Sunday, March 26, 2006

Parker Posey hates me.

So Brad and I headed to Athens for Robert Osborne's film fest screening of BEST IN SHOW, hoping to see Parker Posey in person and maybe get a good anecdote out of being in her presence. And I suppose we did get that.

During the post-screening Q&A, I'm fairly certain that, for only 10 seconds, my favorite indie film goddess thought that I was a harsh, aggressive asshole, even though those weren't the words she used to criticize me. (Make no mistake, though, she did criticize me.)

Oh well, at least I made an impression. And it wasn't the only odd, fabulous moment of her Q&A, one of the greatest, most hilariously random showbiz things I've ever witnessed. Hopefully, some of Brad's digital video will be available as evidence. We were sitting in the fifth row, the best to bask in all the Posey glory.

I suppose I spoke to Posey about three times during the Q&A, which probably justifies what she said about me, but I honestly didn't mean her any harm. I just tend to ask questions and participate at a Q&A.

When she came out on stage, she was enthusiastic, funny and seemingly buzzed off the bottle of Stella Artois that she kept either in her hand or between her legs during the questions. She described the improvisation involved in making Christopher Guest films. Then, someone in the crowd went ahead and asked her about it again.

Turner Classic Movies' Osborne, the host of the festival, facilitated the conversation and remained complimentary of her, even though Posey occasionally resorted to deadpan answers.

Microphones were distributed throughout the crowd, but some people just went ahead and shouted questions at the stage. Osborne, of course, pleaded for people to wait for the microphones so that they'd be heard in the back of the room.

During one such moment, I was handed a microphone, and I proceeded to ask Posey a question. But Posey and Osborne couldn't figure out where my voice was coming from, even though I was five rows in front of them. They thought I was in the back of the room.

So my question went like this: "I just wanted to say that I love your work, PARTY GIRL, HOUSE OF YES, PERSONAL VELOCITY ... I'M IN THE FRONT, I'M IN THE FRONT!!! ... Oh, cool, hi. Um, yes I wanted to ask you if you were excited about SUPERMAN RETURNS or if you could tell us what it was like to film that."

"Am I excited about SUPERMAN?" she asked, deadpan again. "Um ... no. Not really. Which movie was that?"

People cheered and laughed, and I pumped my fist in the air at her. I thought the answer rocked, but I wanted her to talk more.

So I said without microphone, "OK then, well, what was your favorite role?"

"Well, there's something about all of them," she said. "But I'll talk about SUPERMAN because that's what you first asked about. It was a $200 million movie that filmed for nine months in Australia, and it stars Brandon Routh. And he is Superman. And I got to fly with him."

Then, Posey talked about how they averaged four shots a day, how the flying harness is painful to fly in. She called it "pain in places where you didn't realize it was possible."

Later, someone was asking her about her next Christopher Guest movie, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, where she plays an indie film actress who stars in the movie-within-a-movie HOUSE OF PURIM. In the middle of this answer, something distracted her.

"HOUSE OF PURIM is about an Orthodox Jewish family living in Valdosta, Ga., in the '40s, and I play the lesbian daughter who's brought home her lover to meet her sick mother, played by Catherine O'Hara ...," she stopped, then looked at Osborne and enthusiastically shouted. "OOH, you have a ladybug on your coat!!!!"

Then, crossing over into the surreal, Posey reached over, picked the ladybug off of Osborne's coat and then let it crawl on her hand. While answering other questions, she would regard the bug on her hand in front of her and give updates on its progress up her sleeve.

I overheard some people behind us, not realizing that the ladybug was still on Posey, wonder why she kept staring so intently at her hand.

"I dunno what she's doing," one girl behind me whispered. "Maybe she needs a manicure."

Another attendee asked Posey what her new projects would be, and I wondered to the people behind me, "Why can't they just check IMDB?"

Still, Posey answered the question, saying that her next movie is an indie comedy called ADAM AND STEVE, directed by a friend of hers. (And, this, unfortunately, led to the moment where Parker Posey regarded me with annoyance.)

"It's a gay movie, and it's coming out in select theaters in a couple weeks, though I'm not entirely sure when," she said.

"Friday in Atlanta!" I said helpfully toward the stage, for a friend of mine is doing promotions for it.

"It's Friday in Atlanta," Posey repeated after me.

Then, my favorite actress looked in my direction and said words that will live with me forever.

"Oooh ... hostile!," she said.

Thankfully, Osborne muttered a defense of me into the microphone, "No, I don't think so. It's fine." Then, he changed the subject.

At that, I looked at Brad and said, "Did Parker Posey just call me hostile?"

"No, I think she was just talking about the atmosphere," he said kindly.

"No, she wasn't," I said. "Parker Posey just called me hostile."

And Brad laughed and said he wished he'd taped it. (On the ride home, he would just mutter things like "Ooh ... hostile!" or "Parker Posey hates Benjie!" and start laughing.)

The final bizarre Parker Posey moment occurred during the last question from the crowd, given by a woman who admitted that she was from Valdosta.

The woman started praising Osborne, saying that she watches his show every night.

And, as the woman fawned over the silver-haired movie host, Posey exclaims to Osborne, out of nowhere, "OH, THAT'S WHERE I KNOW YOU FROM!!! YOU'RE THAT GUY ON TV!!! I thought you were good at interviewing!!!"

Posey'd been sitting next to him for a half an hour at that point, beer bottle between her knees and his ladybug on her arm, and that was the moment she seemed to most realize where she was.

It was a terrific event. And I'm just happy that I got to speak to her, no matter what she thought of my tone. Besides, she probably didn't keep me in her head any longer than 10 seconds.

I mean, because I told her when her movie came out, Parker Posey thought I was a jerk. How cool is that?

No comments: