Sarah Jessica Parker went behind the scenes of Sex and the City Sunday at Vulture Festival in New York City, where the Divorce star revealed just how far she and Cynthia Nixon go back, what kind of doubts she had about playing Carrie, and how she really feels about Sex and the City 2 (hint: not great). Read on for highlights from her conversation with New York magazine’s Adam Moss.
Parker has known costar Cynthia Nixon since she was 11-years-old.
When recalling her start as a child actor in the NYC theater scene, Parker said she remembers being in the waiting room at many an audition with Cynthia Nixon, who would later be immortalized as Carrie’s closest confidante Miranda Hobbes. Nixon, who Parker said is “like a sister to me,” famously tried out for the role of Carrie when Sex and the City was being cast before taking on the role of Miranda. It turns out that was far from the first time the two were up for the same role — they became friends at play auditions at a very early age.
In the pilot, the first-ever reference to Mr. Big calls him “the next Donald Trump.”
Moss pointed out that Big’s introduction in the series, spoken by Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), compared him to a New York City fixture who has, ahem, grown in notoriety since that 1998 pilot. In the scene, Samantha tells Carrie, “See that guy? He’s the next Donald Trump, except younger and much better looking.”
She was initially very resistant to take on the role of Carrie.
“I had a lot of pride about my career,” Parker remembered about her feelings at the time. She was used to doing theater and the occasional movie, so when the show came up, “I panicked about it!” she said. “I can’t be on a television series, I can’t be tied down,” she remembered thinking. Eventually, of course, she was talked into it, and the rest is history. “There wasn’t a single day I didn’t want to be on that set.”
Parker is ready to admit the shortcomings of Sex and the City 2.
As much as the HBO series is loved and lauded, the spin-off films have been met with a more mixed reception. This is especially true of 2010’s sequel, which the actress openly addressed at the panel. “I can see where we fell short on that movie, and I’m perfectly happy to say that publicly,” Parker stated. “I will say, I also understand how much friggin’ money it made.” That number? An impressive $95.3 million domestically and $288.3 million worldwide.
She still owns — and treasures — the fabled Carrie necklace.
Parker’s character got to wear some rather noteworthy outfits through the years, and when asked what she’s been able to keep from that experience, Parker responded that surprisingly, 95 percent of the clothing from the show is still on hand in storage. But in particular, she said, her most treasured artifact is one that Carrie herself also holds dear: the nameplate “Carrie” necklace that she famously loses, and then finds, in the two-part series finale in Paris. In a life-imitates-art moment, Parker said she actually almost lost the necklace while on the set of Sex and the City 2, and joked that the experience of losing the necklace in real life gave her ideas on how she could have performed that scene even better.
When asked what advice she would give to Carrie at the start of the series, Parker had this to say:
“I wouldn’t change a thing. Not a thing. Let her make every mistake.”
She is remaining mum about the potential for a third movie.
When Moss asked Parker about the purported existence of a script for a third film installment in the franchise, the actress responded with a sly smile: “I don’t know,” she said.