INT: Sarah Jessica Parker

After her remarkable success and several years of outstanding performances that won her best actress awards, I believe it is almost every woman’s dream, whether a New Yorker or not, to meet the infamous star of "Sex and the City". Parker is incredibly sophisticated, stylish, sweet, confident and humble. She most recently captured audiences with her performance in THE FAMILY STONE.

In the upcoming romantic comedy FAILURE TO LAUNCH, Parker is a prudent business woman who tries to steer clear of relationships and love. She is hired by McConaughey’s on screen parents to lure the grown man away from home. The chemistry is natural and Parker’s dazzling performance makes it so easy for audiences to continue to love her. I felt privileged to sit down last week with this fashion icon and talk to her about her experience while making the film. Check out what she had to say.

Sarah Jessica Parker

You were so much fun to watch in this movie. Was this character a cut from Carrie in anyway?

No, not that I think. I never even thought of them. I didn't see any connective tissue except that they were both kind of sort of blonde. But to me there is a big difference because Carrie is so curious and introspective about the situation and conversation and thinks of herself in terms of relationships, or in terms of sexual politics or in self-intimacy and is endlessly mining and examining that, and Paula does everything to reflect from her own relationships, from her personal experiences. She's one of those people that seems to be very good at being a critical eye for others and a fixer, but has absolutely no interest in examining why there is a great deficit in her own romantic life. So to me they're very different because one, even when there is failing romantically, talking about it, and the other has cut herself off from anything. It's as if it's illegal to her or something.

Do you miss 'Sex And The City' or is it a faded memory at this point?

Oh, God. No. No. There are things that I'll probably miss for as long as I have cognitive thinking, until I'm senile and then make up my own memories. I miss parts of it. I like being nostalgic for it, and I like being reminded of it. I like people still talking to me about it. It has a second life now too.

The censored version?

Yeah, which apparently, I saw it and I didn't find it particularly censored. The only time that I've ever seen it my character said the one dirty thing that she's ever said and it was on television. So I don't know what the standards and practices are for each of the two networks that bought it, but the only one that I ever saw I was stunned.

This movie is about unhappy people that seem to get happier, right?

[Laughs] Isn't that just like life? That is a recipe for a sequel, that's what that is. So they can get that much happier the next time, and then get unhappy only to become that much happier again.

When do you know that you have chemistry with Matthew [McConaughey]? Is it the first day or the first read, or what?

I don't think that I know. I don't think about whether or not that's something that's ongoing. I don't know.

You don’t think about that as an actress?

Well, let me put it this way; I feel very, very comfortable with him versus some actors where I've just not felt that. I mean, it's kind of all over the place, but that is I think one of his specialties. He's extremely comfortable. He's extremely natural. He's extremely easy in front of the camera. He's clearly easy on the eyes and he likes the flirtation. He likes it onscreen. And unless you are cut off in some way it'd be hard not to respond to it. So it was very easy. That sounds as if it was effortless which of course it never is, the work in general, but he reminds me of John Corbet a lot because they kind of breath in the camera. They just feel good in front of a camera and that makes the person opposite them feel comfortable.

Do you feel like your character at all, can you relate to her at all?

I don't really relate to her, no.

You think that you show your emotions more than she does?

Well, I think that I just tend to be more inviting of relationships. I just feel like she – whatever her back story is something happened where she is not available. It takes great confidence to follow them up because there is tremendous risk and the odds are that you could get ravaged. Your heart could get broken and the recovery time is unbearable, and most people are willing to take the chance. It's just odd for someone to be so completely timid about that.

Are you a hopeless romantic?

I think that in some kind of poetic way most everyone I know is. But there's also reality.

After a few years of marriage the hopeless romance goes away?

Well, I think that you can still project onto someone whatever it is you want.


Well, that too. But maybe I don't know, and maybe that's one of the great things about being an actor. Also, it's a very romantic city, and romance, I always think of it as this one idea, but it changes, I think, in marriage. Having a child makes a marriage, I think, much more romantic. You have this thing in common that you love in a new way. I don't know.

You love motherhood, don't you?

I love it, yeah. Definitely. I feel like we have a really good one.

Are you going to have another one soon?

Oh, who knows. We'll see.

Is this character a bad person because she's an intervention specialist? She's criticized at the end of the movie for not being an honest person? Is this a horrible profession if it really existed?

I think that any number of people could look at the ethics of it and question it, but I think that it's a romantic comedy and there is always like two flawed people who are resisting each other that you're supposed to vote for getting together and I would say that if she were able to really articulate in a kind of very clear way, 'Look, if I had to do it all over again would I do it differently? Absolutely. Did I make mistakes? Absolutely. Did Would I choose to have directed the destination point in a different fashion? Definitely.'

There are a million things about how she dealt with this particular client that she would undo, but there are so many things now that leave one to ponder the ethics and I think that the ever evolving – the fish stinks from the head down. When we deal with things that are endlessly questionable constantly everything, the moral compass I feel has shifted so much and in favor of story this is what we've done. But I think that she's definite worthy of criticism. I'm not going to defend her. I had a couple of people yesterday who really found rather unlikable. I couldn't argue. But I would say that she's someone who is avoiding something.

But everyone is equally deceitful in their own ways, right?

Absolutely, and I feel that Trip's character [McConaughey] is equally flawed. He's been deceptive in his own way as well and I think that she has good points. But I think that there are old fashioned ideas about men and women's roles, and I think that Trip's character has rather dated concepts of men and women which is interesting to me.

He also has no intention of that relationship going anywhere, right?

It seems to me, yeah.

So he's entering that relationship with as much baggage, don't you think?

Sure. But she is on the surface somehow more complicit in the deception because where his is like an emotional thing hers is an actually business, a contract that he finds.

Emma Thompson recently said that the roles for women in Hollywood are crap which I thought is kind of prophetic.

Yeah, it is.

They say today that there are few roles for women, but you seem to do okay. How do you go about choosing roles, and what do you look for?

Well, I don't want to dispute Ms. Thompson because I think that her experiences are very real. I mean, I think that there are two hopeful things. It seems to me that there are a huge number of women running studios who are of a certain age who still believe in romance and still want to see it and are still experiencing it no matter what their lifestyle choices. So I think that the question is do movies with women of a certain age make money, and I think that's the bottom line.

And so if there are new inventive, exciting ways to make a romantic comedies or movies that are of interest to an adult audience with sophisticated themes which I think Emma Thompson would like, if there's a way to do them and have them be cost effective in a way we will all benefit, all of us women who want to play interesting roles. The other thing is that the more a particular group of women age and the more they are still in positions where they are commercially successful actresses the better off the rest of us will be as well. So I think that we sort of have to wait and see, but I must say that there are a lot of great scripts that I'm reading, and I don't know if it's of a time or what? I know that a proportion of them aren't $40 million films, but still a $17 to a $22 million budget is very generous with the preponderance of independent movie making. I think that's pretty good.

What are you doing next?

I haven't decided. I know what I'm doing next now – nothing until December. I'm just taking a break for the first time in over a year. Matthew stops working in June and my son is in school and so June to August is a real set holiday. The summer break is now going to dictate everything.

You'll get in RV and go see America ?

"Yeah, right. No. We'll go to the beach and maybe travel a little bit. Oh my God, it's thrilling.

There were rumors about the 'Sex and the City' movie, and that everyone was onboard, but Kim [Catrell]. Was that true?


Now there's no chance at all?

I think that somehow the moment has past. I feel that way. I think that there was a time when there was great momentum and the production was all set and ready and the script was ready and we had our stages up, but the stages are gone. The sets have been dismantled. They've been sold. The pieces are gone. The wardrobe is gone. Everything was ready.

Was it money or billing or what?

I think that you'd have to talk to her to be specific, and I'd never want to – there were a number of reasons, and so I'm not certain exactly. But I think that you have to respect someone's choice to want to move on in their life in a way. We kind of have to reconcile. I mean, it's a hard pill to swallow and it was especially hard at the time because the script was so great.

Would you call him John or Mr. Big in the movie?

Oh, I think that I would have to call him Big. Definitely.

Would you ever do another television series?

I don't see that right now because why would I leave that to go do another one, and the whole idea was to have the time to be a parent and to do movies again. Television is such an enormous commitment. I kind of like Blythe Danner has navigated her career. I feel like she's done such a smart thing. She does such interesting movies, and then she had a family, and now at this point in her life she's doing television which is kind of like her trump card.

You mentioned that stage is always good for a woman. Why is that?

Yeah, because they are receptive regardless of your age. I haven't done it for a long time, it's been four years.

Would you do another show again on Broadway?

Yeah, if it worked out.

Maybe you and Matthew?

No. We don't have any plans to.

That'd be a great show though.

You say [Laughs]. I mean, I kind of like that we have these separate professional careers and I think that I'm a great audience for Matthew and a great support. I think that I serve him very well in that capacity and the idea of the two of us going through the very painful process of putting together a Broadway play or musical, I don't know how our family could survive it.

And you wouldn't be home together?

Exactly. And I love that I'm home every night to put James to bed or most nights. The two of us gone every night, I don't know about that.

What was the idea for 'The Sex And The City' movie?

I would say that it involved two weddings. No funerals. Two weddings and no funerals. But it was really good.

Do you feel like your competing against teenagers in this business?

Well, no. I definitely do. I feel like I'm competing against sixteen year old boys wanting to see movies for knuckleheads. That's what I feel like I'm competing against because I remember a time when adults went to movies. If you think about 'Terms of Endearment,' that particular time of movie making – gosh. From the time I remember going to the movies which is like the mid '70's until about five or seven years ago there were always these adult films and they made money, or they made their money back and it wasn't such a risk.

So I feel that I have to compete against an audience's taste. But I don't compete with teenagers. What, am I crazy? That'd be delusional and crazy, and I don't have any interest in doing it. It's very lucky timing for me. I think that it's wonderful. If I carried a pink cell phone that'd be crazy. That's for Lindsay Lohan, she's the age, and she should carry a pink cell phone. You need to understand and know your age and that's great.

And embrace it?

Yeah. If I wore a really short skirt it doesn't serve you very well. It's very depressing.

Are there any films that you'd like to do as a remake?

Well, I'm like, 'Why do you want to remake it?' that's the only thing. If it's so great why put yourself in that vulnerable position of being compared. She's not Elaine May. She's not a million people. That would be bad.

There was an episode of 'Sex And The City' where a girl was fawning over and wanted you to be her mentor. Does that happen to you in real life?

You mean, like young civilians, and not actresses? Oh, right. They don't ask me questions. They just talk to me or talk about the show, but they tend to not ask me advice which I'm so glad for because I don't have any. I mean, I really don't. I'm not a professional in any way. I mean, if they want to talk about being an actor or something, that's different, but I don't really have very good advice. I'm very bad at advice.

Are they mostly respectful in public?

Oh, yeah, absolutely. There are inopportune times and there are times that certainly feel like they are more invasive than others, but generally people are good.

Why did people connect so strongly to that show, and did you know that show would be like that?

No. Gosh, no. Why did it connect? I don't know. The only thing that I think is that it was just a new voice. It was a fresh voice for women and it was shot in an exciting way and there was an aesthetic sensibility about the show that was pretty arresting and it had been a long time since New York had been shot for television, and not in my memory had it ever been – sort of the sparkle and poetry of the city rather than all these great shows like 'Law & Order,' but they're all the kind of gritty things. There was this fantasy about the show, and just the idea about women speaking candidly about things that were more intimate in nature. I think that just hadn't happened.

And do you think that you drove John Corbet into a singing career and not an acting career?

Why is he not acting? What's happening with that album? Is it happening? Has it come out?

Are you going to launch another perfume?

We'll lunch the second phase of Lovely in September. And then the second fragrance after that. It's going well.

If you got a tattoo what would it be?

I would never get a tattoo. I'm too old for that. If I hadn't done it yet why would I now.

Source: JoBlo.com



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