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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 5


John Waters and Bob Shaye
by Eric Gladstone

Q: You sort of broke into the mainstream with Serial Mom? Has that affected your creativity since then?

JW: Well, I definitely think the independents and the studio system are not as far apart as they used to be, you know what I mean? The executives are younger, a little hipper than they used to be. I remember in the old days when I used to go to Hollywood to pitch, the worst thing I could say is that I’d made Pink Flamingos, because they had heard of it but hadn’t seen it. And their wife would go rent it and they’d watch it in a Beverly Hills screening room and have a heart attack! Now, the people that run the studios, a lot of them saw it in college. So it’s easier for me there.

Bob: Also, it is a very salutary dichotomy for American culture to have an independent sector so viable. Because so-called major companies –I won’t say old-timers–first of all are unable physically to make a film that is inexpensive because of the union rules. And the other thing is the subject matter, and to some extent economic viability, which is one of the reasons we created New Line. Very few people know this, but just after we formed the company, we were about to lose our bank line [of credit] because of the title. The film was originally released by “Saliva Films.”

JW: I thought you were hiding.

Bob: Even then I was trying to protect New Line, which had already been reprimanded, wasn’t pristine itself. There is kind of a hubris factor, a political factor. We were just laughing about the fact that the MPAA is reviewing this movie Tuesday…

JW: I’d love to be a fly on the wall at that screening!

Bob: It may create a new rating altogether! NC-absolutely no children. I think they’re going to regret that New Line ever joined the MPAA.

JW: I go tonight to the screening in Salt Lake City. I told Bob, I’m nervous because it’s Friday night. On Friday, you don’t get out of jail till Monday–on a weekday you get out the next day.

Q: How do you feel personally about Pink Flamingos in comparison to your other films?

JW: Well, I certainly have made technically better movies. I was still learning what to do then. I never went to film school. It was filmed with magnetic sound that came right into the camera, what they used before video, so that you could never cut. Every cut, the sound had to overlap 24 frames over the beginning of the next shot. So it was basically like filming a play, no MTV cutting here! I’m proud of it, though. It was like having a juvenile delinquent child who keeps committing crimes, but you still love it.

Q: How about how you’ve grown as a director?

JW; Well, I know now I guess I wouldn’t have asked Kathleen Turner to eat dog shit! But then, I asked Divine right in the beginning of the movie innocently, “Would you eat dog shit?” And he said “Sure.” I didn’t really talk about it that much, and it wasn’t that big of a deal. The day came and we just did it. There were problems–the dog wasn’t cooperative–but don’t make me tell that story again. After he did it, Divine’s first words were, “Now I know I’m insane.” Everybody was laughing, and I think a lot of the guys were smoking pot, and he said, “Really, I think you could get sick from that.” So he called the hospital and said, “My son just ate a dog turd.” And the nurse said, “Well, you might get the white worm.” But nothing ever happened. He was a strong man.


Copyright 1997, ECG

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