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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 07/10/2009

Mary Louise Parker: Prude or Pin-up?

By Liz Kelly

Mary-Louise Parker in a "Weeds" promo pic. (Reuters/Showtime)

Whoa -- can one get celebrity news-induced whiplash? If so, Mary-Louise Parker, who stars as a pot-peddling suburban mom on the Showtime series "Weeds," may force me to strap on a neck brace.

Back in May, Parker told MORE magazine she regretted filming a nude scene for her Showtime series "Weeds":

"I didn't think I needed to be naked. I fought with the director about it, and now I am bitter. I knew it was going to be on the Internet: 'Mary Louise shows off her big nipples.' I wish I hadn't done that. I was goaded into it."

Yet Parker seems to have had no compunction about posing as a near-naked baker (NSFW pix) in the latest issue of Esquire and, in fact, showing off her big nipples.

Parker has a long history of posing, and writing, for the magazine, too. She's just launched a video series in which she reads bedtime stories clad in bra and panties and, in March, she shared her enthusiasm for having sex in public:

Public and even semipublic sex will get you a burst of cortisol and a particular delicious anxiety. If you can't stomach the thought of a light felony charge or possible public stoning, consider the hallway...

Listen, I'm all for going starkers, but make up your mind, Mary-Louise. Either you're a prim prude or an exhibitionist (and if I have that bod at 44, I might consider some naked baking myself), but you can't be both.

By Liz Kelly  | July 10, 2009; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Mary-Louise Parker has said that interview misportrayer her feelings about the nude scenes. Specifically in her AVClub interview she said:

"It made it look like they were trying to manipulate me, and like I was bitter toward them. That made me really tired when I read that—like 'Wow, I really wish I wouldn’t have been represented like that.'"

Full interview here:,29213/

Posted by: ersatzverite | July 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

She should try to be in Jodie Foster's Beaver (with Mel Gibson) -- assuming she isn't a prude.

Posted by: dbunkr | July 10, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think the MLP's kvetching was a negotiating ploy. She clearly doesn't have a lot of inhibitions.

My parents were in town earlier this week. Since we couldn't agree on what to watch, I put on this week's episode of Weeds. The one where Andy has doggie style sex with his dead brother's nutty ex-girlfriend in an 80s nostalgia fantasy scenario under the boardwalk while bums look on and defecate on the beach.

In my living room was my mom, my dad, my wife, my nineteen year old son, and his college buddy. Yup, in the yellojkt household, Weeds qualifies as family entertainment.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 10, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Weeds is the good stuff.

I had been keeping up with it on dvd, then just as this season started, I got a free 3-month trial of showtime. Now it's ended and I'm thinking of subscribing just for Weeds and Nurse Jackie.

Posted by: memphis1 | July 10, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Can't get all hot and bothered about Mary Louise Parker. (Take that however.)
She's an OK actress, like on "The West Wing," but a little goes a long way.
And no interest in seeing any of her "big" assets revealed either. Whatevs.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | July 10, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I love "Weeds" and am in love with MLP. Although, it's possible that I'm just in love with the Character of Nancy Botwin. I thought I was in love with Jennifer Garner for the longest time, but it turned out I was just in love with the Character of Sydney Bristow. It's amazing what marrying and getting knocked up by Ben Affleck will do to disillusion a boy.

I predict that if MLP ever gets married to, or knocked up by, Ben Affleck, I will no longer love her as well.

We had showtime at my old house, but move in the middle of Season 3. 1) Is that out on DVD yet? 2) When does Season 4 Start? I was also bummed about missing Season 3 of "Dexter."

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

JOHNNY: The latest Hollywood rumor is that Mary Louise Parker has big nipples!

ED [leading the crowd]: How big are they?

JOHNNY: They're so big that I'm hiring them to replace you, you boob!

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 10, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Public and even semipublic sex will get you a burst of cortisol and a particular delicious anxiety."

Cortisol also depresses your immune system, so make sure you're wearing a condom!

Posted by: mdreader01 | July 10, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse


Only a woman would make this an issue. Guys don't care! ;-) (As long as she keeps parking - uh, posing.)

Posted by: cmecyclist | July 10, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I think there is a big difference between doing things you are comfortable with and being goaded into doing things that you are not comfortable with.

She may be mostly fine with her body, but not a big fan of her nipples - and is regretting putting the object of her insecurities on display for all the world to comment on. I totally get it.

Posted by: karmadarling | July 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

She was tremendous in Hedda Gabler off-Broadway.

Posted by: boutros23 | July 10, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Liz, it's easy to have a body as good looking as that of Mary Louise Parker in the jpeg you posted.


Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 10, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"Liz, it's easy to have a body as good looking as that of Mary Louise Parker in the jpeg you posted.


Aw, c'mon. Just because a woman is over 40 doesn't mean that she looks like the Cryptkeeper without retouching.

Posted by: onlytheshadowknows1 | July 10, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

onlytheshadowknows1, I suspect Sas was hoping she'd look more like a Cryptidkeeper ;-)

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 10, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I love me some Mary Louise Parker, with or without clothing.

Posted by: rw-c | July 11, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

i dont normally do this, but in a week of strong contenders i think VTDuffman needs a nomination for comment of the week for:

"I predict that if MLP ever gets married to, or knocked up by, Ben Affleck, I will no longer love her as well."

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | July 11, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

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