When she finished making Waiting For Guffman, Parker Posey was “devastated.” After all, that was the end of her time with Corky St. Clair, Christopher Guest’s small-town theater maven. Posey was Libby Mae Brown, his devoted, gum-smacking ingenue. “I had never worked in this way that felt so real and felt like family. I loved Corky so much. I was so sad to lose him,” she told The A.V. Club during a recent phone interview. “I cried in the van on the way home, and he held my hand, and I didn’t think I’d see him again.”
But Posey got to reunite with Corky in Mascots, Guest’s new film, in which he reprises his role and she plays another acolyte of his (the movie just started streaming on Netflix). Posey steps into the mask of Cindi Babineaux, a mascot/modern dancer/performance artist at a Mississippi women’s college named for Amelia Earhart. Her routines as Alvin The Armadillo are less concerned with pumping up the crowd than taking them on a philosophical journey, and so it makes sense that Corky would be her mentor. He was always something of a visionary. “It was a trip,” Posey said of working with Corky again. “He’s so fun.”
Mascots is yet another one of Guest’s mockumentaries, introducing its audience to the enthusiastic participants in the 8th World Mascot Association Championships, otherwise known as the Fluffies. Cindi’s competitors include a sexually aggressive fist (Chris O’Dowd), a hedgehog with daddy issues (Tom Bennett), and a hapless plumber (Christopher Moynihan). Posey and Guest’s collaboration may have began with Guffman, but this latest is their fifth film together. Her zany energy has also been a key part of Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration.
Posey said she develops a special connection to her Guest characters, given that she invests so much in creating them. She came up with a backstory for Cindi that involves a Martha Graham-type teacher and a spiritual connection to the creature she portrays. “In normal scripts you get the dialogue and the lines and you think, ‘What’s behind the person that says this? And is there subtext underneath this line? Do they mean what they say?’ In lots of comedies now, it’s a tone thing. It’s more broad, and more knowing,” Posey explained. “In the Chris Guest movies, since you’re coming up with your own material, it takes up a bigger space in your psyche.”