5 surprising things we learn about Parker Posey in her memoir, ‘You’re on an Airplane’

The “Queen of the Indies” is ready to take her literary throne.

For three decades, Parker Posey has been a versatile, free-spirited presence in the independent film world, best known for her roles in cult hit “Dazed and Confused” (1993), “Party Girl” (1995) and “The House of Yes” (1997).

Now the actress, 49, is bringing her offbeat sensibilities to the page with “You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir,” which is less autobiography than it is a rambling collection of showbiz anecdotes, philosophical musings, favorite recipes and stories about her dog, Gracie, an unlikely paparazzi staple.

Here are the most surprising and silly revelations about Posey and her storied career:

1. Parker Posey isn’t a stage name.

Posey, who has a twin brother, was born two months premature in 1968 in Baltimore, to a chef mother and car-dealer father. She was named after a family friend of her mom, who wanted to give her little girl “a strong name like Parker.” Despite her unusual last name, it’s totally real: “My mother says she thought the name Posey was silly, and it really is,” the actress writes. “I know, my name sounds made-up.”

2. She almost starred in a slew of studio hits.

Aside from her villainous turn in ill-received superhero movie “Blade: Trinity” (2004), Posey has mostly stuck to low-budget movies and TV. But she apparently was in the running for high-profile projects such as “Girl, Interrupted” (1999) with Angelina Jolie, which she says she passed on because, “Who cares about a bunch of depressed white girls in the sixties?” She was also up for “Meet the Parents” (2000) and the Sandra Bullock role in “Speed” (1994), but may have lost out after using a paper plate as a steering wheel in her audition.

Posey’s friend, the late Nora Ephron, cast her in romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993), in a minor role as a gushing fan who knocks on the door of Tom Hanks’ grieving father character after hearing him on the radio. The part was cut from the film, although Ephron cast Posey in the Steve Martin vehicle “Mixed Nuts” (1994) shortly after.

3. “Waiting for Guffman” initially featured a NSFW hospital scene.

Turns out, shooting Christopher Guest’s largely improvised 1997 mockumentary was just as fun as you’d imagine. Playing amateur actors with theatrical pipe dreams in a tiny Midwestern town, Catherine O’Hara and Fred Willard had the idea for their characters to audition with a coffee commercial-inspired rendition of “Midnight at the Oasis,” while Posey came up with much of the choreography for (fake) musical “Red, White & Blaine.”

One improvised scene that landed on the cutting-room floor was when eccentric director Corky St. Clair (Guest) ended up in the ICU after failing to get funding for his original musical. “Come back to us, Corky, please, we need you,” his ragtag cast cried as they surrounded his hospital bed. In between takes, Guest asked for a banana, which he put under his sheets in a suggestive manner.

4. She actually got braces for “Best in Show.”

Posey reunited with Guest and much of the “Guffman” cast for dog-show mockumentary “Best in Show” (2000), which featured similar amounts of off-the-wall improvisation. Posey co-starred with Michael Hitchcock as a lawyer couple in therapy after traumatizing their prized Weimaraner, Beatrice, when the dog caught them having sex. Guest suggested both actors wear retainers with braces attached, but Posey opted for the real thing so as not to have a lisp.

5. Louis CK, Woody Allen were fruitful collaborators.

Two chapters are dedicated to Posey’s working experiences with Louis CK and Woody Allen, although neither passage lingers on the sexual misconduct allegations lodged against both men. Posey describes at length her close friendship with CK that led to her being cast in his FX comedy “Louie,” playing a cancer-stricken bookstore clerk in the show’s third season. “No one had ever written a part like this for me,” she marvels. “It was the kind of character I thought I’d be playing my whole career.”

Signing onto “Irrational Man” (2015) – her first of two Allen films, along with “Cafe Society” (2016) – Posey read news articles about his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow’s sexual assault allegations, which have dogged the director for decades despite no criminal charges. “(I) can relate to all the players in this story,” Posey writes. “I wonder if it will be staged as an opera in fifty years.”

She later defends Allen’s controversial marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, calling them “a great couple and it’s clear that they’re right for each other.”


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