Traci Lords: My 10 favorite movies
Traci Lords is surrounding herself with hopeless film geeks: The actress and author (and, oh yeah, former porn star) is serving as a judge on IFC’s ”Ultimate Film Fanatic” (Fridays at 10:30 p.m.), which features minutiae-obsessed movie buffs competing for the title of biggest cinematic know-it-all. EW.com decided to check out Lords’ credentials by demanding a list of her 10 favorite films. Does she pass muster? You be the judge. — Liane Bonin
FIGHT CLUB (1999), directed by David Fincher
I’m a huuuge Fincher fan — I just love him. What gets me in this movie, along with the imagery and the great cinematography, is the story. The final twist is so unique. I love the fact that you find out this is really about [the Edward Norton character’s] alter ego, and the idea that the story’s really just a head trip is brilliant from an acting standpoint. I’ve seen it maybe 20, 25 times. I started watching it in Vancouver in 2000, while I was up there shooting [the sci-fi series ”First Wave”], and that would be my end-of-the-day, wind-down kind of film. Brad Pitt is so sexy in this. It’s possibly my all-time favorite.
AFTER LIFE (Japanese title ”Wandafuru raifu,” 1998), directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
It’s about these people who die and go to a holding area in heaven where counselors are waiting to help them pick one memory that will be their eternity. They have one week to contemplate their lives and decide on this ideal moment. This is another movie I saw up in Vancouver, and it’s stuck with me for many, many years. I actually turned Chris Gore [the host of ”The Ultimate Film Fanatic”] on to it, because he’d never seen it before. And it’s funny, because he really IS the ultimate film fanatic.
UNCLE BUCK (1989), directed by John Hughes
I know it’s funny to pick a family film, since I didn’t see this as a kid — the first time I saw ”Uncle Buck” was seven or eight years ago. John Candy is so lovable in it. And, hello, how cute is Macaulay Culkin as the little rugrat? It’s just a charming, lovely film.
THE GODFATHER (1972) and THE GODFATHER PART II (1974), both directed by Francis Ford Coppola
I know the critics love them too, but I don’t care about hype. I choose movies mainly by instinct, and I don’t care what anyone says about the film as far as critics go. I saw both of them in my late teens, and the themes of the story resonated with me. If I had to choose one over the other, I’d pick the first one. It was all new and the characters were just being established, and no one had ever done a movie like that before. And the acting! I couldn’t choose a favorite performance if I wanted to.
MOULIN ROUGE! (2001), directed by Baz Luhrmann
This was a really good one — and, mind you, I don’t really love musicals, even though I’ve been in one [1990’s ”Cry-Baby”]. This was the movie where I discovered Nicole Kidman. I’d seen her in a lot of things, and honestly, she’d never really hit me. But I fell in love with her in this movie, and overall it just made me smile. It was one of those movies you really loved or hated, and I loved it.
DRUGSTORE COWBOY (1989), directed by Gus Van Sant
How can you not love Gus Van Sant? This is a really phenomenal movie, and it’s Matt Dillon at his best, I think. I’ve only seen it three times, so it’s not something I watch over and over again, but it’s a film that resonates with me. Right now I’m not really drawn to dark films, either for fun or for work. I just came down from the last two years, [during which] I wrote my autobiography [”Traci Lords: Underneath It All”] and really delved into heavy subject matter. Writing the book was amazing, but I want to be my goofy self.
EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990), directed by Tim Burton
I worked with Johnny [Depp] on ”Cry-Baby,” and I love that he chose this film, because Edward is such a special character. There’s something beautiful about his ability to sculpt and create with his hands, but then to be dangerous even though he didn’t mean to be. And because Johnny really transforms himself in what he does, I didn’t watch that movie thinking, ”Oh, that’s Johnny up there.” I thought, ”What a great character.”
KINGPIN (1996), directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly
I’d love to work with the Farrelly brothers, and this is a great one. I mean, Woody Harrelson’s a one-handed bowler!… The brothers make you laugh out loud in every movie they make. Think about ”There’s Something About Mary,” when the old woman presses her t— up against the window. That was hysterical.
ADAPTATION (2002), directed by Spike Jonze
I’m a Nicolas Cage fan, and Meryl Streep is amazing in this movie. I think [screenwriter] Charlie Kaufman is one of the best around today. His stories are so odd I don’t know that there’s anyone else I can compare him to. I also loved [Kaufman’s] ”Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Kate Winslet killed me in that.
JAWS (1975), directed by Steven Spielberg
I remember going to see ”Jaws” when I was really little, and I wouldn’t go in the tub for a week because I was convinced the shark could come up through the pipes and eat me. That was my father’s fault. But a lot of people have told me that ”Jaws” really freaked them out. I had a girlfriend who wouldn’t sit on the toilet for a while, she was so scared. That film really traumatized a lot of people. It was an unbelievable movie, but scary, scary, scary. To this day I still hear the music in my head when I’m in the ocean. My husband teases me about that. Duh-duh, duh-duh…