We Love SJP

By Laurie Sandell

She loves Matthew, hates Botox and her only fashion obsession is jeans. Prepare to have a girl crush!

“I’m in awe of women who stand up for other women’s rights.” OK, I’ll admit it: When I first sit down with Sarah Jessica Parker on a Saturday afternoon at a cozy Italian restaurant in New York City, I can’t help thinking, hello, I am having brunch with Carrie Bradshaw. After all, it’s tempting to go into Sex and the City mode when you’re sitting across from a woman who orders her eggs with “absolutely no parsley,” just like Carrie would have, and is dressed Carrie-style, too-flowy brown top, cute cords and giant Gucci sunglasses.

But it’s been two years since SATC ended, and Parker’s moved on. And when she starts to talk, I realize the actress is, in fact, more interesting than the character she played to perfection: She’s well-versed in politics, passionately committed to her family, husband Matthew Broderick and son James Wilkie, 3, and devoted to her work. What’s more, Parker is refreshingly honest about subjects that make most stars squirm (check out her candid comments on Botox and reproductive rights). And look what she’s accomplished lately: She landed major roles in films like The Family Stone (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe) and Failure to Launch with Matthew McConaughey, out now; produced her first film, Spinning into Butter, due out in December; and launched a perfume, Lovely. Busy woman!

Glamour talked to SJP about her life now.

GLAMOUR: So much has happened for you in the past few years, but you’ve said the biggest transformation you’ve gone through is motherhood. What’s it like?

SARAH JESSICA PARKER: Imagine a person coming into your life who is the only thing you think about all day, but he’s not a boyfriend or husband. And the feeling only grows: I thought I loved my son when he was a newborn, but that wasn’t scratching the surface. Yesterday he said, “I love Mama. I love her blue eyes. She’s so nice to me.” I looked at him and thought, how did this happen?

GLAMOUR: Has your lifestyle changed much?

SJP: Oh, absolutely! In the past I was always the last to leave work. My husband worked late, too, so I didn’t rush home. Now at the end of the day it’s like, “See you.” I literally run for the door. Putting my son to bed means the world to me—and to him, it’s everything.

GLAMOUR: You’ve been married for eight years now. What have you learned from that?

SJP: Oh my God, so much. One of the best things about marriage is that you can care so deeply about somebody no matter what the day-to-day is like. Matthew annoys me at times; I know I annoy him. But his disappointments are my disappointments, and I’m pretty sure I get more out of his victories than he does. It’s wonderful to love someone that much.

GLAMOUR: You live in downtown Manhattan. How bad is the paparazzi presence?

SJP: Really bad. Sometimes I have to ask them to step out of the way just so I can get out of the house. Other times they’ll say provocative things to try to get me to say a bad word on film. There’s also a whole new culture of teenagers on bicycles with video cameras. But Matthew and I don’t want to run around with our heads down. And it’s not like we can move to London—everyone we know and love is here.

GLAMOUR: Catherine Zeta-Jones told Glamour she feels tabloids have ruined the magic of movies. Do you agree?

SJP: What bothers me more, actually, is the culture of celebrity. I feel it has killed critical thinking in this country. All we talk about now are “celebrities.” They call themselves actors, they get paid as actors and sometimes they’re paid more than me. But often these are people who have done absolutely nothing. And I think this insatiable appetite for the shallow tidbits of celebrity culture is just a distraction from getting involved politically and questioning our leaders.

GLAMOUR: Actually, Glamour did a story recently on young women’s changing feelings about reproductive rights. What’s your position on that?

SJP: The real problem among educated, middle-class, primarily white young women is that secretly they know they will always have access to a safe abortion, so they don’t have to support it. Other women who work in the antichoice movement have found abortion isn’t right for them, so they want to make sure you and I can’t have one. I can’t have a rational discussion with someone like that—it’s too illogical.

GLAMOUR: Obviously you’re about so much more than clothes, but you are one of the world’s biggest style icons. What is your favorite thing about fashion?

SJP: Well, I love beautiful clothes and always have, but I’m not as into fashion as people think I am. Ever since I had a child, shopping doesn’t fit into my life. My son isn’t young enough to control in a store, or old enough to sit quietly and read a book. He’s in purgatory. So I just don’t do it.

GLAMOUR: On the rare occasion you do shop, do you have a favorite store?

SJP: I think Bergdorf Goodman is the most beautiful store in the whole world: It looks like a sand castle. But I only go anyplace once a year, at most. Four weeks ago, I shopped for the first time in two years!

GLAMOUR: What three items are always in your closet?

SJP: I have two pairs of classic, straight-leg Levi’s I totally love. I also have a pair of Juicy jeans that are the best. Naturally, the company stopped making them!

GLAMOUR: One trend you’re into now?

SJP: Big, oversized sunglasses. I also think a proper coat is beautiful on a woman.

GLAMOUR: And the trend you hate?

SJP: I would love to stop seeing girls with underwear sticking out of their pants. Matthew is always saying, “You’re responsible for that!” And I’m like, “What? I’ve never worn low-waisted pants. You’re confusing me with Britney Spears, my friend.”

GLAMOUR: How do you feel about the whole Botox trend in Hollywood?

SJP: These days, no one can move their foreheads, and their faces are all fluffy and bouncy. Some people look just crazy. I want to name names so badly, but I don’t have the courage. I see movie stars doing it. Every leading lady in television does it. Aside from Diane Keaton, I can’t think of anyone who looks like themselves—maybe Meryl Streep. I look at these women and think, moderation, my friend, moderation.

GLAMOUR: So you’ll never do it?

SJP: Never say never. But my husband would kill me!

GLAMOUR: Your recent film The Family Stone was praised as having “rich and delicious” roles for women. Are those harder to come by in film than on TV?

SJP: Not for certain actresses, but I’m not the first to be offered a script. I also don’t lobby for roles. In fact, it’s probably a flaw of mine: When I first met Tom [Bezucha, director of The Family Stone], I said, “You should go out to Cynthia Nixon—she would be perfect!”

GLAMOUR: Your costar, Diane Keaton, told The New York Times she doesn’t receive that many offers for parts. Does that surprise you?

SJP: Sadly, no. In this industry there is a window for women that closes very quickly, and all of us who are nipping at Diane’s heels in terms of age are aware of it. But I believe things will change when the actresses now in power reach Diane’s age. Someone like Jodie Foster will make certain great roles are available for herself.

GLAMOUR: What great films have you seen lately?

SJP: Last night I watched In Her Shoes [with Cameron Diaz] and loved it. The film was cast perfectly. I was jealous, actually!

GLAMOUR: Before we wrap up, we need to know: favorite Sex and the City episode?

SJP: I loved the one where Carrie lost Aidan’s dog while meeting Mr. Big. I thought it revealed a truth about women in love—namely, there isn’t any one person for any of us. You can be in love for eight years and fall in love again. And you can love two people simultaneously, because different people provide different things.

GLAMOUR: So now that you have a few Golden Globes on the shelf, ever dream about winning an Oscar?

SJP: I never dream about winning anything. It’s not that I don’t want it, but I know better. So I dream about working, having opportunities and getting the good jobs. I think that’s enough to ask for.

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