Poll: Does John Waters love or detest the Hollywood Boulevard Spiderman impersonators? (Photo via JustJared)
If you’ve ever seen a John Waters movie like Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby, or Hairspray, you probably never forgot it. His oeuvre is a celebration of camp and poor taste, so it’s no surprise that the cult filmmaker has always been a Hollywood outsider. He splits his time between Baltimore and Provincetown. He sports an off-putting pencil mustache. And while he’s a voting member of the Academy, he’s never attended the Oscars.
But this week, the so-called “filth elder” received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In his speech he declared that now he’s “closer to the gutter than ever.” The Academy Museum has a career retrospective exhibit called John Waters: Pope of Trash. Yes, I’ve already peeped the gift shop merch. It’s very good.
Waters has been on Fresh Air several times, but his interview with Terry in 2014 about hitchhiking across America is one of my All Time Faves. He gets so many big laughs (and illustrious snort laughs) out of Terry. There are too many great moments in that interview to count, but here’s one:
GROSS: It's certainly nothing I ever would've imagined from your early movies – that you would've been so orderly and precise in your planning, because the movies are just so transgressive. Like, if there's a boundary, I'm crossing it. I'm defying it.
WATERS: But how could I have made all those movies on no money with my friends if I didn't plan? That can't happen magically. It happened because we were kind of obsessed. The same time, everybody said, ‘Oh, you must've been on drugs when you made those movies!’ No, we weren't on drugs when we made them. I was on drugs when I thought them up, and I was on drugs when we showed them. But I was never on drugs when we made them because it was too hard.
Honorable mention goes to this:
WATERS: So this didn't make you want to hitchhike one day? What's hitchhiking like in Philadelphia?
GROSS: I wouldn't know. I never see anybody hitchhiking. My hitchhiking years ended decades ago.
WATERS: Yeah, I know. Most people did. It's true. In Baltimore, if you're hitchhiking, you're a hooker that doesn't have the Internet.