Everyone has an opinion about who should replace Charlie Hunnam in the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation; the always opinionated, always funny director John Waters is no exception. “Jeff Stryker, the male porno star that’s in retirement,” he suggested to Vulture last night at the fifth annual Norman Mailer Center Benefit Gala Honoring Maya Angelou. He was probably kidding. But in all seriousness, he thinks the part should go to an unknown actor. “I love the fact that for a total unknown, this will make him a huge star. It’s a great risk to take that role. However, if it’s a flop, he won’t get blamed, because it’s like making The Confederacy of Dunces on a much bigger scale. It’s S&M-lite, right? It’s like the Story of O goes to Starbucks. A love book is almost impossible to make into a movie.”
What about casting a model? “Let’s just say that if I was going to cast it, he’d have to be a really great actor,” Waters said. “Nothing against models. There are great models that are actors, but not usually. It has to not just be about his looks.” In fact, he says, it’s important the actor have a least one imperfection. “That’s always sexy. A little scar,” Waters says. Also: “Never be totally nude. Wear a Band-Aid, one sock, a rubber band. Never be totally nude.” But that doesn’t mean tone down the sex scenes. “I would make sure my contract said it had to be NC-17, no matter what,” he says. “If it tests well, they’ll try to make it R.” And, no, that wouldn’t work.