Monthly Archives: February 2014
Cry-Baby was John Water’s second shot at main stream success – after the original Hairspray, in 1988. Following years of underground notoriety w/ films like Female Troubles and Pink Flamingos w/ it’s famous poo eating star, Divine, John was poised to take over Hollywood. Assembling a truly oddball cast, rock star – Iggy Pop, convicted bank robber/kidnap victim – Patty Hearst, ex-underage porn star – Tracy Lords and teen heart throb – Johnny Depp, along with Hairspray star Rikki Lake, Norman Mailer’s kid – Stephen, ex-Warhol superstar Joe Dellesandro, 50’s teen star Tad Hunter and crazy person and all around cool dame, Susan Tyrell.
When casting Cry Baby, Waters said he was looking for a teen heart-throb to take the part of Wade “Cry Baby” Walker and instructed his PA to buy a handful of teen magazines to see who was popular. Johnny was on the cover of every one and was more than happy to bust out of his role on 21 Jump Street. Tracy Lords was also looking for a legitimate acting gig after years in the porno industry (starring in a ton of films at the age of 15). Rikki Lake was happy to keep acting the chubby lovable teen (this time as Pepper Walker – “She’s pregnant but she fights like a man). When Waters came to cast the role of Mona ‘Hatchet-Face’ Malnorowski, (Divine having died recently the character was described thus: “She’s got the body of Jayne Mansfield and the face of Margaret Hamilton…[and] nobody, but nobody, gives her grief.”To find a suitable actress, Waters placed a print advertisement that simply requested: “Wanted: Girl with a good body and an alarming face who is proud of it”.
All the stars have aged and done pretty well. Depp still looks great and continues to act in big, big budget films. His co-star Amy Locane hasn’t done quite as well. She appeared on the new Beverly Hills 90210 for a number of years, and in 2012 was convicted of drunk driving and vehicular homicide. She is currently serving a 3 year prison sentence. Perhaps most surprising, Kim “Hatchetface” McGuire is an attorney in the great state of Alabama. Iggy carries on acting and singing. Tracy Lords has written a couple of books. Rikki Lake slimmed down and got her own chat show and the great John Waters continues to direct and rake in money from the adaptation of his Hairspray into a goldmine musical and reworked 2007 movie.