John Waters quotes

  • It wasn't until I started reading and found books they wouldn't let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.
    -- John Waters

    #Good Life #Book #Reading

  • I can't complain about anything. It's like saying, "I don't like talkies." Time marches on and I don't care how people watch my movies as long as they see them. I don't care if they're on their phone. Believe me, if you ever want to watch my early films they would look a lot better on your phone than they would on a movie screen. The smaller the better.
    -- John Waters

    #Believe #Long #People

  • You should never read just for "enjoyment." Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends' insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick "hard books." Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god's sake, don't let me ever hear you say, "I can't read fiction. I only have time for the truth." Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of "literature"? That means fiction, too, stupid.
    -- John Waters

    #Motivational #Stupid #Book

  • I built my [early] career on negative reviews. There was a cultural war going on, the '60s was going on. All the film critics were square. They hated my movies. You could never have that happen today. Critics are way too hip.
    -- John Waters

    #War #Today #Negative

  • Don’t sleep with people who don’t read.
    -- John Waters

    #Sleep #People

  • If you purposefully look to shock people, it isn't funny. That's what 50 million dollar Hollywood comedies do; try to be shocking and dirty. They aren't really. It isn't enough to shock. It's easy to shock. Real surprise is what I'm after. Those early movies, we had drugs, which you weren't supposed to show. You weren't supposed to shoot up. We would make fun of hippies. I think that we were punk before there was punk.
    -- John Waters

    #Fun #Real #Hippie

  • Without obsession, life is nothing.
    -- John Waters

    #Life Is #Obsession

  • I'm a film director. Gay is an adjective that I certainly am, but I don't know that it's my first one. I think if you're just a gay filmmaker, you get pigeonholed just like if you say I'm a black filmmaker, I'm a Spanish filmmaker, I'm a whatever.
    -- John Waters

    #Gay #Thinking #Black

  • My idea of an interesting person is someone who is quite proud of their seemingly abnormal life and turns their disadvantage into a career.
    -- John Waters

    #Careers #Ideas #Interesting

  • I have no interest in cars. I have a plain, used Buick. I could run over 10 people, and you wouldn't be able to describe my car.
    -- John Waters

    #Running #People #Car

  • Life is nothing if you're not obsessed.
    -- John Waters

    #Hipster #Life Is #Obsessed

  • There is still such a thing as subversive. Subversive makes hip people nervous. It's something new that scares you in a good way. I mean, subversive to me is a compliment. Subversive is something that influences people to do something against society that they haven't thought of before.
    -- John Waters

    #Mean #People #Scare

  • True success is figuring out your life and career so you never have to be around jerks.
    -- John Waters

    #Careers #Jerk

  • How come there's no terrorism with humor, which is a great way to humiliate your enemy? It's a great time for that.
    -- John Waters

    #Enemy #Way #Terrorism

  • Do we secretly idolize our imagined opposites, yearning to become the role models for others we know we could never be for ourselves?
    -- John Waters

    #Opposites #Role Models #Roles

  • William Castle and Alfred Hitchcock were the first director-personalities. Before then, nobody in America knew what a director was.
    -- John Waters

    #America #Personality #Directors

  • Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it's the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it.
    -- John Waters

    #Book #Home #Want

  • It took me a while to figure it out, but to have a real hit on Broadway, you have to get the respected Broadway people to like it. But then the production also has to appeal to the most middle-class people who know nothing about Broadway and who come to see it later.
    -- John Waters

    #Real #Class #People

  • To me, beauty is looks you can never forget. A face should jolt, not soothe.
    -- John Waters

    #Looks #Faces #Never Forget

  • I learned that people like my work because I praise things that others don't like.
    -- John Waters

    #People #Praise

  • I would never want to live anywhere but Baltimore. You can look far and wide, but you'll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It's as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.
    -- John Waters

    #Moving #Cities #Style

  • I went to the Vatican once - it was a bad idea. I went into the bookshop and I bought hideous, pious postcards and then I asked for a receipt, and the nun said, "We don't give receipts at the Vatican." Which threw me into a rage of like, "I guess not, so you can take this money and funnel it into anti-homosexual groups!" People had to drag me out of there. It's not good for me to go into the Vatican.
    -- John Waters

    #Ideas #People #Giving

  • Just make sure your children hate authority and they'll do fine.
    -- John Waters

    #Children #Hate #Authority

  • I always want to see films that are startling and amazing. Not just shocking. Shocking is easy to do. But startling in the way that makes you change how you think about things. Those are the movies I like the best.
    -- John Waters

    #Thinking #Want #Way

  • Some call me director, producer, filmmaker. I prefer to call myself pube-king.
    -- John Waters

    #Kings #Directors #Call Me

  • I like rap music. But bragging about being rich to poor people is really offensive. I want to hear a rap song about buying a Cy Twombly painting or dating a museum curator. I want to hear about that kind of rich.
    -- John Waters

    #Song #Rap #Museums

  • I care about the presidential elections. I always vote. Sometimes I've voted more than once, illegally. But you can't anymore. The picture ID has ruined everything.
    -- John Waters

    #Presidential #Care #Election

  • I'm always amazed at friends who say they try to read at night in bed but always end up falling asleep. I have the opposite problem. If a book is good I can't go to sleep, and stay up way past my bedtime, hooked on the writing. Is anything better than waking up after a late-night read and diving right back into the plot before you even get out of bed to brush your teeth?
    -- John Waters

    #Book #Fall #Sleep

  • I never had any desire to get a tattoo. If I was ever going to get one, I would get a plain anchor with a rope around it, the most unimaginative possible tattoo, like Popeye had.
    -- John Waters

    #Tattoo #Anchors #Desire

  • Pride myself on the fact that my work has no socially redeeming value.
    -- John Waters

    #Pride #Facts #Values

  • I can't tell the difference between the best and the worst 'cause I realize not everybody wants to have sex in the middle of a demolition derby race in the car.
    -- John Waters

    #Sex #Race #Differences

  • How could you think of such awful things? liberal critics always ask. How else could I possibly amuse myself? I always wonder.
    -- John Waters

    #Thinking #Awful #Wonder

  • I've always believed in the goodness of people. I teach in prison. They all said, don't do it. Carry a gun, take Mace. Are you kidding? I guess, they're around so many criminal elements that they fear for.
    -- John Waters

    #Gun #People #Criminals

  • My idea of rich is that you can buy every book you ever want without looking at the price and you're never around assholes. That's the two things to really fight for in life.
    -- John Waters

    #Book #Fighting #Ideas

  • If I died tomorrow I've accomplished what I set out to do in my life. I enjoy making my movies, I enjoy doing what I do. I have a nice life.
    -- John Waters

    #Nice #Tomorrow #Accomplished

  • I'm certainly not going to tell other people what they should do with their own personal lives. I think it's certainly easier for a director to be out. The public is not going to see a movie because the director is gay or straight. It's maybe a little harder for an actor or actress because of, you know, the love roles and stuff. But gay people have been impersonating heteros in the movies for years. So, hopefully, that is becoming less of an issue. I think it would have been really great if a gay person had played a gay person. That's brave!
    -- John Waters

    #Gay #Thinking #Issues

  • Valentine's Day is my mother's birthday. If I'm wildly in love, I've sent people chicken hearts, which seems to appeal to the kind of person that I've been in love with.
    -- John Waters

    #Mother #Valentine #Heart

  • I make independent movies. I don't know how to do anything else. I don't know any other job that I could really get.
    -- John Waters

    #Jobs #Independent

  • It`s great to be able to drive around and spy on people, which I do when I'm writing. People tell me the most personal things about their lives for no reason - on airplanes, everywhere I go. People just blurt out secrets. I'm not sure why. I think that they see in my films that nothing will make me uptight. I'm not going to judge them.
    -- John Waters

    #Writing #Airplane #Thinking