Vanguard Award: Sarah Jessica Parker


Actress. Producer. Clothing designer. Fashion icon. Family woman. Sarah Jessica Parker is one busy lady. Her diverse interests and talents make her an ideal recipient of the first-ever ShoWest Vanguard Award, an honor designed to recognize those rare women and men who successfully leave their mark on both the entertainment and business worlds.

Recently, Parker took a break from finishing up postproduction on New Line's "Sex and the City: The Movie," one of the most hotly anticipated films of 2008, to speak with Trisha Tucker for The Hollywood Reporter about her busy life and why she just can't resist a new challenge.

The Hollywood Reporter: You took on the joint roles of producer and actor for "Sex and the City: The Movie." What do you consider the biggest rewards and challenges of the producing role to be?
Sarah Jessica Parker: There's an enormous amount about producing that I
really like. I love the collaboration; I love being part of the conversation; I love feeling responsible for people; I love feeling responsible to people; I love the burden and the worry and the anxiety; I love the challenge of it; I love putting all the pieces together; and I like being able to provide opportunities for people. You may or may not know that this movie had many fits and starts. Over the course of time, the movie fell apart and got put back together again. There's a lot that is very meaningful about getting this movie done for me, specifically because I just really felt like it was now or never, and I'm so proud that we managed to do it despite enormous obstacles that were thrown in the path.

THR: It's probably the most cliched question around, but have you ever considered trying your hand at directing?
Parker: There was a period where I was going to maybe direct an episode of the show, but for some reason that didn't happen. I think directing actors is a real privilege, and you don't want to mess it up, and you don't want to do it wrong. But I don't really see those skills in myself. I think, being one of eight children, my personality is more suited for producing. I
really relish putting something together from the ground up the way a producer does.

THR: Can you see yourself taking on another long-term television role in the future?
Parker: I don't think I can go back to the kind of commitment that television requires. I wouldn't have traded any of my experiences on "Sex and the City," but I had a baby and part of the decision to stop doing the show was that I really needed to spend time as a mother, both because I wanted to and also because my son was getting to the age where he would really need me and notice those 18-hour absences. But also, I was so happy and felt so content at work on "Sex and the City," and I thought, "Well, that's the very reason I should be in a terrifying, unfamiliar, completely foreign situation again." When I started acting as a child,
I really was a journeyman, and that's what I really loved. I like that now I can do a couple different movies a year and try new things and be scared and not know anybody and be all the things that an actor should be.

THR: Are you filming anything right now?
Parker: No, I'm in the middle of all the post work on "SATC." It's a huge amount that I'm still doing every day. I have a lot of work to do before May 30 (the film's release date). And I have a company that produces for HBO, so now that the writers strike is over, we are right back in the thick of things.