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PARKER, MOLLY : Kissed

DEAD SEXY
It’s not easy making a film about necrophilia, or playing a young woman who sexually desires the dead, but Canadian actress Molly Parker’s career was literally born out of doing Kissed, and she hasn’t looked back since. In her only Australian interview, she tells PAUL FISCHER how solitary it felt sometimes.

There’s one sequence in the extraordinary new film Kissed that causes the puritanically-minded to squirm in disgust: Sandra Larson, a strange young woman who works in the local mortuary, takes her clothes off and climbs, naked, on top of a dead man, then writhes in a kind of poetic ecstasy. Romantic, erotic, or exploitative?

"It is really a story about a woman BY a woman. "

None of the above, says Molly Parker, who laughingly remarks that her first ever movie sex scene "would have to be with a dead guy. Even though the guy wasn’t really dead, it did feel a bit solitary. Fortunately, I had such a strong relationship with director Lynne Stopkewich who felt very strongly about me feeling safe in that scene and doing it in a way that was really respectful." The actress is the first to admit that it would have been an entirely different proposition had it been directed by a man. "It would have just been a different movie." She further adds that "it is really a story about a woman BY a woman. Certainly this character’s a very specific woman, and the story is very specific, but there were so many times when Lynne and I would sit and try and think of those things to do in those private moments; so much of the story is told with Sandra by herself, where there’s no dialogue, when she’s alone and trying to find and remember what those things we do when we’re all by ourselves."

"Soon she’s crawling on top of stiffs at the mortuary where she works. "

Parker’s Sandra develops an initially unusual fascination with dead rodents that becomes a desire for embalming humans and blossoms into full-blown necrophilia. Soon she’s crawling on top of stiffs at the mortuary where she works. Her life becomes complicated when she falls for an impatient medical student (Peter Outerbridge) who needs to -ultimately, too desperately - understand where his girlfriend goes when she ‘crosses over.’ On reflection, Parker admits that she found it easy to empathise with Sandra. "She has so many qualities that justify what she does. She’s obsessive yet at the same time so spiritual. On the one hand, she’s a very lonely woman, but beyond all of that, she also has a strong sense of herself. She’s also a very sexual person."

"It is about the corpse, but beyond that, it’s about where she goes during that process of lovemaking."

Parker auditioned for the role several times before being cast, which says gave her time to think about what she was getting into. "Look it could have been awful and sensationalistic, but I trusted Lynne from the beginning that she would tell the story in a way that I would appreciate." Sandra is a woman obsessed with death, but Parker insists that the film goes beyond that. "I think she’s more obsessed with the idea of transcendence. It is about the corpse, but beyond that, it’s about where she goes during that process of lovemaking. For her, it’s the only place that she finds her God." Prior to Kissed, Parker has had a blossoming career, both in her native Canada and the US, including a key role as Glenn Close’s daughter in law in the acclaimed telemovie Serving in Silence. "Because I started working and acting in Vancouver right out of high school, at that time there was a whole lot of stuff shootin, and most of it American television pieces." Parker’s performing life first took shape as a ballet dancer, "and the acting thing just seemed to happen from there." She pauses wistfully when asked whether that ‘acting thing’ was everything she imagined it would be. "Yes and more plus everything that I HADN’T imagined it would be. It’s a great life. I get to travel, meet all sorts of exciting people and work on things that I really care about."

Parker has just finished shooting a new American film alongside Australian actor Aidan Young, Under Heaven. "I loved working with him. He works incredibly hard, is really committed and we had so much fun doing this. Miranda Richardson is also in it, and it’s sort of a love triangle between the three of us, kind of based on Henry James’ Wings of a Dove." Parker travels to LA "for the audition cattle calls" and says she’s looking for other great female characters to sink her teeth into. "Recently, I feel blessed." And Kissed.

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"Romantic, erotic, or exploitative?"


"Her first ever movie sex scene; would have to be with a dead guy."



"Fortunately, I had such a strong relationship with director Lynne Stopkewich who felt very strongly about me feeling safe in that scene and doing it in a way that was really respectful."


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"Look it could have been awful and sensationalistic, but I trusted Lynne from the beginning that she would tell the story in a way that I would appreciate."







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