We continue with our interviews from the “Superman Returns” Press Junket with a chat with Parker Posey. In the film, Posey plays Kitty Koslowski, Lex Luthor’s girlfriend. Parker spoke about how this generally independent movie minded actress came to be in “Superman Returns,” on her relationship with Lex Luthor and much more.
[Editor’s Note: There are some minor spoilers in this interview relating to what happens with her character at the end of the film. We’ll warn you before we get to that part if you’re looking to avoid spoilers.]
You steal this movie!
No, you really do!
Ohhh … [notices the 2 foot tall superman toy to her side] Oh My God, let me see that! Who’s is that? Wow … look at the curl! Oh, Superman!
Did you enjoy flying around with Superman in the film?
Oh yeah! [laughs]
You play one of the few characters who doesn’t have years of back story. Was it fun for you to get to play this part, not having to live up to history?
Yeah. Where should I start. I’d say it’s a comic book part. It started with kind of a look and of course it started with the Richard Donner movie [a reference to Eve Teschmacher].
Why were you attracted to this part and this movie? You usually participate in much smaller films, not usually the big blockbusters like a “Superman Returns.”
I was doing a play. I was doing “Hurly Burly” for six months and I got a call saying, “They’re interested in you for Superman!” So, I thought, “OK, well, let them figure it out and maybe I’ll get cast. We’ll see. Can I read the script?” No. “OK, well, is it good?” I never saw “X-Men.” I don’t usually see these kinds of movies, so, gosh I hope it’s good! So, I got the part and I went and looked it up on the Internet. I went and Googled Kitty and Superman and there was a Kitty somewhere in the Superman world and she extracted like green energy from plants and solar energy from the sun and would use this power in not a good way and Superman would help her kind of use her powers for good. This is just what came up via Google, very abstract. [Editor’s Note: Parker is referencing Dr. Kitty Faulkner who conducted experiments to develop pollution free energies which turned her into the hulking Rampge. This character first appeared in “Superman” #7, from July of 1987.] So, I thought, “Wow, maybe I’ll get to have super powers!” [laughs] Then [Executive Producer] Chris Lee is calling me and I’m like, “Does he extract energy from the sun?” [laughs]
So, they literally fly someone from Australia to deliver the script. And I read it in Café Mogador in the East Village in New York. That was like a movie in itself. It had this energy. I read it and I thought, “Thank God!” I thought it was really, really good. She was written a little more villainous, more consciously a villain, like a bad girl. But, I got away with not doing that so much, which I like.
What’s she like to you?
She doesn’t see clearly what’s in front of her. She sees just material things. Things that are pretty. She likes diamonds and pearls and I picture her having a pink room at one point. Basically, a princess, as well as someone who’ll do anything for Lex. Much like Miss Teschmacher in that first movie. She was always sun bathing, baking herself and watching television and I thought, “OK, that’s good. Let’s have Kitty look like someone who is obsessed with looking like that.” I wanted her to look a certain way so that it was clear she looked that way to please her man. I wanted her hair to look like a wig.
Was it a wig?
Nope, it’s my real hair. That’s what she does for Lex.
Can we talk a bit about the fashion and what kind of input you had with the designer?
Louise, our costume designer, started with someone different and it became these little homage’s to kind of Hollywood ’30s, ’40s, ’70s and ’80s glamour. They had a huge selection of vintage clothes I could try on, so I tried on a lot of stuff. We had a shoemaker come in to design boots. We didn’t want any pointy shoes, we wanted them round. So she walks like they’re keeping her bound in some ways.
When we got to the set, we got two or three days into it and we were shooting at the Vanderworth Mansion – it was a really long night – and I said I want that dog every chance I get, so that becomes what she holds onto and it becomes a great prop for her and a great image for this woman who’s in love with a man who isn’t loveable.
Now, you’re involved in the next Christopher Guest film, “For Your Consideration.” He’s said it would be the last of these improvised docu-comedies. How different is this one from the previous Guest films?
Every one is different. “Best in Show” had it’s own kind of things. “For Your Consideration” is about movies. It’s about an independent film being made called “Home For Purim” which takes place in 1945 in Valdosta, Georgia. So, it’s southerners speaking Yiddish! [laughs]
Who are you playing in this?
I play an actress named Kelly Webb and I’m playing another in the movie within the movie. I bring home my lesbian lover to meet my parents as my mother is dying during Purim holidays. It’s melo-drama. It’s different in that the camera is stationary and the interviews are all done through EPK [Electronic Press Kit]. So, it has a different feel to it.
But it’s still improv?
Yes, but there’s a movie within the movie that is scripted.
But the interviews are all improved?
Yes. It’s going to be very different.
What about “Boston Legal?” Are you doing any more of those?
I don’t know. Hopefully I can wrap up [the character Marlene Stanger] or continue her. I loved it. I loved working on that. That was so much fun. What a great, smart, interesting group of people. James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen, I loved them. Playing these kind of self-absorbed people that aren’t that likeable, but you do like them anyway. These people who can’t deal emotionally with any situation at all.
[Note: the following question and answer include minor spoilers of the film. Skip ahead to the next question to avoid.]
If you had to choose which direction Kitty is headed – if they do use her in a sequel – where would you like to see her headed and how do you think you guys get off the island?
Well, I would like some kind of random thing happen to Lex like a coconut falling on his head and him drowning. Or, something that is kind of unbelievable, like she walks through the jungle on the island and discovers she on a resort and is actually consumed and obsessed with Superman. Ultimately I see her as a fan.
Are you signed up for a sequel?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m surprised they didn’t ask me to sign my life over!
This is your second comic book film following “Blade: Trinity.” Is there another comics character you’d like to tackle?
No. I don’t know.
I’m too old. [giggles]
I like Isis! Remember that TV show? “O Zephyr Winds that Blow on High, Lift Me Now so that I can Fly!” [laughs]
I love that! I loved the crappy sets and how the walls were like hinging apart and you could see the sound stage in the back. If it’s done bad like that, I think that would be cool. That could be a really funny thing. Her as like a professor of biology or something.
Now, you’ve recently finished a Hal Hartley film?
Yes, we just finished “Fay Grim” in January and February. We shot it in Berlin. It’s a continuation of “Henry Fool.”
How much fun is it working with Hal?
He’s great. He’s so smart, talented and kind. This movie, “Fay Grim,” it takes place 10 years later. My son is in school and he’s received a pornographic device in the mail. These binoculars with some sort of harem or something happening. I’ve lost control of my son. He’s so much trouble. Henry’s confessions, I loved them, but everyone else though they were porn and horrible. And my brother Simon, who’s the garbage man who’s now in jail for his poetry – it’s so art film, I love it – is still in prison and I come home and the CIA, Agent Fulbright played by Jeff Goldblum, they’re in my house and there’s word out that Henry was in Afghanistan in 1981 and he’s much more of a mythological figure than we even anticipated in the first part and his confessions are coded with links to terrorism and war and to an Osama Bin Laden type. It’s supposed to be all kind of twisted up and confusing and I go off to Paris to find him and I’m like a reluctantly good person who sees the world for what it is.
Is it an adjustment to go from a Hal Hartley film to a film like “Superman Returns?”
The scale is different.
In terms of size, mostly. The actual work is a little different. You have a relationship with the material you do. If you do something that’s a 22 day shoot, you’re just too wrapped up to stop. [With a film like “Superman Returns”] you need even more focus and more yoga for the waiting.
What’s next for you?
A movie called “Spring Breakdown” with Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch. It’s like a spring break type comedy.
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