Sarah Jessica Parker Is Harper’s Bazaar’s UK April 2014 Cover Star
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SJP-mscStyle icon, TV siren, film star and now shoe designer, SJP met up with Harper’s Bazaar’s Fashion Director, Avril Mair, for this month’s cover shoot.

‘I never wanted to be famous,’ Sarah Jessica Parker tells Avril Mair when they meet on a rainy afternoon in New York. ‘And I won’t trade on it in any way. It’s not like it’s hard to be respectful and well behaved.’ Indeed, the American star arrives undetected in a bulky puffa jacket and woollen hat. Not bad for a woman who starred in Sex and the City for six years, has five fragrances and a contract with Garnier under her belt, and earned $30 million in 2010, making her America’s highest-paid actress and a cultural force for a generation.

Partly, her down to earth attitude could be thanks to her determination not to get caught up in her own publicity. ‘I don’t read anything. I don’t Google myself. Good God, no! I have absolutely no constitution for that,’ she says. ‘I’m curious about everything, except what people have to say about me. It’s the random cruelty I really don’t understand. It’s not good for us. I don’t know, you know, how we go back in time to a better place.’

Parker’s early life was a far cry from her famous screen persona, she tells Mair – something that undoubtedly contributed to her strict work ethic. She was born in Nelsonville, an Ohio mining town, one of eight siblings and half siblings, and her childhood was defined by struggle. ‘My mother was chic but we were broke. Inside the house was chaos and madness… I appreciate everything. I think that there are probably a lot of people that don’t care as much, and it all still works for them. But I can’t have my name on something and not be totally involved. It can often make things really hard but that’s simply the way I have to be.’

Although Parker says she does not share Carrie Bradshaw’s ‘devotion to fashion’, her latest role is nevertheless as a shoe designer, collaborating with George Malkemus, CEO of Manolo Blahnik – a label she put firmly on the fashion map. ‘Having played this character for so long who had such a love of shoes – and, you know, some might say a reckless desire to have them – I just thought, “This is what I’d really like to do now.” I called him and said, “I have this crazy idea…”’

Parker didn’t own her own pair of heels until she left home, she says – but Carrie Bradshaw famously spent over $40,000 on hers, according to one episode of Sex and The City. The Manolo Blahnik black suede BB pump remains Parker’s favourite shoe of all time, she says. ‘I used to wear them 18 hours a day for the show and loved it… I still have all those shoes – anything I’ve ever worn in any movie or television show in my life is archived – but I really don’t shop that much. Also, I have a small closet. It’s a mess! It looks fine to the naked eye, but things are shoved in every corner. Friends come round and say, “But I have more clothes than you.”’

At her own wedding, to actor Matthew Broderick, Parker wore a pair of Robert Clergerie teal-coloured velvet shoes and a black dress. Three children and sixteen years later, what is the secret to a happy marriage? ‘Bruce Paltrow [Gwyneth’s father] had a great quote. I’m almost scared to tell you… but someone asked how he stayed married all these years and he said, “We never wanted to get divorced at the same time.” Now everyone will think there was a period at which we did want to get divorced. But you stay married because you want to be there, despite everything. I don’t know, it seems like it’s just as deserving of effort as anything else is, certainly a career. I guess we both want to be in it.’

Parker believes that women loved Carrie Bradshaw because ‘she was a really good friend. That’s why they can forgive those very apparent flaws and selfishnesses. She was a deeply devoted friend, and I think women really respond to that kind of connection. I think we all want it, we all work towards having it, and we’re not always the very best friends we can be… It’s kind of surprising to say, but in a way [Sex and the City] was a more innocent time. I think so much reality television – and the women that dominate culture today – are pretty unfriendly towards one another. They use language that’s really objectionable and cruel and not supportive. I like to remember that Carrie and the other woman in Sex and the City were really nice to each other.’

Read the full interview in the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, out 4 March.

Source – Harper’s Bazaar UK