Mary-Louise Parker first caught the eyes of lesbian/bisexual viewers in the 1991 film Fried Green Tomatoes when she played Ruth Jamison, the femme who stole the heart of tomboy Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson). Although the film version de-gayed much of the Fannie Flagg novel it was based on, Parker and Masterson still managed to convey their characters’ love and attraction to each other, making the film a lesbian classic.
Parker (left) and Masterson in Fried Green Tomatoes
Since then, Parker has appeared in many films, including most recently The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. She has also signed on to the independent film Les Passages, where her character falls for a woman played by Julie Delpy. On television, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Parker has starred in the HBO miniseries Angels in America, NBC’s The West Wing and Showtime’s Weeds, which is currently in its fourth season.
Last week during the TCA press tour in Los Angeles, she chatted briefly with AfterEllen.com about the status of Les Passages, the de-gaying of Fried Green Tomatoes, and a fun new web video in which she gives advice to her lesbian friend on how to pick up girls.
Parker at the TCA press tour
Photo credit: David Livingston/Getty Images
AfterEllen.com: Can you tell me a little about the role you’ll be playing in Les Passages?
Mary-Louise Parker: Oh, you know, that doesn’t have funding!
AE: So it’s sort of stuck right now?
MLP: Yeah, I want to do that movie, but it doesn’t have funding, so it’s not imminent. Someone needs to fund it. I would be happy to do it, but it’s not funded.
AE: Do you think it’s ever going to get off the ground?
MLP: I don’t know. I would hope so, because I would like to do a French-speaking movie.
AE: Can you tell me anything about the character that you would be playing if it gets funded?
MLP: Well … I think the writers don’t want me to speak about it yet because they’re still rewriting it. It’s not shrouded in mystery or anything [laughs], but … it’s hard because they haven’t been able to get money for it. So hopefully they’ll get money for it and we’ll be able to talk about it one day ’cause it’ll be happening, but it’s not [right now].
AE: Ever since Fried Green Tomatoes, obviously, you’ve had a ton of lesbian fans.
MLP: Right on.