London Live, the capital’s TV channel interviewed cult filmmaker John Waters. The Evening Show caught up with the director of the musical ‘Hairspray’ to talk about which other musicals he would love to work on, thinks Benedict Cumberbatch would be too classy to play his life story, hitchhiking and his famous moustache. John is currently on tour with his stand-up comedy show ‘Carsick: This Filthy World Volume Two Live Comedy. Monologue’.


On who would play him in the film based on his book Carsick

  • “Steve Buscemi should play me.”
  • “Matthew Gray Gubler, if they were doing my book ‘Shock Value’, he should play me when I was younger.”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch? Maybe. But I think he’s too classy to play me.


On which films he’d like to see turned into musicals

  • “Well I was one of the first ones to do it with ‘Hairspray’. I am waiting for ‘Ice Castles’ to be turned into a musical, the early bad films. The failures, not the hits. I would love to work on ‘Mahogany’, the one with Tony Perkins and Diana Ross where she’s fashion designer. That one would be a good musical, yeah. Or ‘Salo’ as a musical. But I like to direct movies. I don’t know if I’m a theatre director. I learnt a lot when we went through Hairspray on stage in New York. It’s just one master shot with no cutaways and it’s a completely different style of acting.”


  • On which of his favourites are his favourites

“I love all of them because somehow I got them made. How I got any of them made is a miracle. I guess ‘Hairspray’ because that’s the one that did the very best although ‘Cry Baby’ may have been seen by more people because Johnny Depp was on TV all over the world. I like them all so maybe I root for the ones that didn’t do so well at the box office like ‘A Dirty Shame’ that was about sex addiction and starred Johnny Knoxville and Tracy Ullman.”

  • On his love for one of his classics, Pink Flamingos

“’Pink Flamingos’ will certainly be in my obituary but is it a good film? I don’t know. It still works. It doesn’t get old that and it still plays everywhere. It’s even shown on television in America. I get cheques now, and here’s the amazing thing, it’s a hit in Venezuela. Why? I think they say. ‘This is what Capitalists do… they eat dog ****’. I got a big cheque from Venezuelan television and I was like, ‘Why?'”


  • “Bad romantic comedies, stupid racism, lots of things shock me. But dumbness shocks me. But people can be uneducated and be smart and really funny… more funny actually. They’re more fun. Over education can make you really dull.”


  • On his iconic moustache

“I’ve had it since I was 19 and I’m not 68. I didn’t wake up one morning and have one naturally. No-one has one of these naturally.. I wanted to look like a pimp, a hippy pimp, and it went along with my villain look and so I did it and then it caught on. I would say I don’t like moustaches but I have one.”

  • On lamenting the trend for having off body hair

“I’m sad that young people don’t have pubic hair anymore. There’s no crabs anymore. I hope it’s coming back otherwise they look like adult babies and that’s not a look I like.”


  • On his upcoming projects and new TV show

“I have a film that I was trying to make called ‘Fruitcake’ that was a children’s movie that I am still trying to make but my book ‘Carsick’ is what I’ve been doing recently. The books seem to be going better than the movies right now but I’m in the middle of a TV show maybe so we’ll see what happens.”


  • On hitchhiking in the Capital

“I am trying to bring back hitchhiking in London, in the City, with the sign. Not looking for a taxi, a free ride. There’s no such thing as completely safe and that’s part of the fun of it – it’s a little bit dangerous, it’s a little bit sexy, it’s green, maybe you’ll get laid. Ask someone to go on a hitchhiking date with you, just a small distance to the food store or something.”

  • On if he’d have slept with anyone that gave him a lift 

“I would have but you get a lot more sexual attention hitchhiking across the country when you’re 18 than when you’re 66. I almost had to sleep in the woods one night. There was a trucker who said to me, ‘I can make you up a bunk if you can’t find a place’. I would have but…”

  • On the risky sexiness of hitchhiking 

“Every person, when you get picked up and you get in the car, you think of that person sexually and they think of you sexually, even if it’s in the most disgusting way and you’re like, ‘I hope they’re not a pervert!” But when you’re young and you’re hitchhiking you always get picked up by perverts and you just say Yes or No depending on your mood.” 

Watch it below.

The Evening Show, every weekday at 6.30 – 7.30pm on London Live – Freeview 8, YouView 8, Sky 117 and Virgin 159

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.


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