The Hollywood Walk of Fame is going to be a little edgier, after writer and filmmaker John Waters gets a star on it next year.
Waters is one of 24 individuals or groups named as the latest recipients to receive stars on the Walk of Fame, which honors celebrities in four categories: motion pictures; television; recording and live theater/live performance.
Waters was one of seven individuals selected in the motion pictures category, including two who were named posthumously.
“I would be honored if a show-biz wannabe pounds the pavements of Hollywood over top of my star, just like I did over others’ the first time I ever went to Los Angeles,” he said today by phone from Provincetown, where he’s spending the summer. “I’m thrilled.”
Waters said he continues to visit the Walk of Fame when he’s in Los Angeles. “I walk up and down that still. The last time I was in LA, I stayed on Hollywood Boulevard…I walked over those stars.”
“I am really excited about it,” he added. “Are you kidding? I wish my parents were alive.”
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame, announced the “Class of 2023” honorees on Friday. Started in 1960, the Walk of Fame now stretches for 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three along Vine Street, has more than 2,700 stars, and draws upwards of 10 million visitors a year.
This is the second Los Angeles-related honor in the past month for Waters, after the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures disclosed plans to mount an exhibit about him and his work, entitled “Pope of Trash,” starting in the summer of 2023.
Waters, 76, has written and directed 16 movies and hints that another may be in the works.
This month the Criterion Collection is bringing out a special Blu-Ray version of Pink Flamingos, which was added to the National Film Registry in December and marked its 50th anniversary in March. Several theaters around the country are screening the film this summer in honor of its anniversary.
In Baltimore, the Charles Theater at 1711 North Charles Street is screening six Waters films this summer in a package it’s calling “The Filthiest Films Ever Made: The Early Films of John Waters.” The screenings are Pink Flamingos on July 9 at 11:30 a.m.; Pink Flamingos on July 11 at 7 p.m.; Multiple Maniacs on July 12 at 7 p.m.; Female Trouble on July 12 at 9 p.m.; Desperate Living on July 13 at 7 p.m.; Polyester on July 13 at 9 p.m.; Hairspray on July 14 at 7 p.m. and Pink Flamingos on July 14 at 9 p.m.
Others honored in the Walk of Fame motion pictures category for 2023 include Ludacris; Bill Pullman, Uma Thurman and Vince Vaughn, with posthumous honors going to Paul Walker and Juanita Moore.
Honored in the television category are Jon Favreau; Mindy Kaling; Martin Lawrence; Ralph Macchio; Garrett Morris and Ellen Pompeo. In the recording category: Marc Anthony; Irving Azoff; Sheila E.; the Jonas Brothers; Lenny Kravitz; Blake Shelton; Charlie Wilson and a posthumous award for Jenni Rivera. In the live theater/live performance category, stars are going to Lang Lang; Melba Moore, and the a cappella group Pentatonix.
In his latest book, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance, Waters wrote about the Jonas Brothers. One of his characters, Marsha Sprinkle, lies and tells a group of children that the Jonas Brothers were beheaded in a car accident, just to make them cry.
Waters said afterward in an interview that he hopes the Jonas Brothers aren’t offended that they were mentioned in his book that way.
“I just thought that would be the meanest thing she could tell a child,” he told Pitchfork.com “I’m a fan of the Jonas Brothers. I hope they’re not mad at me.”
“I just tried to pick someone that would make readers laugh,” he told Esquire.
Waters said again today that he hopes they understand.
“I’m a fan,” he said. “That’s why I put them in my book, so the villain would be even more villainous and say something untrue about them. I think they probably have a good sense of humor. I met Joe Jonas backstage at the Bruce Springsteen concert on Broadway. I’m a big fan. I think we’ll be fine.”
This year’s selections were announced by radio host Ellen K., chair of the chamber’s Walk of Fame selection committee and a star recipient.
The panel, which consists of people who already have stars, chose the honorees out of hundreds of people who were nominated. Their selections were ratified by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors last Wednesday.
According to the chamber, being nominated doesn’t automatically mean a star will appear on the Walk of Fame. Honorees have two years to accept the award, which has a fee attached.
The selection panel “hand-picks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world,” Ellen K. said in a statement.
“The panel thoughtfully selected these talented individuals, and we can’t wait to celebrate them as they become part of Hollywood’s history with the unveiling of their star on the world’s most famous walkway!”
Dates for the individual ceremonies have not been announced. Honorees are required to schedule a ceremony after being selected, with the selection expiring after two years. The terrazzo and brass stars reportedly come with a fee of about $55,000, which covers the cost of creating and installing them and maintaining the Walk of Fame. Ceremonies are announced by the Walk of Fame committee 10 days before they take place.
Waters said today that the chamber’s announcement was a surprise to him. He said he knew he was nominated by Outfest of Los Angeles, an LGBTQ-oriented nonprofit that produces two film festivals; operates a movie streaming platform, and runs educational services for filmmakers in Los Angeles. Waters said an Outfest representative called him and asked if the organization could sponsor him and he said yes, but he didn’t have any advance notice that he was picked.
Waters said he is “eternally thankful” to Outfest for sponsoring him and honored that Outfest wanted to do so. He said he will definitely accept his star: “If it’s good enough for Alvin the Chipmunk [who got a star in 2019], it’s good enough for me.”
Waters said he doesn’t know when his ceremony might be.
“We are hoping that it is very close to when the Academy Museum show opens in Los Angeles,” he said. “That would be the greatest tie-in” but “nothing is scheduled at all” so far.
He added that he doesn’t know where his star will be located and has no preference.
“Wherever they put me, I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’m happy wherever they put me.”
Would he like to see his friend and muse Divine get a star on the Walk of Fame?
“Absolutely I would,” he said “Let me get my foot in the door first.”