Singers, writers, strippers: the role models of John Waters

The World

What do Johnny Mathis, Tennessee Williams, a stripper named Zorro, Manson girl Leslie Van Houten and a couple of amateur porn directors have in common? Renowned filmmaker John Waters counts them all among his role models.

Waters is best known for cult classics like “Hairspray,” “Cry Baby” and “Pink Flamingos” and describes his core audiences as “minorities who can’t even fit in with their own minorities.” He is also known for his distinctive, pencil-thin moustache, which he’s been wearing since the age of 19.

“I love Little Richard: I wear his moustache to this day,” Waters says. “Mine has a little bit of pencil on it, his looks like an industrial magic marker.”

Waters joins us to talk about his new book, “Role Models.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.