Yahoo! Exclusive: “Price Check” Star Parker Posey Talks Her Rise From “Party Girl” to Awards Emcee at the Sundance Film Festival
Photo: Donna Ward, Getty Images
The Baltimore-born brunette, 43, got her break on the soap "As the World Turns," moved on to Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused," and became a Sundance fixture for movies like "The House of Yes" and a regular ensemble player for Christopher Guest in "Waiting for Guffman" and "A Mighty Wind." She's also done her time in big-budget movies like "You've Got Mail." This year Posey returns to Park City with Wednesday's world premiere of "Price Check," in which she plays a manic pixie dream boss, and she will emcee the festival's awards ceremony on January 28th.
Thelma Adams: When did you become the queen of the indies?
Parker Posey: The year I had three movies out.
TA: That was 1997.
PP: Right. I took "Clockwatchers," "The House of Yes," and "SubUrbia" to Sundance. That was the first year that Sundance felt really big, that indie film felt like it had really blossomed. But when I was there with "Party Girl"...
TA: In 1995...
PP: You could hang out on Main Street and go into little bars and drink and socialize and just have fun. I remember having a lot of fun, people talking about projects. And, of course, the things that I can't mention: People would party. I'm kind of a be-in-bed-before-two person. I remember that year of "The House of Yes," I introduced my director Mark Waters to his now wife. And that was the year that Interview magazine put me on the cover. And then I did "You've Got Mail" and it was all over.
TA: Why was that?
PP: It was over when it became really, really cool and you could make money off it. Then it was the rise of Miramax and the commodification of independent cinema. Everyone was in to win it. It became a moneymaker and it lost its essence and its purity in just talking about the movies. I remember EW wanted to interview me in the room at the blah blah blah spa at the top of Main Street. And I thought: Why would I really want to do that? I'd rather hang out with the other people that are here celebrating their movies getting into Sundance and talking about the process and just hanging out.
TA: And then it became a scene...
PP: It became an event for people who weren't filmmakers, or who weren't in movies. It became an institution. It's huge. And it started the rise of festivals all over the country. People will go across the country to see a festival, these pop-up cinema festivals, instead of paying $15 to see a filmmaker's second movie. That has changed so much in the last five years.
TA: Do you remember a moment when it hit home for you?
PP: I remember getting chased by cameras. I'd gotten in a car, and someone told me, "You're parked in the wrong parking lot." It turned out I'd been punked -- another film festival used that happening as a trailer for their film festival.