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Sarah Jessica Parker, this week’s guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, is one of the most widely admired actresses in show business. Though she is only 57, she has already been in the business for some 45 years, having started as a child performer and matured, over decades of ups and downs, into a full-fledged star. Her credits include notable projects like the films Footloose, L.A. Story, Honeymoon in Vegas, Hocus Pocus, Ed Wood, The First Wives Club, Mars Attacks!, The Family Stone and Smart People, and the TV series Square Pegs and Divorce.
But she will forever be most associated with the part of sex columnist-turned-podcaster Carrie Bradshaw, who she played on six seasons of HBO’s game-changing comedy series Sex and the City (from 1998 through 2004), in its two movie adaptations (in 2008 and 2010) and, most recently, on its HBO Max reboot And Just Like That…, which rolled out from December 2021 through February 2022.
Vogue, describing Sex and the City, wrote, “For a generation of women, the show almost single-handedly defined, in ways both poignant and comedic, distressing and dazzling, what it means to navigate the challenges and triumphs of friendship, love and career, through the interlocking stories of four best friends in turn-of-the-millennium NYC.” (Parker’s performance on the show brought her an Emmy Award; four Golden Globe Awards; and a SAG Award; and, as one of its producers, she won another Emmy and two more Golden Globes.) Now, nearly a quarter-century after Sex and the City introduced us to Carrie and her friends, And Just Like That… catches up with them as they deal with a very different New York and a very different time in their own lives.
Over the course of this conversation, Parker — who was recently named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world — reflects on growing up as one of eight children in a family that could barely make ends meet, and how, amidst those circumstances, she discovered a passion for acting; how her unconventional beauty was not really acknowledged until Steve Martin cast her as a desirable woman in the 1991 film L.A. Story, and how that changed the trajectory of her career; why, 25 years ago, she was very reluctant to take on the part of Carrie, a character whose experience of being single in New York was, incidentally, nothing like her own; and what it was like to revisit the character 12 years after last playing her, while also addressing the lack of diversity for which Sex and the City has been criticized, as well as the absence of the actress who played Samantha, Kim Cattrall, for reasons which Parker discusses in-depth for the first time.
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