How Mink Met Serial Mom
When Director John Waters sent actor Mink Stole his script for his 1994 film Serial Mom, Mink had a sudden reaction: “I liked it immediately.”
Mink worked with director John Waters for decades, starting in 1966 in Waters’ film Roman Candles. Back then, Waters specialized in micro budget cult films, putting some of the most bizarre and depraved actions ever seen on cinema. “We deliberately tried to shock people,” Mink said.
“We started out making movies on 8mm with no sound, eventually moving into 35mm. I feel that John is almost the whole history of American Independent film,” Mink said.
Between making movies on a micro-budget or for a studio with a large budget like Serial Mom, which does Mink prefer? “I like money,” she says laughing. “A trailer, a paycheck, and those nice things. Food on the set. There was a bird wrangler [on Serial Mom]. We could never have had those things before.”
Working the studio system with Serial Mom
Though some filmmakers who start off independent and jump into the studio system sometimes feel pressure to produce a hit. Not Mink.
“I never felt pressure to deliver a hit. I always felt pressure to know my lines and do a good job. That was there from the beginning. What changed over the course of the years was – and what was a big difference in Serial Mom – was working with Kathleen Turner. She was the biggest movie star I’d ever worked with. Kathleen had this presence and this voice and this stardom. That was intimidating. But she put me at ease immediately.”
Despite one of the biggest stars at the time joining John Waters and his cult cinema crew, there were no tensions on set. “She was lovely. She was having a great time and wanted to be there,” Mink said.
“You can tell when someone is unhappy. But she was happy and brought that happiness every day on the set.”
Does Serial Mom Hold Up?
So, after all this time, does Serial Mom hold up?
“It holds up. It doesn’t look dated. It’s so beautifully executed. It flows beautifully, very lean, very clean. There’s not an unnecessary moment. The performances, dialogue, execution, direction…it just works. “
“I think it’s his best film,” she concludes.