Vanguard Award: Sarah Jessica Parker
So, just how many Parkers are there in a Sarah Jessica Parker day? There’s SJP, the movie star. SJP, the mother. SJP, the fashion (Bitten) and fragrance (Coty) businesswoman. And let’s not forget SJP, the HBO production company.
“I haven’t pursued world domination,” Parker jokes. “I feel like I’m like most mothers in this country — just managing and always feeling like you’re falling short and disappointing someone. I can’t believe what I’ve accomplished in a day, and, on the other hand, I can’t believe what I didn’t accomplish.”
What has been finally achieve is the long-awaited “Sex and the City: The Movie,” which Parker began plotting back in April 2000. “We always thought we were making little movies every week, but there is obviously a big difference in the mediums,” she says. “You have to acknowledge what the audience knows, then you have to kind of dial everything up. There had to be a story worth telling to ask people to leave their houses, come to the theater and pay for us once again.”
Director-writer Michael Patrick King begins the film four years after the HBO TV ends. The last time we saw Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw, she and Big (Chris Noth) were pursuing a grown-up romance. “It’s now been 10 years that they’ve been in a relationship,” says Parker. “The stakes are much higher. There’s a lot more trust and potential, so it only adds to what happens, which is very surprising. It doesn’t follow the normal blueprint for romantic comedy.”
Before auds get a look at “Sex and the City,” they can sample Parker’s other spring 2008 release, “Smart People,” due out in April. She calls it a “smartly written adult dramedy,” which is “hopefully different” from her previous movie fare, “Failure to Launch” and “The Family Stone.”
“That’s pretty much been my criteria,” she says. “Hopefully nothing is familiar to me as I make choices.”
But it is Parker, the mother, who has the final say on the celebrity’s complex and busy career. “I can’t do any of these things if I think my son isn’t in a perfectly content place in his life,” she says.
Who’d ever think that Parker’s original role model was Woody Allen. But then, it makes sense if you ponder the Manhattan connection.
“One of the first movies I ever saw in my life was ‘Sleeper,’ ” she recalls. “Woody Allen became iconic to so many of us — an aspirational person in an aspirational city living this life of an intellectual who was eating interesting foods and talking to interesting people and reading interesting books and being political and being an East Coaster. He was all those things that I strived to be and my mom and dad were striving to be.”