Going to the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, you realize that Christopher Guest's Best in Show is a perfect satire. So when we saw the star of that movie, Parker Posey, wandering around the show's benching area yesterday, we had to stop her to reminisce about her role.
One of the reasons Westminster is so great–aside from it being the most high profile dog show around—is that it's a benched show, meaning that spectators can go and mingle with the dogs and their handlers before the competition. The benching area is not a VIP space, so anyone can pet a champion. The pug in competition, for instance, was eager to jump on kneeling spectators. We, meanwhile, spent a lot of time cooing over the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, a new breed competing for the first time this year.
While wandering around—we had been attending as a fan, not as a reporter—our hearts skipped a beat when we noticed Posey in the crowd. Dressed in all black, hair up, drink in her hand, Posey in this real-life dog show context was miles away from her Best in Show character, a neurotic Weimaraner owner with braces and a severe bob who shares an affinity for catalogues and Starbucks with her equally severe husband. We asked if we could grab a few words with her, and she obliged.
So you’ve always been a dog fan—
So before Best in Show?
Of course, who isn’t a dog fan?
But I have to ask you because Best in Show is one of my favorite movies, did you learn more about the dog show world from that?
Of course, we worked with real dog show competitors. So they were around on set when we were filming. So the people in the background that you see are real dog show people. So we would do a take and then Chris [Guest] would say, do you want a recap of how to brush the dog. I remember he brought over a professional groomer. She came over right before a take and she criticized our dog. She said, the coat’s all wrong, this dog would never compete. The color’s all wrong. And we’re like, we’re about to shoot.
Was it the Weimaraner?
Yeah, that’s right.
So had you come to dog shows before this?
Just last year.
Did you look at it totally differently after doing that movie?
I love a backstage look at any kind of show. So this kind of thing is heaven for me.
And are you a dog owner?
What do you have?
I have a Bichon Poodle Maltese.
Her dog, for the record, is very cute. We only regret not screaming something at her about a busy bee.