ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — John Waters is an icon – plain and simple.
He’s created out-of-this world characters and found a way to find a home in people’s hearts with his films.
Although he’s held in high regard, the filmmaker remains humble and says his career started at an early age.
“I got Variety when I was 13 and I was ambitious,” he says during a recent interview from Baltimore. “I didn’t think it was impossible to do something great. I have to say my dreams came true a long time ago and all this is gravy. I can’t complain, but you must remember no one liked me for the first 10 years of my career.”
Waters is responsible for movies like “Hairspray,” “Cry-Baby,” “Polyester,” “Serial Mom,” “Pecker” and “A Dirty Shame.”
While he hasn’t directed a film in nearly a decade, he has kept busy with his photography and writing books.
“I don’t know if I’ll write or direct another movie,” he says. “It’s so hard to get a movie made today and I don’t think I can work with a small budget.”
Waters will perform his one-man show, “This Filthy World,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center as part of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Tickets are $18-$58 at ticketssantafe.org.
“The show is completely different from the original that can be seen on Netflix,” he says. “This is a show that I do about 40 times a year and this year I’m actually going to do a Christmas tour. I haven’t been to Santa Fe in a while. I like it and I used to have art shows out there years ago. It’s always nice to be back there.”
Waters recently finished up a book project where he hitchhiked across the United States and relied on the kindness of strangers to get him to the West Coast.
He says the experience was wonderful; the book is part fiction.
“It was interesting because people didn’t recognize me at first,” he says. “Then if they did actually recognize me, they would wonder why I was out in the middle of nowhere looking for a ride. It’s a very fun book but you’ll have to wait until next year to hear more about it.”