Watch: On The EDGE with Hedda Lettuce Talking 'Mommie Dearest'

Thursday May 27, 2021

Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in 'Mommie Dearest.'
Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in 'Mommie Dearest.'  (Source:Paramount Pictures)

When speaking to Hedda Lettuce this week, EDGE's Matthew Wexler mistakenly said the drag icon had been performing in New York for nearly three decades. She promptly corrected him, adding, "I think you're reading Lady Bunny's bio."

Hedda Lettuce, the drag persona of Steven Polito, is from the generation of New York City drag queens — such as Lady Bunny, Sherry Vine, and Varla Jean Merman — who made careers in a time before social media or YouTube makeup tutorials. One of the more ingenious ways Hedda found her audience was by hosting screenings of classic films in a Chelsea movie theatre for years. Called "Hedda Presents the Classics," it featured Hedda introducing and making commentary about a camp Hollywood classic to a packed house of mostly gay men.

By far, one of the most popular titles Hedda showed is "Mommie Dearest," the 1981 biopic of Joan Crawford that starred Faye Dunaway in a performance the actress later said ruined her career. It was so popular that Hedda would present it twice a year — during Pride and at Halloween. So, naturally, when Paramount Pictures was planning the 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition (to be released on June 1), they turned to Hedda to provide a new commentary track. In addition to Hedda's commentary, there is also one by John Waters, along with a feature on the film's director, Frank Perry, by his biographer, Justin Bozung, and additional features about Crawford.

Watch the full interview here:

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On the EDGE

This story is part of our special report titled On the EDGE. Want to read more? Here's the full list.