Michael Clancy, costume designer: “At that time, I was going out to clubs a lot. I was working as a costume designer, but years before I had worked at a pretty famous nightclub called Area, which was a very trendy, scene-y place. Somebody who used to come there was a friend of Daisy’s, and they recommended me. All of the characters in the film were people that were very familiar to me. I knew the person that Parker Posey was playing, I knew the person that Guillermo Díaz was playing. I knew all of these people. They were my friends.”

Parker Posey, actor: “People still say it’s a movie they like to turn on when they’re about to go out. At that time in the ’90s there was so much going out, and thinking about what you were gonna wear. Plus, of course, just laughing with your friends and dancing. It was a little after voguing came onto the scene, and there was so much self-expression. It was all a lot of fun.”

Von Scherler Mayer: “I did my share of gay clubbing, but Harry knew the scene better than me, as did Bill Coleman, who did the music. There were a bunch of cameos which are so funny in hindsight, because I now have to point out to people that the It Twins with the green hair really were a big get for us. They were real nightlife characters and we were so excited to have them. Then we got Natasha Twist, who does the voguing with Mary. It was big to get Natasha, and of course Lady Bunny who we did know and Harry was friends with.”

Posey: “There was so much energy back then, it was so vibrant. I remember seeing RuPaul at the Love Machine in 1991, watching drag queens perform and going to Wigstock, and this real sense of acceptance for queer people of color and their community. It felt like a moment.”

Von Scherler Mayer: “There was even a time where Debbie Harry was going to be in the film, but she couldn’t do it in the end. It definitely wasn’t people from Hollywood going in to make a movie about that scene, then doing a really bastardized version of it. Our tentacles were deep in the actual world we were depicting.”

II. Finding Parker Posey, and Finding Mary’s Style

Von Scherler Mayer: “Parker wasn’t a household name, but she was well-known among casting directors because she was that crazy girl who would come in dressed in the most amazing outfits—a lot like Mary, really. When Laura Rosenthal, the casting director, read the script she said, ‘Oh my god, I know exactly who this part is.’ Parker was out of town so I gave her a call before she came in to audition, and she was like, ‘I have 80 pairs of shoes, I have to play this part!’ ”

Posey: “I still have a lot of librarians who come up to me and say like, ‘Oh my god, you made librarians cool!’ This type of woman that does like to have fun, but also does like to read! They’re around, I promise you. [laughs]”