WIT AND WISDOM FROM MARY-LOUISE PARKER 📚📝
A couple of weeks ago, @LizDawson and I went to hear Mary-Louise Parker speak about her new and wonderful book, Dear Mr You, a memoir in the form of letters to real and imagined men in her life. She was fabulous and lovely and the book is wonderful. Recommended.
- •On lettersI’m really into stationery and pens. I love writing letters. If you really take the time with a letter, it does matter to people. Some letters – I remember holding them, so excited I almost didn’t want to open them. It’s so romantic to me, a letter. Up there with jewelry.
- •On why she chose to write to and about men in her memoirWhy not? I am such a romantic and I do love men and I love those crazy experiences.
- •On why she doesn’t name the men she addresses in her memoirIt lends more poetry to let the reader project onto it. It becomes more mechanical and a little less magical with the practicality of an actual name.
- •On high schoolNo-one asked me to prom. I was really a wallflower and nobody paid attention to me. There was a part of me that thought you turned fifteen and a boy just showed you up and took you around the neighbourhood in his car. But that never happened to me. I doubt [my former classmates] even remember I was there. I cut class quite a bit also because it felt excruciating and I hated being there.
- •On whether she enjoyed getting attention when she went to a college “full of other misfits”Well, what do you think?
- •On the boyfriend she stabbed with a forkYou have your own guacamole. Why are you eating my guacamole?
- •On working on The West WingI love those actors so much. I loved John Spencer. Richard Schiff. Allison Janney. Every single one of them was someone you could watch with awe. And the combinations, too.
- •On being a scavengerI have strange little things that I save past – sometimes I don’t recognize what they are anymore.
- •On always scribblingIf you’re someone who at your core is a bit of a loner, you’re the one always watching. Those are the people always scribbling to themselves.
- •On the stage vs moviesI love being on stage. It was the first place I ever felt like I was completely inhabiting my body. I was on the stage tap dancing at four years old. I love the pressure. I prefer to be on the stage. With movies – you’ve been there eight hours and they’re still lighting the ashtray.
- •On sportI don’t know sports that well. I get invited to games and I have to ask – is that basketball? I don’t respond well to football but I do love to watch the hockey and the violence of it and sometimes they get into a fight – I find it very sexy. I used to date a hockey player.
- •On whether it’s tough to be a woman in HollywoodIt’s hard to be a woman elsewhere too. Hollywood is maybe not the first place. Aren’t you embarrassed, saying that? I’m happy to discuss this on the macro level – but when you extrapolate to Hollywood it feels absurd… vulgar.
- •On her father being the animating spirit behind the bookThat’s good. I’m gonna steal that.
- •On her relationship with her fatherI have a conversation that continues with my father. I much preferred the ones where I could see him. The things that people are attracted to in me are my father. He was a heroic person and he’ll never be replaced.