John Waters:The Pope of Trash Does Christmas
Once described as "The Pope of Trash", filmmaker and writer John Waters has forged an unwavering path in his quest to give bad taste a good name. Since 1972 when the film ’Pink Flamingos’ turned him into a cult hero, he’s gone on to write and direct 16 films including ’Hairspray,’ which went on to become a Broadway sensation, bringing him mainstream success. The Baltimore-born, cult classic filmmaker claims his playful nicknames, while he maintains his image through his filmmaking and his personal presentation. Regarded as a shocking entertainer, John Waters carefully chooses his material and exploits it through a dirty lens.
Waters is to perform an unforgettable night of holiday mischief with his critically acclaimed oneman show, "A John Waters Christmas" in several venues in Southern California. The crowd will be full of good cheer as Waters pokes fun at the holiday season with adult-appropriate humor. His performance is set to effectively "put the X in Xmas," with a show developed for the open-minded and slightly left-of-center audience. His rapid-fire monologue explores and explodes the traditional holiday rituals and customs as he shares his religious fanaticism for Santa Claus, and an unhealthy love of real- life holiday horror stories.
Delving into his passion for lunatic exploitation Christmas movies and the unhealthy urge to remake all his own films into seasonal children’s classics, "The Prince of Puke" will give you a Joyeaux Noël like no other. Waters recently sat down with The Rage Monthly to
give insight into his insanity.
You’ve said that you knew exactly what you wanted to be as a young child and that was to become what you’ve embraced as being "The Pope of Trash."
I think maybe when I was in kindergarten I wanted to be more of the wrath of the Pope himself, then I wanted to own an adult movie theater, then later I wanted to be the filthiest person alive and then the Pope of Trash. So it was sort of a graduated progression of career steps.
What made you have such high aspirations?
Well, I was an insane skinny little child. I used to come home and tell my mom of this little boy who only drew with black crayons and never talked to any of the other little kids. So my mother became worried and went to ask the teacher about it. The teacher said, "You’re kidding? You’re talking about your son." So I guess I was already creating a character for myself.
You’ve undoubtedly forged the way to give bad taste a good name as you wanted to, do you think that with so much bad reality television or trashy television, you have accomplished your goals?
I have nothing to do with that! I think reality shows have bad, bad taste, they invite the audience to feel superior to them and the subject matter. They give people a chance to look down upon them and make fun of them. But who’s the stupid person because, people on reality television shows are the ones who are getting paid and you’re the one who is wasting your time if you’re watching them. I think they are the exact opposite tone of any of my work really. I mean I do know who Honey Boo Boo is, or whatever her name is and the name makes me laugh, but not enough to watch it. Still I’m happy for her success and the people who watch it deserve it! (Laughing)
Well indeed she is the exact opposite of you, as a chubby child who talks too much and likely only writes with pink crayons. Hopefully, she knows who you are and you can become more of a role model to her.
Well I guess it could be worse. I mean she could be in Albania and not have any food, so indeed it could be worse. Still the people who watch that show deserve to be influenced by that show.
You’re responsible for creating some amazingly iconic characters, one of which is
I created that first Divine role, but how he got famous was when he went against type for that role and played an alcoholic housewife in Polyester and played a frumpy old hillbilly mother in Hairspray, that’s when he got good reviews.
How does one move on after creating and then losing Divine?
I got Johnny Depp!