Entertainment :: Celebrities

John Waters:The Pope of Trash Does Christmas

by Randy Hope
Friday Nov 30, 2012
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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
Divine...

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!

Who would be the lead you would like to use in future films?

Meryl Streep-just because the idea of Meryl Streep in a John Waters film is kind of appealing. I’ve met her before and she’s lovely. I think she truly is the best actress we have, so wouldn’t I want to work with her?

Speaking of influences, you recently released a book on role models and even noted that the "Wizard of Oz" has also inspired you, why is that?

Well I talk about it in my Christmas show or at least I think I do. However, one my favorite things that happened to me recently was when I was trying to make small talk with a little boy and I asked him how he liked the "Wizard of Oz." He said "I didn’t, it was basically just about walking." I thought what a cynical little answer. I loved it!

I talk about the sequel to the "Wizard of Oz" that I want to do in the Christmas show, but I’m not gonna tell, you have to come see the show to see that Christmas present, but it involves drugs!

While you are in Southern California, you will be performing "A John Water’s Christmas," what is the show about?

You can expect a self-help theme of how to get through the holidays, even if you’re not Christian or you are and you hate it. If you hate your family, if you love your family, if you’re in debt and you can’t do it, if you’re a thief, if you love Christmas and wanna suck Santa Claus because you’re a chubby chaser, a feign or any eccentric person you can think of, I will work with it and it’ll be covered in the show.

Well, I think you just hit several people I know so I’ll be sure to get the word out! What is it that you want for Christmas?

Oh, I always want books and if somebody gives you a book by your favorite author that you never knew they wrote, then I think you should certainly rim them!

Now that’s what I call true gratitude! On that note, thank you John for taking the
time to share a few laughs with us.

Thank you.

"A John Waters Christmas" takes place Tuesday, December 4 in San Diego at the Belly Up, located at 143 South Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach. This is a seated event and tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit bellyup.com.

"A John Waters Christmas" is also showing Thursday, December 6 in Los Angeles at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, located at 743 South Lucerne Boulevard. For tickets and more information call 800.745.3000 or go to ticketmaster.com.

Copyright Rage Monthly. For more articles from Rage visit www.ragemonthly.com

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