IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mary Louise Parker Talks 'RED 2' and R.I.P.D.'

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 18:07 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mary Louise Parker Talks 'RED 2' and R.I.P.D.'

Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Mary Louise Parker (TV’s Weeds) has not one, but two upcoming films based on popular, yet lesser-known comic books both opening in theaters on July 19th. 

Parker will soon be seen reprising her role as reluctant heroine Sarah Ross opposite Bruce Willis’ Frank Moses in RED 2, the sequel to the popular 2010 film based on Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s comic book series of the same name. The new film will continue to follow Moses and his team of retired CIA operatives, now on a brand new adventure. Joining Parker and Willis will be the original film’s co-stars John Malkovich, Brian Cox, and Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, as well as new additions, Academy Award-winners Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Since Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman’s character was killed off in the first movie, he will not be returning for the sequel, and neither will the original movie’s director Robert Schwentke, who was replaced by Galaxy Quest’s Dean Perisot

However, Schwentke is directing the second of Parker’s comic book based films opening in theaters on July 19th entitled R.I.P.D., which is based on the Dark Horse comic book Rest in Peace Department by Peter M. Lenkov. In addition to Parker, the film features an excellent cast of actors that includes Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, and Kevin Bacon. The movie follows a recently slain/deceased young cop (Reynolds) who joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department, as they try to find the man that murdered him. 

I recently had a chance to speak with award winning actress Mary Louise Parker at the Sonoma International Film Festival where she was receiving yet another award, the festival’s Spotlight Award, along with her Weed’s co-star and Academy Award-nominee Demian Bichir. I took the opportunity to ask the actress a little bit about her two upcoming comic book based films, RED 2 and R.I.P.D.


I began by asking the actress what attracted her to participate in these two films based on lesser-known comic books as apposed to being in a big Marvel movie or a film based on Superman or Batman. “I’m not all that familiar with comics,” she replied honestly. “I wanted to do R.I.P.D. because I worked with Robert Schwentke on the first RED and I loved him. I really liked the character from the second I read it.”

I followed up by asking Parker if she could talk a little bit about Procter, the character she plays in R.I.P.D. “That movie was really fun,” she answered. “I really felt like I got to create a character and Robert let me sort of go with her. Sometimes it’s good if you have a smaller part so you can make stronger choices,” she continued. “Because you don’t feel like the audience will have to endure so much. It’s like having a really strong flavor in every part of your dinner. Sometimes you can make a stronger choice with the smaller parts.”

I also asked her what she likes so much about working with director Robert Schwentke. “He is really fastidious and thorough,” Parker replied. “He will do a hundred takes and will give you a million directions. I liked the challenge of that. I like that he really wants to get it right and wants to explore it. He will work you into the ground and I like to be worked into the ground,” she laughed. As for her co-stars - Bridges, Bacon and Reynolds - the actress had this to say: “They are amazing! They’re like three of the best actors around.”


“With the other movie, I met Bruce Willis on the first film and he was so lovely, and seductive,” Parker continued regarding returning for RED 2. “John Malkovich is one of my favorite actors of all time so that is why I wanted to do the role.” I followed up by asking if it was fun for her to reunite with Willis and Malkovich on the upcoming sequel. “It was awesome! I’m hoping for a third,” she said. “I love those guys. We are such an unlikely trio but it works.” 

I mentioned to Parker that while it is unfortunate Morgan Freeman was unable to return to the franchise, the addition of Anthony Hopkins must have made her quite happy. “Yes, we’ve got Anthony Hopkins and he’s fantastic” she replied with delight. 


Finally, since Willis’s character, Frank Moses, basically kidnapped Sarah in the first film, I asked the actress if she is more involved with the team this time around. “She is,” Parker replied. “She tries and fails, and tries and fails. With that character it’s more fun when she makes a jerk out of herself. That’s the part of that character that is the most gratifying for me.”

RED 2 opens in theaters on July 19th.



R.I.P.D. also opens in theaters on July 19th. 


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