Four years after the Cosmo-sipping, career-oriented, designer shoe-wearing gal pals of Sex and the City bid farewell to cable TV, their saga continues on the big screen with the one and only Sarah Jessica Parker leading the way as sexy single Carrie Bradshaw. Since the show debuted in 1998, Parker has become a female icon, not to mention a fashion icon, who’s all about taking risks. Just take a look at her that green hat-like construction she wore at Sex and the City’s London movie premiere! And while she likes to stand out on the red carpet, her home life is decidedly more low-key. She’s been married to Matthew Broderick since 1997 and the two are raising their 5-year-old son inâ€”where else?â€”New York City.
Parker explains just how the movie-version of HBO’s hit came to be. “In April of 2006, I picked up the phone and I called my agent and I said I really think we should revisit this idea, and it took a long time to get that thought, that sentence to a place where we could include [creator] Michael Patrick [King],” she says. “To have asked him to revisit would be a little bit reckless of me unless I knew there was a chance because I knew he would go and write a script and he can’t just write a script. He has to lock himself away and I didn’t want to pursue it with him until I knew it was a reality, but from that day to this day, that movie has died a hundred deaths. It has been in many homes, many different people financing it. We had practically no prep, no post-production. It has been standard operating procedure for us to function in complete chaos and endless questions and mysteries, but here we are, we did it.”
Though the plot points of the film have been shrouded in secrecy, pictures were released of Parker’s Carrie decked out in a truly spectacular wedding dress. “We started talking about wedding dresses in the latter part of June of 2007, so it was really fun and it wasn’t fun necessarily because I was finally living a dream you know? ” she says. “It was just fun because it was everything from, you know, designers from all over western Europe, eastern Europe, Harlem, the Lower East Side. We pulled from Kleinfeld’s, we pulled from Yves Saint Laurent, we pulled from Christian Lacroix, we pulled from a vintage shop in Miami. We had vintage translucent wedding dresses from the 60’s, we had dresses from the 40’s. It was just this ridiculous embarrassment of riches of white fluff and it was wonderful, but that was basically the experience of fittings with [costume designer] Pat [Fields], too. I mean that speaks to the larger idea of what it was to put together 81 outfits for me for the movie.”
Parker’s own wedding was a much less fashionable affair. Heck, she didn’t even wear whiteâ€”she wore black! “I did, I did,” she says. “Because as an actor a lot of attention is paid to you and for some reason I was under the impression that that day I should really not bring attention to myself and my husband kind of had the same attitude about it. I think we were embarrassed to be a traditional bride and groom. I think we wanted to really throw a party and deflect attention off of us. I think we felt we have plenty of attention in our work lives so we did as much as we could to diminish the conventional ideas.”
There are some big changes in store for Carrie, Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall), and there was a big change in the cast too. Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson came aboard as Carrie’s college-aged assistant. “First of all I just think that Michael Patrick was really smart to want to contrast being 20 to being 40, specifically for Carrie â€“ to be reminded of what she came to New York for, to be reminded of what New York represented and to know that it’s okay not to regret that time and not to want to tell Louise to fix anything- to believe in the simplicity of love and the promise of work and art and literature and everything Manhattan is,” she says. “But what I really think was so nice about it was that Michael was able to address those differences and address a short coming of ours on the show which was never having a woman of color on our series for all those years and the fact that Jennifer Hudson wanted to play the part was really, really lucky.”
So how have been people been reacting to the film so far? “People have been very responsive,” she says. “It’s been very positive and it’s been a nice kind of diverse group. I mean you are all a diverse group of people and it’s nice to hear people who never watched the show, who had no emotional connection, who have said, ‘Wow this is actually a screenplay that stands on its own.’ It’s not necessary that you knew these people before. And I think that is yet another example of the brilliance of Michael Patrick when it comes to these stories and telling them. He’s just so uniquely qualified to do so, so it has been so nice to see peoples’ faces and hear what they have to say and obviously there’s a gang of 10 million that we hope will feel the same way.”
But perhaps her husband’s response meant the most. “When the lights came up, he said ‘Not a false note baby,'” she says. “I was so relieved. Michael was like, ‘Do you have any notes?’ And he said ‘No.’ He had one idea which Michael was like, ‘Oh you’re right!’ But it wasn’t a note it was just an idea about where to put one shot to switch an order of a shot. He was really, really proud.”
Parker’s pretty sure Broderick isn’t the only man who’ll be seeing the film. As much as guys would like to deny it, it seems more of them know and appreciate Carrie and Co. than you might think. “From what I have gleaned it is something they can do with a girlfriend or a wife,” Parker says. “It’s something that they feigned they didn’t like at first, they were pulled kicking and screaming to the television on Sunday nights, reluctantly some, some less so, but I kind of get the impression from those that are willing to talk about it, that it’s something they do with a woman in their life, for straight men.”
Not many people get to star in a show that has become a part of pop culture, much like a buzzed-about movie version, and Parker knows it. “It feels like a dream,” she says. “It’s beyond words. It’s a real privilege, definitely, to have had this opportunity. It just doesn’t happen usually.”
And while she can’t reveal any spoilers about the film, she does give away a little tidbit about things that were cut out. “I’ll give you a little secret,” she says. “If you buy the book, there is this book that we did, and the book has all the [deleted] scenes in it because it went to print and Michael was still in that editing room chopping away.”
Something tells us the final product will do just fine.