The following year, Posey crossed over to celluloid with roles in three movies. Two of these, The Coneheads and Joey Breaker, featured the actress as little more than a glorified extra, but the third, Linklater's Dazed and Confused, allowed Posey to make a distinct impression. As cheerleader Darla, she used her relatively brief screen time to display the nastier side of teen popularity. She played a similar character the same year on the small screen, taking a memorable turn as ex-pep queen turned good-time girl Connie Bradshaw in PBS' Tales of the City (she would later reprise the role for More Tales of the City in 1998).
Following secondary to miniscule parts in films like Sleep With Me, Amateur, and Mixed Nuts (all 1994), Posey had her breakthrough role as the titular heroine of Daisy von Scherler Mayer's Party Girl in 1995. She caused an arthouse sensation with her portrayal of Mary, a downtown diva forced to take a day job as a librarian, and began to ascend the ranks of indie royalty. Appearances in Hal Hartley's Flirt, Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation, and Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming the same year further enhanced her reputation.
Posey's work over the next two years reads like a Sundance Film Festival program: in 1996, she could be seen as a Dairy Queen waitress in the ensemble-driven Waiting for Guffman; famed gallery owner Mary Boone in Basquiat; and Hope Davis' sister in The Daytrippers. In 1997, Posey starred in no less than five independent films, including Henry Fool, her third Hartley outing; the temps-in-hell comedy-drama Clockwatchers; Linklater's adaptation of Eric Bogosian's SubUrbia; and The House of Yes. For this last film, Posey garnered particular acclaim: as the film's fabulously demented focal point, she shone as a young woman obsessed with both Jackie Onassis and her own twin brother (Josh Hamilton). Her performance, which perfectly displayed the hyperkinetic comic energy and sardonic wit that came to characterize many of the actress' portrayals, won her a "special recognition for acting" at Sundance that year.
1998 brought more independent work in the form of The Misadventures of Margaret, a romantic comedy in which Posey had the title role and a foray into mainstream features with a turn as Tom Hanks' book editor girlfriend in Nora Ephron's You've Got Mail. The following year, she took another stab, so to speak, at mainstream fare with a part in Wes Craven's third installment of his Scream series, the aptly titled Scream 3. In 2000 Parker went indie again and reunited with Waiting for Guthman creator, Christopher Guest, for his next mocumentary about the world of dog showing. The following year however she appeared in another mainstream film Josie and the Pussycats as the ‘villainess’ Fiona. In 2001 Parker appeared in the ensemble cast of The Anniversary Party, which was co-written and –directed by her ‘Josie’ costar Alan Cummings.
This year she gave a supporting role in The Sweetest Thing and gave a
critically acclaimed performance in Rebecca Miller’s Personal Velocity.
Coming up she will be in The Event and her third Christopher Guest film,
A Mighty Wind.
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