One of my favorite films of last year was an indie called Trigger, which followed two women who were together in a band during the 1990s reunited for a one-night only show present day. The film starred Molly Parker and Tracy Wright, the latter who tragically died shortly after filming. Parker attended the NBC TCA night in Los Angeles to speak about her new role in The Firm and I was able to ask about her experience working on Trigger, in which Wright’s character was a lesbian and Parker’s was a little more vague.
Parker described their characters’ relationship as “not sexual and not romantic but really full of love. To me, that movie is just all about the way we love the people we first fall in love with. As girls, if they had been good they would have been so happy to be with each other. And they weren’t, so they just love-hated each other forever.”
The actress said that working with Tracy on her last film was so special to her, and that they sped up filming to make sure they could get it made after Tracy had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “We got together and read the script and started shooting the next weekend. We got together every weekend for five weeks in a row. We made the movie in nine days. I was so aware when we were making that movie that it was all the time I was going to get to spend with her. And so it’s not that it’s hard for me to talk about, but I can only see and feel that movie from the perspective of what it was special gift that was to be with her and do that.”
That real life emotion could be why Trigger works so well, but it’s also because Parker and Wright are incredible actors. Parker has now been in over 60 films and television shows, including a recent stint on Dexter and her upcoming role in the HBO film Hemingway & Gelhorn, opposite Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen. But one of her first ever acting jobs was as Glenn Close‘s daughter in Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.
“I have a great memory of shooting this whole long thing in a court room and then running out of time to do my little part and we had to come back the next day,” Parker said, “and [Glenn] coming in to work and sit off camera opposite me even though she didn’t have to be there that day. And as one of the first experiences I had ever had, I was really moved.”
In The Firm, Molly plays Abby McDeere, wife and co-conspiritor to Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas). But she is not just there to be Mitch’s arm candy. Molly wouldn’t have taken that kind of role.
“It’s boring to me (to play the wife). That said, there’s only so much control once things get going,” Parker said. “But in the moments when it’s up to me, I fight to make her complicated, flawed, and interesting as I can.”
She also says she has some fun woman-on-woman time with co-star Juliette Lewis, who plays legal assistant, Tammy.
“We totally have good stuff together,” Parker said. “It’s part of what’s interesting to me. I was thinking of this woman I’m playing — she probably has no friends. She’d be afraid; She can’t tell the truth anybody. So I think having those kind of secrets are having anything. What that does to people is interesting. So even though these two women are really different, they are all they have. So I think because of that there’s a kind of sister kind of vibe.”
The Firm airs Thursdays on NBC.