LAS VEGAS — Does Samantha’s cancer return? Does Charlotte suffer a miscarriage? Does Mr. Big bite the dust?
When we caught up with the incomparable Sarah Jessica Parker on Thursday at the ShoWest movie convention, we found her to be every bit as charming, fashionable and affable as her iconic “Sex and the City” character, Carrie Bradshaw. But once we started talking turkey about the May 30 film that will bring the fab four femmes to the big screen, things took a surprisingly dark turn.
Despite two shiny, happy movie trailers featuring Carrie and her friends frolicking in the New York streets, flaunting their sexiness and looking forward to marriages and babies, Parker revealed “a loss” for Carrie that creates disappointment, sadness and even despair in the movie’s central plotline. Apparently, that dropped cell phone in the trailer is even more significant than “Sex” fans might think.
Carrie Bradshaw once said, “One woman’s Titanic is another woman’s Love Boat.” Appropriately, Parker talked about the film’s love and laughter, welcoming “Dreamgirls” star Jennifer Hudson, and why she loved Carrie more than ever after reading the top-secret script centering on an ominous iceberg.
MTV: “Sex and the City” is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated films of the year. What are Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda up to, three years later?
Sarah Jessica Parker: Well, they are pretty entrenched in their lives. It’s not so much where they are going geographically, but really what happens.
MTV: So, they’re sticking around New York?
Parker: Yes, and I think what [writer/director] Michael Patrick King has done, very cleverly, is written a screenplay that is hopefully very funny and creates an environment that the audience is used to seeing on our show. But he’s also written a movie that is grown up, and there’s incredible disappointment and sadness in this movie — even despair. There’s a loss that happens that’s pretty tough, and I think that’s very nice to see as an audience, because it’s great storytelling.
MTV: A loss — like a death?
Parker: I wouldn’t want to tell you. But I will just say that something significant happens to Carrie, and I think it really forces her to ask questions that you have to ask about yourself. It’s great, and it’s very moving.
MTV: And this “loss” is something that helps unite the girls?
Parker: The friends are an enormous help to her, as she is to them. … There is this nice idea that friends are this great necessity in a life, but at a certain point, you have to recognize your own complicity and choices, even in disappointment. That’s pretty much where [the girls] go. They are not going places, they’re living their lives, and things happen in lives. I think it’s really beautiful and smart and funny, what he has done.
MTV: What’s the one question you have been asked the most since “Sex and the City” went off the air, and will that question be answered in the movie?
Parker: [Laughs.] Oh, you’re so clever. What’s the one question that has been asked most? Well, I think that people are very curious about the progression of the relationship between Carrie and Mr. Big. And, obviously, people are expecting in a conventional way that the next step might be marriage. And, really, my lawyer has advised me not to answer this question.
MTV: Good enough. Jennifer Hudson also joins the cast for the movie. How does she fit in?
Parker: I am a huge Jennifer Hudson fan! She plays my assistant after … this event happens in Carrie’s life … and she feels disorganized emotionally, physically and literally. Carrie really needs somebody to pull it all together for her, and she starts to look for an assistant for the first time in her life.
MTV: Tell us about the character.
Parker: Well, she’s newly come to New York City from St. Louis, and her character name is Louise. She’s from St. Louis, and she really is a very smart young woman who has come to New York to look for love. She still believes that New York is the destination point that so many of us used to think it was, and continue to think that. She’s really a terrifically refreshing person in Carrie’s life. She becomes really necessary.
MTV: What was it like working with the big-time Oscar winner ?
Parker: She was fantastic. She only worked six to eight days, but she was just lovely. I mean, you guys have spent time with her. But one of the things that’s really striking about her to me is, she is just beautiful! She’s very, very pretty. … She’s very tall, and I am significantly shorter than she is. [It surprised me because] her role in “Dreamgirls” is not about her beauty; it’s about her power and anger and her ambition. In this movie she is really sweet.
MTV: Does she sing?
MTV: You guys spent six seasons making half-hour episodes. How did you change things up to make a story that would work for two hours?
Parker: Well, it didn’t change the way we act, as actors. But it certainly changed the way that Michal Patrick King got to create the story. He went from 37-some-odd pages to a nice hefty substantial script. His first attempt, what he did was he wrote season seven or, as we affectionately call it, “The Masterpiece.” It is not the movie we shot, but it allowed him as a storyteller to [prepare to] tell a story that I loved being a part of. As an actor, to tell the next chapter was a real treat.
MTV: What’s the one scene you can’t wait for us to see?
Parker: Oh, wow. I can’t say what it is, but I really love it, and it’s all about the writing.
MTV: Can you sum up the scene in one word?
Parker: It’s an occasion.
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