From anarcho-punk to underground celebrity to certifiable movie star, Divine was like no one before him. Best known as John Waters’ biggest star and inspiration, Divine forever lived up to his name: larger than life and twice as beautiful.
Stopped only by his untimely death, Divine’s effervescent rise is the stuff of legend, and I AM DIVINE treats its subject like the tasteful and refined lady she wasn’t.
Growing up in the quiet, middle-class suburbs of Baltimore, Harris Glenn Milstead seemed unlikely to become a movie star. But when your neighbor is John Waters and you both have the raunchy humor and utterly poor taste to make movies like PINK FLAMINGOS and FEMALE TROUBLE (and are inspired by Russ Meyer’s films and watching Bergman films on acid), good things are bound to happen to you. From bullied fat kid to fabulous fat drag celebrity of stage and screen, the Waters-christened “Divine” became the star he’d always wanted to be. Waving his freak flag high and full of pride, Divine built a reputation as an over-the-top live performer, a hard working actor, and a comedic genius.
I AM DIVINE chronicles with loving respect the story of the boy who became a man dressed like a woman, but always a man. Told through archival photos and footage—including interviews with Divine himself—and extensive new interviews with family, friends, co-stars, and admirers, director Jeffrey Schwarz (VITO, SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY) has fashioned a loving portrait of a generous and sensitive man whose passion for performance was known around the world and who, as Waters says, stood for anybody that didn’t fit in.
– Elisa McGovern