Sarah Jessica Parker Talks Being A Carrie, "Hocus Pocus," And Her Love Of New York
Spoiler alert: Unlike Carrie, she will not give up dinner for Vogue.
Sarah Jessica Parker's name is synonymous with fashion, glamour, and overall fabulousness. Also the word lovely, because she is just that. But it also happens to be the name of her fragrance which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. We sat down with Sarah Jessica to talk about her scent, her favorite memory from the last 10 years, and everyone's burning question: Is she more of a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda? Here's what she had to say.
This is the 10th anniversary of the perfume, and you designed the bottle —
Sarah Jessica Parker: Well, I had a lot of ideas. And then we had this amazing creative director named Jon Dinapoli, right? So he really just took all of my thoughts, which were many, and very beautifully made sense of them. But this is based on a doorknob, and an old chair. The grosgrain like my shoes, let's do this on the collar. So yeah, I had lots of ideas, but a professional person made sense of them.
What has been your favorite memory in the last 10 years?
SJP: Oh my god. The last 10 years. My son is 13. So I would say probably getting news that my daughters were arriving. And sharing it with my son, as we ran to go meet them, hearing what he had to say about this introduction was pretty incredible.
I actually have a twin and an older brother, so unknowingly went through the same thing. What was your son's reaction?
SJP: He was so excited, and seeing him with them was sincerely the best memory of the last 10 years.
Besides your perfume, what is your favorite scent?
SJP: My husband and my children.
Out of all the people you've worked with, who has been the most influential?
SJP: I couldn't — there are so many people from various disciplines and parts of my life, and I don't even know their name! Maybe I saw them on the subway and I saw them be kind or funny, or look beautiful. There have been a huge amount of people that have been enormously influential in my life.
If you could give advice to your 16-year-old self, what do you think you'd say?
SJP: As much as I would want to be helpful, and try to protect her, I think my help is uninvited. I'm not one of those people who's like, "It's meant to happen," but I think it's necessary. There isn't anything that was really painful, emotionally, or hard or embarrassing or disappointing that I would change. Even the choices that I made that anybody with some maturity would advise against, I just think one has to have those experiences, and as a parent, I'm constantly trying to be certain that I'm stepping in front of every land mine, but that robs my son of a lot of opportunities to sort himself out and have coping mechanisms of his own. So it's a good idea in theory, to be able to go back, but you know what I'm saying? You can learn from it, and laugh about it, and cringe about it, and shut your eyes and try to make it go away. Revel in it, be really proud and really ashamed and really embarrassed.
Last year you were tweeting about how you missed Manhattanhenge and were really upset about it.
SJP: I was just thinking about that yesterday because the light was coming down one of those West Village streets from the river, as it does in fall, so beautifully and in such a unique way. And I was like, "Oh, it's teasing us! Manhattanhenge wants to flirt with us! I'm not falling for that this year!"
Well, I was wondering if you ever did get the chance to see it?
SJP: I've seen it for years, but I've not captured it. And it's kind of nice, because that was like my weird courtship and very short dating life with Twitter.
You have to come back!
SJP: No. No, never. I don't think I have the constitution for it. I don't think it really made my life richer, more informed or happier. I think there's a culture of cruelty that I really have a hard time understanding. And I'm trying to explain that to my son, who has to have a phone for traveling, because he now travels by himself. I feel like I wasn't suited for it. It's like a fellow, he just wasn't suited for me. But there are lots of fish in the ocean.
Would you ever consider more music roles, on Broadway or on film?
Sure. I would have to work really hard at being ready and capable and deserving. But, yes, I mean my husband and I did a little show last month in Provincetown. Which wasn't supposed to be a show, it was supposed to be a Q&A with Seth Rudetsky to benefit an organization, and we ended up having to sing. He sort of sprung it on us, which was terrifying and amusing, but I love it. It's a lot of work to do it well, but we'll see.
Speaking of singers... Bette Midler said that she'd do Hocus Pocus 2 — would you?
SJP: Yeah, I said I would! And I got in so much trouble on Twitter for it.
When's the last time you watched that movie?
SJP: Never! Or maybe when it came out.
Well, you are about to be able to see it all you want because Halloween season is upon us and it will be on TV constantly.
SJP: My girls might want to watch it. They are 6, but I'm not sure they are old enough.
Do you think you are a Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, or Miranda?
SJP: It's funny, I think my son was recently taking a quiz online that asked this question, and I don't think I got Carrie. I think in many ways I'm like Carrie because I would much prefer to be interviewing you, for instance. I'm very curious about other people, and that's why I like the subway. Because I can just watch people. That's why I like stoops — so I can just watch people. And that's why I like cities. And I love this city, and I have a fondness that is kind of hard to explain to people, so I can relate to that. I think there's not a lot about Carrie that is actually similar to my life. Our choices have been so radically different. There are certain kinds of pillars that fundamentally are different. I like clothing, but I don't have anywhere near a fevered relationship that she does.
But would you ever give up dinner for Vogue?
SJP: No. No, I would never give up food. Ever.
Do you consider yourself a feminist, and how has your experience been being a woman in Hollywood?
SJP: Well, I live in New York. I'm from New York, so I haven't spent a lot of time in Hollywood, ever. Millions of years ago I did a bunch of plays with Wendy Wasserstein, who you may know is a great writer, and wrote not only some of the most important plays in American theater, but also was a great writer in periodicals. And she always talked about being a humanist. And I think being a child of somebody who was in the generation of the women that really fought for all the things, basically I've been saying I reaped the benefit of my mother and her friends' really hard work. And because of that, I always kind of thought of myself as a humanist, rather than a feminist. But I think in many ways it's this bundle. Because I am born a feminist in some ways — the thing that became important to me was humankind also outside of my gender. I don't know if that makes sense, and I know people have had trouble with that, and found it was like I was denying my gender, but to be honest I feel like I was born a feminist and I acquired a larger understanding of other people who are being marginalized and who I feel I have an opportunity to give voice to, along with many other people in the world. Not alone, but in concert with other people in the world.