Watch: John Waters Keeps it Trashy with Walk of Fame Ceremony Speech
Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.
Out filmmaker John Waters, known as "The Pope of Trash," was present at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and the 77-year-old director of gems like "Pink Flamingoes," "Hairspray," and "Female Trouble" lived up (or down) to his title in a speech in which he celebrated being "closer to the gutter than ever."
The Hollywood Reporter detailed that Waters shared an anecdote that illustrated how he was destined from the start to make a splash in Tinseltown: "I got out of my vehicle in 1970 at Hollywood and Vine and darted across the street and got a jaywalking ticket, the first one, and I never looked back," the "Cry-Baby" director recalled of his first moments in Hollywood.
A video of the ceremony showed that three of Waters' friends made laudatory speeches before the director himself made his address. Actor Mink Stole was first, followed by photographer Greg Gorman. Talk show host Ricki Lake rounded out the trifecta, reading aloud from a letter she said she had written him after appearing in his film "Hairspray" when she was 18 years old. "For the first time in my life," Kale read, "my peers treated me as an adult – a mature woman who discussed with other adults words like 'felching,' 'plate job,' and 'snowballing,' to name a few."
"The Academy Museum just opened a career-spanning new exhibit, 'John Waters: Pope of Trash,' to much fanfare," THR noted.
Recalling that another of Waters' regal titles is "The King of Filth," The Hollywood Reporter relayed the filmmaker's hopes for what his star will mean for the throngs who pass by it.
"I hope the most desperate showbiz rejects walk over me here and feel some sort of respect and strength," Waters told his audience. "The drains on this magic boulevard will never wash away the gutter of my gratitude, the flotsam of my film career or the waste of Waters' appreciation."
"Thank you Hollywood," Waters added, "this time I've finally gone beyond the valley of the dolls."
The filmmaker "closed his brief speech on Monday by thanking his oldest friends who have stuck by him through 'good times and the bad,'" THR added, including "Warner Bros. and Outfest for sponsoring the event" – "and thinking I was gay enough to receive it," Waters quipped.
Watch the ceremony below.
Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.