Ben Platt
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Pride On Screen: 25 Essential Queer Films

Pride On Screen

04 Pink Flamingos
Mink Stole on Pink Flamingos
John Waters (1972), 45th Anniversary

“It can still shock people—we were trying to shock,” says Mink Stole, co-star of Flamingos, Waters’s radical cult-crime shitshow featuring drag queen Divine as a filth-obsessed criminal and Stole as one of her ill-fated nemeses. Now 69, Stole says she’s always been comfortable with controversy, including that of the rape, sodomy, murder, and incest that have given Flamingos its infamous reputation. But, she says, “I don’t think John was preaching to anyone; he was just presenting an alternative vision. We were misfits. None of us felt more comfortable than in the world we created, and that people took inspiration from that is remarkable.” Stole was just fine being slathered in molasses—in winter—for her character’s execution scene, but she drew the line at her locks. “I wouldn’t set my hair on fire,” she says, “even though I originally agreed to it. I mean, this was a one-shot deal. There was a guy with a match and a guy with a water bucket. I could be bald today!”  

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