Q: I’ve heard that you’re an ordained minister.
A: Yeah, but that’s easy to do—you just go online. The Universal Life Church. I don’t remember exactly how many people I’ve married. Maybe 10? But only one’s been divorced, so that’s better than the average. I haven’t done a gay marriage yet, oddly enough. I should do a mass wedding like the Reverend Moon. I would have them tithe their income!

Q: Your fan base is made up of all these types of people that you’d never expect to mix. How would you describe John Waters’ aficionados?
A: They’re people who have a good sense of humor and who basically, a little bit, wished they were terrorists. They’re interested in deviant behavior; they’re interested in behavior that maybe they’d never do, and that they can’t understand—which is healthy. Everything that interests me is basically what I can’t understand or for which there’s not a fair answer—that’s why it remains interesting.

Q: Who’s your most unlikely fan? Did Henry Kissinger ever come up to you and say, "Hey, John—I just loved Female Trouble"?
A: It’s funny you say that, because there is a picture of me and Henry Kissinger hanging on my bulletin board in Baltimore. It was taken at a magazine party. And I do send boxes full of my movies, T-shirts, and that kind of thing to soldiers in Iraq. One whole troop told me they were being bombed while watching Female Trouble. I wrote the major back and said, "I feel like Bob Hope!" He wrote, "I promise more of them know who you are than Bob Hope!"

Q:It must have been a little surreal when Hairspray hit Broadway and suddenly a bunch of Republican tourists were filling the seats at matinees. And now you’re doing the same thing with Cry-Baby.
A: Yes! It’s evil! I won in a sneak attack. They’re watching two men sing a love song to each other, they’re celebrating interracial dating—all the things they think they’re against. It’s the only radical thing I ever did, Hairspray. It makes fat girls stars.

Q: I think a lot of people think you went mainstream after Polyester.
A: Well, I did! Nothing wrong with that. You’ve got to grow. People have responded to my work and I’ve been treated fairly. Why would I be a 61-year-old faux-rebel asshole?

Q: I heard that you’re a bit obsessive.
A: Not obsessive. I’m just organized.

Q: So you don’t shake it up anymore. Do you have a routine?
A: Oh, yeah. Do I! To the point where my assistants just roll their eyes at me. Not that anyone’s going to kidnap me, but I leave my apartment within 10 seconds of the same time every day—I go out, I get my papers, I read my papers, I get my coffee, and I work. I’m fairly rigid. The other day I stayed up later than usual because I was behind on The Wire. I overslept an hour and it panicked me. I ran out to get the papers and it was light out—it just made me crazy the whole day.