Action-Flick Ingenue: Parker Posey

Photo: WireImage

Parker Posey is so often referred to as an “indie queen”—thanks to standout performances in Party Girl, House of Yes, and Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries—that it’s a mild shock to find her in Blade: Trinity, an action film starring Wesley Snipes. Usually, Posey specializes in brittle, fragile women, but here she bares her fangs as an evil vampire with a penchant for Tara Reid–style eyeliner.

It’s a bit surprising to see you playing a villain in an action flick. I know, right?
I almost didn’t go in for the audition. I thought, They’ll want a model, someone with a rack.

So what persuaded you to do it?
Well, I really liked them. And I felt comfortable talking about my ideas for the character, though a lot of them weren’t executed in the movie.

For example?
Like, this character’s been alive for 400 years, right? So how would she dress? I mean, isn’t she bored? So I said, “Can we have her in a geisha outfit? A nun outfit? Can she dress like a cavewoman?”

In the film, you seem to be channeling a couple of people. Were you mimicking any one in particular?
Totally. There’s Bette Davis. Some Nosferatu. I rented all those old F. W. Murnau films, and old vampire movies like The Vampire Lovers. I really liked playing a vampire. Their hunger is insatiable. Even when they eat someone, it’s never enough. They’re like addicts. So that was fun.

How did you feel about your first action film?
I hope it’s not the last. I want to do horror and action, and I’m only being slightly facetious. I felt a little bit like an outsider when I started on Blade. They’d call “Action!” and there’d be 50 stunt people, fighting, punching, throwing each other, diving through paintings. But then I thought, This is all right. I can be a part of this.

Do you think your indie fans will be put off?
I wonder if people who see Blade will have even seen my other movies. But I don’t want all my movies to be in a vacuum. I need a balance, because one pays and the other doesn’t.

Any other supernatural creatures you’d like to play?
Maybe a werewolf. Or did you ever see that TV show Isis?

The show about the Egyptian-goddess superhero?
Yes. She’d say something like, “Western winds that blow on high, lift me up so I can fly.” Then she’d spread out her arms and just go! But you could totally see the fishing twine. I like that kind of stuff. I pitched Keanu Reeves on an idea—that he and I should play [seventies-era mime super-couple] Shields and Yarnell in a silent action-adventure movie. We’d solve mysteries, and there’d be invisible objects for us to battle.

You have a remarkable memory for old Saturday-morning TV shows.
Hey, the TV was my friend. As a child, I always said, “I want to live in there someday.”

Action-Flick Ingenue: Parker Posey