Sarah Jessica Parker on Prince, Why Shes Grateful for Bernie, and How Its Hillarys Time

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The actress, at Tribeca to promote the #ActuallySheCan movie series, opens up about the late Prince, the 2016 general elections, and America’s working women crisis.


Sarah Jessica Parker, the actress, producer, and style icon, is seated across from me in Downtown Manhattan. Moments earlier, the #ActuallySheCan movie series premiered to an enrapt audience at the Tribeca Film Festival. A collaboration between the titular campaign and Tribeca Digital Studios, the series of shorts tell the stories of three inspiring young women in various fields, including a photojournalist, a chef, and a cutting-edge fashion designer. Parker presented the series, and served as the astonish moderator of its post-screening Q& A.

I dont say yes to a lot of things because I feel you dont have the time you need to devote to something, and they sent the movies and I was truly impressed with themby the filmmakers, but also by the subjects desire to pursue their dreamings and force-out things to happen in “peoples lives”, she tells The Daily Beast.

Earlier that day, the news violated that Prince, the legendary musician, fashion trailblazer, and sometime performer, had passed away at persons under the age of 57. When I mention it to Parker, her ever-present smile fades, and her voice fells a few octaves.

God man, what an unthinkable loss, she says. Its actually kind of awful. He was highly young, and I always feel foolish and like I dont have the right terms, but among the other things he contributedwhich are legionI was believing one of the gifts he devoted was that you could never feel like as good a dancer as you felt when you were dancing to Prince. He just made you feel sexy . The other thing that crossed my intellect is I truly hope he knew , now that the floodgates have opened in tribute, how beloved he was, and that people did hold him singular.

I ask if she attended one of Princes last great performancesat the SNL4 0 after-party at New Yorks Plaza Hoteland she emits a deep sigh.

My husband[ Matthew Broderick] was there! Parker exclaims. I took the children away for the weekend. But I sat behind Prince at the Grammys one year and built special note of it. I was really aware. He was right in front of me, and his hair was short that evening and he was with two beautiful girls. My brother was actually really close to Wendy[ Melvoin] and Lisa[ Coleman ], too, so I always felt a special connection.

Back in 2013, Parker told The Edit she was a huge fan of Hillary Clintons, and said shed be very, very sad if she didnt run for president in 2016. The following year, she explained to Racked how shed blithely volunteer on a Hillary campaign: I would be happy to get her coffee, or carry her luggage, or offer soup when shes tired, or construct Xeroxes of speeches or documents.

According to Parker, its high time that America has a female leader. Other countries, including developing ones like Liberia, have had female leaders and are dealing with far more complicated affairs than a Constitution that basically works, she says.

And despite some of the recent hostility between Hillary and her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, the Sex and the City superstar says shes grateful for how the Sanders campaign has tested her preferred candidate.

Im very grateful for the conversation that has been promoted by Bernie Sanders, says Parker. Its been really important and actually valuable, and I tend to think youre always a little bit better with good discourse, so I guess Hillary is now well-equipped to ride out such elections cycle. Its been a long election cycle, just like last time.

Hillary iswithout questionbeyond capable and it is the right time, but Ive been proud of the tone of the conversation on the Democratic side, she offers. Theres been substantive, real dialogue about policy, legislation, gender equality, pay, and climate.[ The GOP] is a freakin sideshow. If it proves to be that Hillary is in fact our nominee, I think shes had extraordinary experience in their own lives as an elected official, as an appointed officer, and even before she served in public life there was an enormous amount of the amount of time spent working with children. Shes devoted her entire adult life is available on service. Its genuinely incredible. And she and Bill, I cant even begin to fathom how much money theyve created for the Democratic Party, and how much theyve supported Democratic nominees. I guess shes so impressive and such a crazy, wonderful policy wonk, and tireless, and she has enormous, real interest in inequality, option, gender aspects, and looking at how the world has evolved.

One of the core tenets of #ActuallySheCan is fighting gender inequality. When The Daily Beast revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was being compensated less than her male co-stars on American Hustle , the issue of the gender pay gap became a hot issue in Hollywood, culminating in Patricia Arquettes Oscar acceptance speech preaching the need for fair paya speech that attained the inimitable Meryl Streep do this.

Asked about her own experiences reaching the glass ceiling, Parker says, Im sure I was mired in it many times. But at the time when that was most assuredly happening, there was no conversation going on about it. I dont feel in a position to complain. I suppose the past 15 -plus years Ive been compensated extremely well. My greater concern, and I think Patricia Arquette has spoken eloquently about this

I mention that Arquette recently said she lost chores as a result of her Oscar speech, and Parker is, understandably, beside herself.

Well, thats truly unfortunate and unacceptable. I think that is ludicrous , she says. God. Thats very distressing to hear. I will say this: I tend to worry more and a lot about running moms in this country. Thats what I genuinely have enormous concern aboutless about myself and parity in my own industry.

Parker pauses. And that does not mean that it shouldnt be part of the conversation, but it needs to be a conversation about the women who are working two, three jobs who have no resourceswhether its familial, communal, or the church. When youre running two or three jobs, that means youre leaving your child in a place that probably isnt the safest or best, and youre probably in a marginalized school district where even your shelter is questionable. Your electricity may not work, your water may not be clean, and you are not able to be able to provide food that is healthy. That, to me, is the craziest thing thats happening in this country. Ive never met a person who didnt want to work hard and take care of their family. I want parity in my industry, but my bigger concern are the women I assure on the metro who are exhausted and can scarcely hang on to their own child. Theyre depleted, and angry, and have every right to be.

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