Actor Mary Louise Parker treated Reddit readers to a good old-fashioned "Ask me Anything" session. She shared some interesting tidbits about her starring role on Weeds, acting and her personal life, which involves being a mom, baking and an appreciation for dwarf goats and donkeys. We grabbed some of the most fascinating details from the AMA for your enjoyment.
She and a producer named Lisa fought to keep the "Little Boxes" musical intro for Weeds. And she loved the different versions of the song. "I loved when they had different people do different versions of the song, and I was really sad when there was no musical intro. One of the producers Lisa and I kept fighting for that. She really, really loved it. And I think the last year she kind of put her foot down about it, so that’s why they brought it back for the last season. But I loved it most when there were different versions of it."
She got a leech stuck on her leg during Fried Green Tomatoes. Parker shared some trivia about the 1991 movie, including a gross leech story and a nod to her mother. "I got a leech stuck to my leg in the scene where I had to dive in the swamp and a grip had to come over and burn it off with his lighter." Yuck! She also said that her character Ruth was based on her mother. Mostly. "I mean, she was a character in a book first, so I tried to draw from the text. But I used my mother a lot in bringing her to life."
She did more research for The West Wing than she did for Weeds, but she wore less sunblock. When asked about the difference between working on the Sorkin drama vs. working on Weeds, it sounds like it came down to research and skincare. "I didn’t have to run the phone to call my brother to ask him what a caucus was. I had to do a lot of research for West Wing so I would know what I was saying. Also, West Wing was all indoors, which affected my level of sunblock."
Counting Crows' "Butterfly in Reverse" was written about her. This may not be news to Counting Crows fans, but Parker confirmed that the Hard Candy tune was written for her. "It was, it was written by Adam Duritz and Ryan Adams. I know them, I love the song. It doesn’t get a lot of airplay though. Adam told me he started writing it the night after I won a Tony, and then Ryan came over. They’re two of my favorite singers and good friends, both of them."
She has dwarf goats and a donkey. And it all started with a donkey rescue site. "I was googling donkeys at donkeyrescue.com, a donkey rescue site, and I realized a donkey would be more work, and that goats would be more low maintenance, so I was lead to goats. And I kept trying to make my needs more manageable, so the goats kept getting smaller and smaller. One of them they said was a dwarf goat, but he has tripled in size... But now I have a donkey too, so I’ve fulfilled my dream."
She doesn't smoke weed, but if she did, she'd smoke it with Snoop Dogg "in a New York minute". "Maybe he can make me a starter kit!" she joked. And later admitted she did try a pot lollipop. "Somebody had given me one as a present and I was feeling super nauseous. I kept it in my shoe cabinet for months, and I remembered it was there, and I was feeling so awful. So I dug it out and tried to peel the plastic off of it and it did absolutely nothing. It was very disappointing. I’m not opposed to the idea of smoking pot, it just never seemed liked the right time, and I have an addictive personality."
She makes excellent scones. "But they’re never good enough, she says. She also said she bakes without a cookbook and she's also famous in "certain circles" for her muffins.
She drinks iced coffee the way Nancy does. It sounds like her method of holding the plastic iced coffee cup from the top is something she picked up from Nancy and has since gotten smirks from fans who notice her doing it. "I wasn’t drinking any coffee at all when we started, and then I started drinking coffee around season 3. I started holding the cup like a claw around the top, and that carried over into my real life. Sometimes I see people smirking at me when I’m walking down the street holding a cup of coffee like that, and now it’s kind of ingrained in me."
She has a celebrity crush on Alison Pill's talent. When asked about celebrity crushes, she brought up The Newsroom's Alison Pill and poet Mark Strand, though with Pill, it seems to be more about her talent as an actor than physical attraction. "I have a crush on Alison Pill’s talent, but I don’t really want to get with her. I would say, most of my celebrity crushes I’ve gotten to at least simulate romance with, which is frankly usually better than a real relationship. Most of my crushes are probably musicians or poets anyway. I have a big crush on Mark Strand."
She loves the Weeds Season 4 scene where Nancy orders the gift basket for Silas. After admitting that she was never really happy with the "Judah I tried" scene, Parker said she loved the writing on the scene where she tries to make amends to Silas by ordering a gift basket over the phone while she was driving. ""I just thought it was so well written. When you get a scene like that, that is so beautifully written, you just want to stay out of the way of it and not ruin it."
Kevin Nealon made it really hard for Hunter Parrish (Silas) to get through the last scene of Weeds. "The last scene he shot on the show, he was off-camera for Hunter, and Hunter couldn’t get through a half of a take because Kevin was making him laugh so hard. I have the whole thing on tape. I have reams of footage of Hunter just laughing and trying to get one sentence out. But Kevin is so funny naturally, he’s just so inherently witty and clever and silly, that any one of us could say the exact same thing and it would never be funny.
She did a love scene for Weeds that was so rough and went on for so long that she had "battle wounds." Apparently, no one heard the director say "cut" when she and the other actor were shooting it and "it went on so long that I thought I was going to have a change-of-life baby. My makeup artist ran over to see if she could hear anything, and we just kept going and it was so gnarly. I had some war wounds."
Speaking of love scenes, this clip below is NOT SAFE FOR WORK...
For theatrical reasons, she loved the love scene with Justin Kirk. But it doesn't sound like she has any complaints about any of the sexy scenes she did on Weeds. "There were so many delicious scenes that I was lucky enough to do. For theatrical reasons, I love the scenes with Justin at the very end of the show. I just thought it was emotionally and dramatically really interesting, and chemically they were all pretty great. Especially anything with Damian. Delicioso."
And finally, she would be on Orange is the New Black in a second if she was asked. Given that Orange is done by Jenji Kohan, who created Weeds, it's understandable that fans would love to see Nancy Botwln (or Parker playing some other mischievous criminal type) on the Netflix series. From what Parker says, she's game! "I would love to be on any show Jenji does. I would be honored if she ever offered me a part, I’d be there in a second. I don’t look so good in orange though. Maybe I should be a guard? I don’t know if anyone would buy that though."
You can read the full AMA here!