Aubrey Plaza opposite the cover art for John Waters' novel 'Liarmouth'

John Waters Debunks Aubrey Plaza Casting Rumor

Aubrey Plaza isn’t joining the John Waters cinematic universe, but Waters wouldn’t mind if she did. The beloved cult filmmaker and Pope of Trash is making his first movie in 20 years, and it’s hard to imagine a better fit for Liarmouth than Plaza.

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It has been 20 whole years since Waters last released a new movie, the 2004 indie comedy A Dirty Shame starring Selma Blair (with the largest prosthetic breasts you ever did see), Johnny Knoxville, and Tracey Ullman. Of course, Waters is far better known for his camp classics, among them Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, and Hairspray—which was adapted into a hit Broadway musical, which then inspired a movie directed by Adam Shankman.

As first announced in 2022, Waters is making his long-awaited return to directing with Liarmouth, based on his novel of the same. Described as a “feel-bad romance,” Liarmouth is a “hilariously filthy tale of sex, crime, and family dysfunction” about a pathological scammer named Martha Sprinkle. Earlier this week, World of Reel reported that Waters cast Aubrey Plaza, recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in The White Lotus season 2, as Sprinkle.

Peaches Christ, drag queen and friend of Waters, reached out to the filmmaker about the news, only to learn that World of Reel‘s reporting is false:

Waters says that while he’s “thrilled and excited at the idea” of Plaza’s rumored casting, the reports online are “pure speculation.”

The official synopsis for Liarmouth reads, “Marsha Sprinkle: Suitcase thief. Scammer. Master of disguise. Dogs and children hate her. Her own family wants her dead. She’s smart, she’s desperate, she’s disturbed, and she’s on the run with a big chip on her shoulder. They call her Liarmouth—until one insane man makes her tell the truth.”

Plaza basically cast herself in the role back in 2022, during an interview with Dazed. When Waters’ new film was announced, Plaza said she “emailed him immediately and said, ‘you better let me audition for you,'” pointing out that she resembles the woman on the book cover. “I’m throwing myself at his feet,” said Plaza. “I’ll do anything to get the part. I mean anything.”

This article has been updated with a response from John Waters.

(featured image: Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images / Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.