed scene and sing songs like “Touch-a ouch-a touch-a touch me” in the first week of rehearsals!
After playing Jo in Emmerdale and getting beaten up in that storyline, my Mum said to me “You don’t half choose these roles” and she’s right. I always seem to play a villain or a victim and with Janet she starts off so fragile and vulnerable and she ends up so corrupt but I love playing extreme characters and it’s even better if there’s physicality to it as well. This summer I did two films and I walked away battered and bruised from doing the stunts on those but I’d be unhappy as an actress if I played bland “vanilla” characters.
Janet’s “sexual evolution”, as you called it, is spectacularly quick!
Also, Ben Forster is my dream leading man. He is perfect in every way. I think that’s why it’s so great to be an actress, you get to work with such talented people and it’s perfectly ok to fall in love with your leading man.
You do have something of the look of Sandra Dee from Grease at the beginning.
With Janet I start the show playing the archetypal “prom queen” in a way and then, by the end of the show, she’s been so corrupted. She’s become such a sexual predator that you can’t really go on much more of a journey than that. It’s a bit like playing two different characters in Act One and Act Two.
Are you getting used to all the naughty bits?
Then I’ve got Ben and Rhydian (as Rocky), as well – I’m surrounded by all this testosterone, but they all look better in suspenders and heels than I do! I’m quite upset about that! I look at Ben in his heels and think “Why do look sexier than me?” and then I look at Oliver in his outfits and wonder “Why do you have better legs than me?” – It’s so annoying!