Would Sex and the City have been the same without Sarah Jessica Parker in her iconic role as Carrie Bradshaw? Definitely not. However, Parker wasn’t always sold on becoming a TV actor, which she opened up about in a new interview for the Origins podcast with James Andrew Miller.
As reported by People, in Origins Chapter 5: Sex and the City: Tutu’s, Tete-a-Tete’s, and Taxi’s, Parker told Miller that diving into television after building a career on Broadway and in film wasn’t on her to-do list when the show first came up in the late ’90s, mainly because filming a TV series requires so much dedication and locked-down scheduling.
“I panicked, and I was like, ‘I want to maintain my life,” Parker said. “I like doing a few plays a year and a movie, and maybe a TV movie of the week.'”
Even once she accepted the role of Carrie and started filming, Parker admitted that, at times, she had difficulty adjusting.
“All of a sudden it felt like somebody was holding me hostage or something or there just were these limitations, which felt very suffocating,” she said.
Parker made similar comments to People’s Jess Cagle in 2016. She said, “When we did the pilot, I didn’t think it was going to change my life at all.” However, when the series was picked up and people started seeing it, she met with her agents because she wasn’t sure if she wanted to commit after all — but execs at HBO changed her mind: “And HBO, in its infinite wisdom, sat me down and said, ‘No, no, no, no, no. We don’t function like that. We want you here if you want to be here.'” They said, “Let’s just have a season and see how it goes,” which easily convinced Parker.
“I went to the set the first day and I never looked back. It was the happiest, the most productive, fulfilling, professional experience I could have imagined,” she said. “But I still didn’t know, two years in, that it was going to change my life. All I knew was that I had a job that I loved and that I could still do other things in my time off.”
Overall, Parked starred in 96 episodes of Sex and the City across six seasons as well as two feature films. As for discussion of a third film, she told Miller on his podcast that it’s not an impossibility: “Whether we choose to revisit it at another time and reimagine that story — that’s something [director] Michael [Patrick King] and I just haven’t talked about yet. That doesn’t mean we won’t, but we haven’t at this time.”
Sex and the City became an iconic show that has maintained a loyal fan base, even years after it left the air — so the fact that Parker almost wasn’t part of it is almost unfathomable. We’re glad she signed on despite her trepidations, and we’ll cross our fingers for more.