The Other Stephen King Adaptation Tim Curry Wished He Worked On

"I tend to play very over-the-top people."

That's what beloved actor Tim Curry told Fangoria Magazine in 1990, and it would only be confirmed over the following decades. He's played professional pirates and sinister clergymen, calculating butlers, and the sexiest mound of crooning toxic sludge in cinema history. He would gain fame playing a transvestite scientist in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in 1975, reprising the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter from previous musical stage productions. The majority of parts played by Curry are ones prone to excess, but few are wilder than the shapeshifting, child-eating entity Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's "It."

Speaking with Steve Newton for Fangoria on the set of "It," Curry goes long on Pennywise, a character he describes as "a smile gone bad." Becoming the clown requires three hours in the makeup chair with FX artist Bart Mixon (who has worked no Leatherface, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and various Marvel heroes and villains) but it's not a big problem for Curry, who had to spend double the application time to portray the Lord of Darkness in Ridley Scott's "Legend" – another over-the-top character. In fact, Curry revealed to Newton that he had ambitions for another King work, one that would take him from Derry, Maine to the Colorado Rockies:

"I always get the books. I mean, he's an extremely entertaining writer; I think he's really good at that stuff. I like 'The Shining' a lot too — I would have liked to have done 'The Shining.' I mean, he certainly gives a lot of actors opportunities."

While Curry didn't love the ending of "It," he's still a Constant Reader, and there are plenty of over-the-top players on Stephen King's stage.

I think that horror movies have got a little too far away from the mind.

"The Shining" sees a family moving into a historic hotel as patriarch Jack Torrance takes on a caretaker gig during the winter. A writer and recovering alcoholic, Torrance plans to use the isolation and time to work on a new novel but things go south for him, his tormented wife Wendy, and gifted son Danny. The lead role, a family man turned axe murderer, has just the right amount of creative wiggle room for Curry — no prosthetics necessary. Curry told Newton:

"It's great fun when you're actually working it, making it part of yourself and finding out what it can do. And both with this and 'Legend,' the fun is that it's very difficult to go too far. These may be famous last words, but to a certain extent you have to work much more broadly in order to register at all, and that's interesting."

It's that very broad range that makes him a living legend, in the opinion of /Film's Eric Vespe. Curry further explains that while he's a King fan — a copy of "The Stand" sits in his trailer during the interview — he felt an absence of the cerebral in the genre.

"I think that horror movies have got a little too far away from the mind. I personally think that what is the most horrifying is the moment of decision behind somebody's eyes when they decide to kill somebody, rather than a pint of blood and a pound-and-a-half of latex."

"The Shining" sounds like a great fit for the Daytime Emmy Award winner. While every onscreen iteration of the 1977 novel contains elevators full of blood and a bit of latex, its audience is always captive to Jack Torrance's growing lunacy, as audiences are always willing captives to the unhinged ebb and flow of Tim Curry.