Parker Posey Interview

Actress muses on loving Lex Luthor, dogs and the new Christopher Guest film For Your Consideration

Parker Posey seems a lot older than she is by virtue of the fact that she has done over 60 movies. Cutting her teeth on indie films like The Daytrippers and Henry Fool, Posey has also bit into the apple that is the studio world doing such films as You've Got Mail, Blade: Trinity and most recently her turn as Kitty Kowalski in Superman Returns. As Lex Luther's somewhat dimwitted moll, Posey brings a humanity to the surface that turns a co-starring role into one that truly stands out.

Did you go back and look at what Valerie Perrine did as Miss Teschmacher in the first Superman movie?

Parker Posey: Yeah. I watched the original movie. I'm so glad they got to the use the music. I think the music is very important. It's very grand. When I saw the film, the opening titles, with you as the audience flying through the atmosphere and what they could do with digital effects is very powerful. The angles in which Superman flies, I think are really powerful. It has a peacefulness to it which I don't think people will expect that much. The action scenes are really intense. Superman kind of centers himself to be a hero.

So there's a lot to look at. With my role watching Valerie Perrine there's that, "Why do I always pick the bad guys?" That's her karma. That's where the character starts. This movie being a movie that's already been done before is an homage to the original movie. When I saw it and heard the music, I was brought back to that place where I saw it as a kid. It's powerful.

Did you have a hand in your wardrobe at all?

Parker Posey: Yes, she's a comic book character. I wanted it to look like someone drew her. I wanted the shoes to be round and not pointed and to be soft and not hard. Not a conscious villain. Somewhat kind of lost, or blinded by her love of pretty things. Diamonds and things that are soft. She probably had a room that was all pink at one point. She's in this really dark relationship at the same time.

What was it like working in that relationship with Kevin Spacey?

Parker Posey: You walk onto a set, you go to work on a movie called Superman, it's all kryptonite, it's all black. Or you go and you're on a yacht, every prop has been decided and talked about and designed and spent money on. You are tiny, tiny in a world that is bigger than you are. So it had, as corny as it sounds, I'm a method actor and just there to work and to approach my work through the eyes of this character. Kevin was Lex from the moment I saw him.

How many dogs were there?

Parker Posey: Just one. Little Molly is her name. We had a really special relationship. At first she was weary of me she thought I wouldn't be a caring, dog loving person and I am. I have a little poodle who's just downstairs right now. Running through kryptonite. That was great. What a great prop.

What's the relationship that Kitty was with Lex? They don't seem to be romantically involved?

Parker Posey: There is something in Lex that she loves that she's trying to find. She keeps looking and waiting and it's not there. So it's quite a heavy relationship and a lonely one. He's in love with his ego and his power and how he can destroy everything, and she's in love with waiting for him to be the man that she loved the first time she saw him. He's a bad guy.

Can you talk about For Your Consideration the new Christopher Guest movie?

Parker Posey: It's about an independent film called Home for Purim which is a Jewish holiday. The movie takes place in 1945 in Valdosta, GA. It's a Jewish family living in the sticks after the war. It's kind of a melodrama. My mother is dying over the holiday. Katherine O'Hara plays my mom. That kind of acting that they did back then in those movies, Chris Guest plays the director... Catherine O'Hara plays an actress who is by the craft service table one day and the DP... is just a jerk of a DP, he's like bitter and cynical and he wore all leather just really supercool. He's like, "My wife was on the internet the other night and it says it's your time to get an Academy Award nomination." She's like "Oh know, that's crazy. "

But then it starts to happen... "What if I was nominated?" And Catherine goes from this actress who was married to this playwright to becoming someone who looks like she's had plastic surgery. She's got a huge breast job and her face is totally changed. She starts talking completely differently. Just the possibility of an Academy Award nomination.

Is it done documentary style?

Parker Posey: This one not so much. It's all improvised, the same kind of approach, but the camera is pretty much stationary because we're on a movie set. So the interviews are done through EPK interviews. There's movie dialogue but then... Fred Willard and Jane Lynch play Entertainment Tonight-type hosts. Harry Shearer plays an actor. None of us get a lot of work and we're really happy to be a part of this movie called Home for Purim which gets changed to Home for Thanksgiving.

Superman Returns opens nationwide on June 28th, 2006.