Is there any actor who is more #Goals than Sarah Jessica Parker? (Rhetorical question, obvs.) From starring in Sex and the City, a.k.a. the show we re-watch in its entirety every time we have a bad date (so like, a lot), to being a fashion supernova with her own shoe collection to prove it, to becoming a boss behind the scenes in the entertainment industry (have you heard? #TimesUp) to, frankly, being the baddest witch in Hocus Pocus, SJP has consistently entertained us and delighted us throughout her career.
Her newest on-screen project, Divorce, is about what happens when the single girl finally got married—but then realizes that comparatively, it might be better to be single after all. Ahead of the premiere of Divorce‘s second season—which picks up after Frances (Parker) and Robert (Thomas Hayden Church) officially split at the end of Season 1—we talked to SJP about all this, and so. much. more.
Not every role is Carrie Bradshaw, people!
Even though the evolution from Sex and the City, a show about single women looking for “the one,” and Divorce, a show about realizing the one you married isn’t *actually* the one, can seem linear, they are very, very different. SJP understands why people see the similarities: “Frances does look like Carrie Bradshaw, so I understand, because I look like Carrie Bradshaw,” but was adamant that they aren’t the continuation of the same story. “There are lots of stories about single women, and they don’t have to look just like the other one.” Of course, Parker cherishes her time as Carrie as much as we do, saying “I love that character. Frankly, it’s been a privilege.” No, SJP, the honour is truly ours.
But what about Carrie, Samantha, and the whole Sex and the City 3 dramz?
Of course fans are always clamouring for more SATC—a fact that seemed to surprise SJP. “Are they really?” she asked, delighted. When assured that yes, literally everybody wants more, Parker shared just how close we came to almost getting SATC 3. “We had a script and we were about to shoot!”
Sarah couldn’t share what was in the script, but doesn’t think fans should necessarily give up hope for another movie—but it might not be what you expect: “I think we would have to tell a different story and simply not include Samantha in it, and I’m not sure yet how we feel about that.”
No Samantha?! But who will hook up with all the shirtless hotties and give approximately zero effs about commitment? (Reminder: actor Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha, wasn’t having it over reports that her diva demands were the reason the third film was scrapped last fall, even saying that she and her costars “were never friends” to begin with. Devastating!) Here’s hoping the cast can find a way to work things out.
SJP knows that #TimesUp and wants the world to catch up
From publicized sexual harassment to pay disparity and much more (and much worse), Hollywood has been going through an implosion in the past couple of months, and Parker assured us that this change is coming, and well overdue: “You’re not going to be able to get away without having these conversations in industries. It’s just not going to happen. Good luck, if you think you can hide from it.”
SJP was also quick to point out that this isn’t just a Hollywood problem: “I hope to see us simply do better. If we have the goal of 50/50 by 2020 in the entertainment industry, what are the goals outside? What are the goals in service? In justice? In architecture, in engineering, in academia, non-profits? What’s the goal in publishing? What’s the goal in media? It goes on and on and on.”
Walking the feminist walk
Not only is Parker a vocal supporter of Time’s Up, she’s doing her part to promote equality close to home, too. In addition to being the face of Divorce, she’s also the executive producer—that means she’s the boss, baby, and the boss gets to make the behind-the-scenes decisions that can have a real impact on how the industry moves forward. “We finished shooting 5-6 months ago, and we already had, I think, almost 50 percent female directors,” with women counting as only 17 percent of all TV directors, that already puts the show well ahead of the curve.
And have you noticed the writing on Divorce feels oddly relatable, familiar, and well, awesome? “Our writing staff is 95 percent female,” SJP notes proudly. “Our on-set crew is populated with a lot of women. Part of that is because it’s an effort that we make.” Certainly, if more bosses take a page from her book, we could be well on our way to reaching more equal footing by 2020.
SJP for president?
OK, maybe she’d never run, but it’s hard to not feel inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker. Even now, as more and more tales of men abusing their power come to the surface, SJP remains hopeful about the future of women in all industries: “There are really big, complicated, very hard, but very exciting conversations to be had, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Divorce Season 2 premieres on HBO Canada on Sunday, January 14 at 10 p.m.
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