In a perfect world, actresses like Hope Davis would be able to survive on the paychecks from being in independent films, such as "Next Stop Wonderland." But even she knows that's not going to happen anytime soon.

"If I could do it, I would be happy just acting theatrically in New York, and I would love to play nothing but quirky (movie) roles. They don't pay the bills, unfortunately," Davis said during a telephone interview from Denver, where she was helping publicize the opening of the new movie.Davis also expressed admiration for independent cinema queen Parker Posey, who has made a career out of taking roles in small-budget films, including "The House of Yes" and "Party Girl."

"I can't believe (Posey) can make so many movies and still be so good in every one of them. It's amazing," she said. "I know I have to work at my own speed. A movie just takes everything out of me, and it takes me a while to recover."

Still, her stellar work in "Next Stop Wonderland," as well as the black comedy "The Daytrippers" has Davis in demand in Hollywood. She recently completed work on both "Mumford," for writer/director Lawrence Kasdan, and "Arlington Road," where she acts opposite Jeff Bridges and Joan Cusack.

"I can't believe that I'm working with names this big. I mean, I've worked with some extremely talented people, but this is pretty surreal," she said, almost self-effacingly. "When they tell me they like my work, it's bound to go to my head."

Ultimately, though, the person Davis said she's most worried about impressing is her mother, whom she hasn't allowed to see some of her work.

"There are some things I've done that I just as soon she didn't see, like the sex scene in `The Myth of Fingerprints,' " she said. "And she's always wondering why I'm doing movies in which the mother is portrayed sort of negatively.

"But thankfully, the relationship with my on-screen mother (Holland Taylor) in `Next Stop Wonderland' is better, so I might let her see this one. She'll probably like it."