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Mink Stole

States Pop Quiz #10: Mink Stole

The original Dreamlander talks John Waters, high school hell and why only a Frenchman could convince her to abandon the USA

As part of our States of Independence summer takeover, 50 American indie icons have volunteered to take the Dazed Pop Quiz; a quick-fire Q&A about what they love and loathe about life in the USA. Check back here every day for more from the series. 

Born in Baltimore, MD, sometime in the 1940s, Nancy Stoll's second birth occured in 1966 – when John Waters took her under his wing. From thereron in she was Miss Mink Stole, one of the original Dreamland Players alongside the other outré creatures of the director's cinematic counter-culture: amongst them transvestite icon Divine, Mary Vivian Pearce and the snaggle-toothed Edith Massey. Playing characters that were arguably the most fearsome and fascinating of all, Stole would become known as the maniacal nemesis and foil to "leading lady" Divine in Waters' transgressive films of the early 70s. Her portfolio of cult grotesques ranges from Connie Marbles in Pink Flamingos (1972), to murderous housewife-on-the-lam Peggy Gravel in Desperate Living (1977); more recently, she's taken to the stage as a singer with her band, Mink Stole and her Wonderful Band. We let the cult diva take the reigns on our USA theme quiz – so, "think Mink" and read on.

What is your favorite quote about America?

Mink Stole: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." – Abraham Lincoln. 

What three words define the States today?

Mink Stole: Complicated. Confused. Changing. 

Which living American do you most admire and why?

Mink Stole: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She’s so smart and outspoken, Republicans really hate her.

Which living American do you most despise and why?

Mink Stole: George W. Bush. For so many reasons. I just want to slap his smug, stupid face. 

Whose face should be on the $1,000 bill?

Mink Stole: Bill Gates.

Who gave you your first break? Do you still talk?

Mink Stole: John Waters. Yes.

When and where are you the most happiest?

Mink Stole: On stage with my Wonderful Band. 

What high school clique were you in? Do you stay in touch?

Mink Stole: No clique – high school was hell. 

What food reminds you of home?

Mink Stole: Fried chicken – it was the only food my mother did really well.

What smell do you associate with the city of your birth?

Mink Stole: Baltimore isn’t particularly smelly. At least not where I grew up.

What's the best road trip you've ever been on?

Mink Stole: A 6-month motorcycle tour of Europe in the ‘80s.

Where did you lose your virginity?

Mink Stole: In a basement rec room. It wasn’t much fun, but it got the job done. Good sex came later.

What would make you leave America forever?

Mink Stole: Probably nothing. Or maybe marrying a Frenchman. 

What is your favorite American building?

Mink Stole: The Chrysler Building in New York. 

Ultimate American album? 

Mink Stole: Carole King’s Tapestry.

Most overrated US tourist attraction 

Mink Stole: I don’t go to tourist attractions.

Most underrated US tourist attraction

Mink Stole: See above.

Favorite slang phrase?

Mink Stole: "Okey dokey."

What is your ultimate American guilty pleasure?

Mink Stole: Binge watching Netflix. 

Ultimate American film?

Mink Stole: The Godfather.

What law would you change or invent?

Mink Stole: I’d love to see a “life swap” national holiday where every year, everybody would spend at least one day and night actually living in an American culture completely different from his own.

Where in the States would you ride out the apocalypse?

Mink Stole: If it’s really the apocalypse, it probably doesn’t matter.

When was your last run-in with the cops? What happened? 

Mink Stole: I got a traffic ticket for running a yellow light. Spent a very unfunny day at “comedy” traffic school.

If you could change one thing about the US, what would it be?

Mink Stole: To never have had slavery. 

Which fictional American do you most identify with? 

Mink Stole: Can’t think of one.

If you could vote for Obama again, would you?

Mink Stole: Yes, probably.

If you lost it all tomorrow, what would you do the day after?

Mink Stole: First, I’d cry really, really hard.  Then I’d figure something out.

What will America look like in 2050?

Mink Stole: 50 shades of brown.

Does the American Dream still exist?

Mink Stole: I hope so.

I am Divine is in cinemas and on-demand today.