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Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

“I’ll be pregnant by the time I’m 30…hopefully.” Kim Kardashian interview By E.C. Gladstone Many see Kim Kardashian as ...

Leading Men

Jon Cryer

Jon Cryer

“I’m at the perfect level of fame” JON CRYER By Eric Gladstone Lunching with Jon Cryer in a Los ...

Women on Top

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde

“I belong somewhere trapped in a castle in the 14th century, in the rain, churning butter…” Olivia ...


John Waters

John Waters

“I feel like Uncle Remus every time a kid comes up and says, ‘Tell ...

Power Players

Leo DiCaprio at 21

Leo DiCaprio at 21

"At first, I didn't see any reason why we should do it again." By: EC Gladstone September ...

John Waters Pt. 3


John Waters and Bob Shaye
by Eric Gladstone

Q: Why did you cut it out?

JW: I thought it was a little too weird, made them too violent. Also it was too long. That’s one thing I learned with ‘Pink Flamingos’, the first cut of it was an hour too long. Not shortening things, whole subplots! [What's restored now] isn’t even all the outtakes, there’s a lot more. That’s going to be the 50s anniversary!

Q: Any plans for a sequel?

JW: Well, I wrote a sequel called Flamingos Forever, it’s published in a book of mine called Trash Trio. I worked for a while to get it going, it never happened, and I doubt very seriously it will now. Though I think Anthony Hopkins should play the Divine part in drag. Eddie Fischer as the Egg Man. I cast the whole film in the new introduction to Trash Trio, who I’d want to play in it now.

Q: What are you doing for your next movie?

JW: I wrote a new one, that I just finished, called Pecker about a small bird — no, about a 17-year-old kid that works in a sandwich shop in East Baltimore and takes pictures of his loving and peculiar family. Nobody thinks much of it until he’s accidentally discovered by an art dealer and turned into an art star in New York, much against his will. He picked at his food when he was a child, that’s how he got the name Pecker. It’s in development, a development deal with Fine Line. They just got the budget yesterday and they haven’t even seen it yet!

Q: You were talking about things you don’t remember shooting. What are your strongest memories about the shoot?

JW: How cold it was. You can see people’s breath throughout it. After every scene we’d wrap Edie in blankets and she’d say [in whiny Edith Massey voice] “somebody rub my feet.”

Q: With the discovery of the new footage, did you find you could put a whole new movie together?

JW: Well, I didn’t want to do a “director’s cut,” I think those scenes should’ve been cut out. But if you know the movie and the characters, it’s nice to see some new Divine and Edie scenes, and some Mink Stole scenes. I didn’t want to put them back in.

Q: I’ve heard there’s a documentary about ‘Pink Flamingos’ being completed?

JW: Yeah, a friend of mine in Baltimore named Steve Jaeger, who plays one of the new men in the trial scene at the end, shot us making this movie. He never did anything with the footage — I’ve never seen it until recently — He has ten hours of documentary footage of us making Pink Flamingos, of me showing Divine how to eat dog shit. It really took my breath away when I saw that! He’s still working on it and it’s about halfway done. It’s called Divine Trash.

Q: Was Divine as eccentric off screen as he was on?

JW: No, Divine was a very gentle man in real life. He never went in drag except when he was making a movie or getting paid to do it for his recording career. I met Divine when he lived up the street from my parents, and I always joke that he was “the girl next door.” And I knew him in high school. And in films, for me, he was a great mouth to speak through. He had a lot of anger because he was hassled in high school.

You have to remember then, drag queens were really square. They all wanted to be Miss America wearing a mink coat. Then Divine came along with fake scars on his face and carrying an ax. They hated him! So it was a great release for Divine. The day he showed up for his role in Hairspray, he said, “No drag queen would ever look like this.” He told me later in life that he’d be doing appearances and the people who used to beat him up in high school would ask for his autograph. You know, it really could still cause him great pain. I think he used that pain for the anger in the Divine character and it made him a star. He was a character actor, that’s what Divine was.

Continued at Pt. 3

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Copyright 1997, ECG

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