For his next film role, the director of “Pecker” now wants to play one

John Waters, Baltimore, Donald Trump
Photo: Shutterstock

Out director John Waters is known for making cameo appearances in his own movies. He was a flasher in the 2007 version of Hairspray; a reporter in Cecil B. Demented, a “pervert on phone” in Pecker. But for his next movie, he’s expressed interest in taking on a meatier role.

The movie is the film adaptation of Waters’ 2022 novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance. It’s a story about Marsha Sprinkle, a woman who steals suitcases at the airport, and her partner-in-crime Daryl, a man with a talking penis, which is a separate character named Richard in the book. Village Roadshow Pictures has optioned the novel and Waters confirmed that he will write and direct the film. 

At recent spoken-word performances around the country, Waters has told audiences that he has begun writing the screenplay. He’s stopped short of talking about who might be cast in the lead roles, saying it’s too early for that.

But in a recent interview with a French television network, Waters said there’s one role that he could see himself playing: Daryl’s talking todger. 

“I hope when they make the movie, I get to do the voice,” he told Olivia Salazar-Winspear on France 24, a TV network based in Paris. 

“That would be an amazing role to fulfill,” Salazar-Winspear responded.    

Waters’ appearance on France 24 coincides with the publication this year of the French edition of Liarmouth, which has the title “Sale Menteuse: Une Romance Feel-Bad.”  In the U. S., the paperback version of “Liarmouth” was released May 2.

The France 24 interview wasn’t the first time Waters showed an interest in playing the talking appendage. At his Valentine’s Day show in Baltimore, when an audience member asked about the character, he also brought it up.

“Daryl’s dick? Maybe I’ll be the voice, I don’t know,” he mused.

Waters, who turned 77 on April 22, has had voice roles before. He was the narrator of Pink Flamingos, Mr. J. He was also John, the gay owner of Springfield’s campy antiques and collectibles shop, Cockamamie’s, in a 1997 episode of The Simpsons.

John, who befriends the Simpsons, was the first openly-gay character on the animated series. That episode in Season 8, “Homer’s Phobia,” was widely praised for using humor to help change Americans’ views about the LGBTQ+ community.

Daryl’s extremity is one of many offbeat characters in Liarmouth, which also has a cult-like band of trampoline bouncers; a tickle enthusiast, an ear masturbator, and a woman who performs plastic surgery on pets.

The book is essentially a road trip, with Marsha and Daryl fleeing from the law and wreaking havoc along the way. It starts at the airport outside Waters’ hometown of Baltimore and ends with an “Anilingus Festival” in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where the writer spends his summers.  Waters has called it “the craziest thing I’ve ever written.” 

After Liarmouth was published last year, Waters acknowledged that there may be other talking penises in literature. But he contends that the one in Liarmouth is a literary first because Daryl is straight and his penis is gay, and no one has explored that dynamic before. 

“A talking penis isn’t that outrageous,” he said in an interview with Huffington Post in the U. K. “But a heterosexual person who has a penis that turns gay without their approval…Below the equator gay, above the equator straight. That’s a new kind of conflict.” 

In the book, Daryl discovers he has a talking phallus when he’s driving a stolen vehicle and hears a voice he thinks at first is coming from the dashboard. It turns out to be his crotch, giving him driving directions.  

“Daryl had to pull over this rust bucket of a car,” Waters writes. “What else can you do when your own dick is talking to you?” 

Daryl doesn’t understand what’s happening, but he thinks a talking penis could come in handy, especially one that might be clairvoyant. 

“Some sort of infection must have spread through his reproductive organ, giving his penis supernatural powers,” Waters writes. “Is that really so bad? Was his dick like Kreskin? Could it actually see the future? Jesus! He could go on f**king ‘America’s Got Talent’ and actually win!” 

Daryl decides to take advantage of the situation, Waters writes. 

“Daryl may have toxic cock syndrome, but maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. He’s got a brand new friend down there. He’ll call him  Richard. Yes, Richard.” 

Playing Richard in the film would be much more than a bit part. In the book, Waters goes to some lengths to explore the conflicts between hetero Daryl and his gay penis, and who gets more action. It’s a role that’s bulging with contradictions. 

Straight Daryl doesn’t have the same sexual fantasies as gay Richard, and he looks down on his pecker “in disgust.” But “a man ultimately thinks with his dick,” says Waters, who writes from both points of view. 

Richard urges Daryl to make the most of it. 

“You’re still straight and I’m gay, we’re bisexual brothers!” he reasons.  

As part of a book tour for the launch of the paperback edition of Liarmouth, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Waters will appear at Book Soup in Los Angeles for a book signing on May 8; the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco for a book talk and signing on May 9, Atomic Books in Baltimore on May 12 and MAP on Commercial Street in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on June 15.

At his Baltimore show in February, Waters was asked how he plans to film the talking penis in Liarmouth. He said he isn’t worried, given the CGI technology available to filmmakers today, in which computer software is used to create visual effects that can’t otherwise be filmed.

“I saw Avatar,” he said. “If they can do that, I can do a talking dick.”

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