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We talked to Parker Posey about 'Price Check'

Parker Posey in

Parker Posey in "Price Check" Photo Credit: Parker Posey in "Price Check"

You might recall that Parker Posey starred in many of the biggest independent films of the 1990s, everything from "Waiting for Guffman" to "The House of Yes."

The 44-year-old was so productive that Time magazine proclaimed her the "Queen of the Indies," a designation she hates.

But there's a good reason for Posey's ubiquity: She's a gifted comic actress, with a knack for getting under the skin of her characters.

In "Price Check," she plays Susan Felders, a domineering boss brought in to run the New York office of a supermarket chain. It's a vibrant portrait of a woman who's both ridiculously over-the-top and an admirably high achiever.

amNewYork spoke with Posey about the movie, which opens Friday.

You've played a lot of very strong women, but there's something about Susan that's quite different. What drew you to her? She reminded me of Faye Dunaway in "Network." This dark, powerful female. I could bring these things that I've seen in the culture of what dark female power looks like, how manipulative it is, how seductive it is. How she's insatiable.

There's a tough balancing act here. If played incorrectly, Susan could seem totally over-the-top. How did you handle that? [She's a] person that can go from 0-100 in two seconds, just by the way she dresses. She works at a grocery store company and looks like she's about to go out on Saturday night. Really inappropriate. That stuff is really fun. ... [Director] Michael [Walker] really pushed me. I haven't seen the movie. I really went for it in a lot of ways.

Have you ever been challenged in a similar way? No. It's risky to show those parts of yourself, even if you are in character, because you're opening yourself up to being judged. But I think that's really part of my job and I want that discussion, you know?

What has to happen for a movie like this to find an audience, given the many obstacles facing independent films today? I don't know. Hopefully it will find an audience with my generation and younger that are interested in film like the culture was interested in the '90s. I just don't think the culture is as interested in independent film. I don't think movies are as cool as they used to be. ... They don't have that relevance like [they] used to.

If you had to bet, how likely are we to get another Christopher Guest movie with your ensemble ("Best In Show" etc.)? Maybe one more. Maybe. Those movies are really hard to do, because there's so much material and the editing process is really long.


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