Sarah Jessica Parker: Vox, Jr.
Ever wonder what it would be like to have a phone conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker? No, me neither. But for some reason, the August 1992 issue of Movieline magazine included a transcript of Parker’s conversation with friend and writer Christopher Hunt. At the time, she had just moved to New York City because she was doing a play and she was trying to give up smoking. The conversation gets interrupted A LOT.
Movieline asked me to call the Other Coast and talk on the phone to Sarah Jessica Parker, and because she’s one of my favorite actresses, I agreed, even though I hate the phone these days and recently achieved a certain notoriety at the studio for tossing one out my office window, barely missing the production president’s Plexxus 2000.
Talking to Sarah is always comforting. She’s very much like a lovely girl I knew in college who took pity on me in Social Psych and helped me achieve a passing grade with pots of tea, Sinatra and late-night study guides. I’ll always remember–well, never mind.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Hi. It’s Sarah.
Christopher Hunt: Hi. I haven’t seen you since we ran into each other in Neiman Marcus.
S: Yes. I was with my assistant Eric, wasn’t I? We were buying a purse.
C: I was buying a hat with my girlfriend. I don’t have either one now. So, how are you? How’s New York?
S: Wonderful. I made this momentous decision to move here. For the first time, I have a relationship with a city.
C: Cities are good things to have relationships with.
S: Far better than a person. I’m kidding. You’re gonna write that.
C: Of course I am. So, do you have a social life in Manhattan?
S: I’ve never been one to [BEEP!] Oh, that’s call waiting. It’s my other line. Am I allowed to put you on hold? It’s rude.
C: Go ahead. I’d do it to you. [LONG PAUSE. I light a cigarette.]
S: Sorry. Anyway, doing the play here, Substance of Fire, has been great.
C: I knew the playwright, Jon Robin Baitz, when he worked at Book Soup-–
C:–a mere bookseller. In those days he was a mere Robbie. Now he’s Jon Robin.
S: I play an actress who’s [BEEP!] Ugghhh! Sorry! It’s, like, no one ever calls me. [LONG PAUSE] Hi–sorry– anyway–
C: Listen, I wanted to ask you, what is it about some actresses? I’ve been dating one who’s 20, and she hasn’t called me in a month.
C: I’m a doomed romantic.
S: Don’t change.
C: Hey, are you smoking? I am.
S: Yeah, but I don’t want it to sound like I’m a smoking proponent.
C: I’ll write that it’s your last bad habit.
S: I’ll get one of those smoking patches for your arm. They work.
C: But then you can’t wear anything sleeveless.
S: You can put it on your back. I want to quit. April first.
C: I had to give up coffee recently. I was drinking so much I was hallucinating.
S: Have you been to my coffeehouse, Mud?
C: In Santa Monica? Yeah. Nowadays, I drink herbal tea there.
S: I’m a partner. My first solo investment without any advice. My business manager said, “I don’t know,” but I said, “Cut the check– I’m gonna do this, man.”
C: It’s your money.
S: Yeah–the trust is in my name. The dwindling trust, as I do theater in New York. Wait, we have to talk about Honeymoon in Vegas so people will go see it. [BEEP!] Oh–hang on. [LONG PAUSE. I light a cigarette.] Okay, I’m back.
C: Okay. In Vegas you’re in love with Nic Cage, but you get involved in this strange situation with James Caan.
S: I look exactly like his wife who died of skin cancer. It’s a really funny movie. I’d never been to Vegas. We lived there for five weeks.
C: Five weeks?
S: It’s so depressing. But I had the best sushi there, at The Flamingo Hilton.
C: Better than Matsuhisa on La Cienega?
C: Did you go out for the 99-cent breakfasts on the strip?
S: No. No shrimp cocktails, no Siegfried and Roy. We were working.
C: Hey, that’s show biz. Listen, I’ll let you go. I’ll call back after April first to find out if you’ve quit smoking. The readers will demand to know.
[A FEW WEEKS LATER]
C: Hello, Sarah? It’s me.
S: Can you hang on a second? Another person put me on hold. [LONG PAUSE. I have time to search my entire apartment, and discover that I’m out of smokes.] Hello? Sorry. Did you fall asleep?
C: No, I had a cup of coffee.
S: You shouldn’t be drinking coffee.
C: I know, but I had to. Nicole Kidman almost ran me off the road today.
S: [Muffled] Eric, Nicole Kidman almost ran him off the road today! Chris, was I happy last time we spoke?
C: Pretty happy.
S: I’m taking big steps. I’m gonna start therapy on Thursday.
C: I haven’t been in therapy in a couple of years, but–
S: Hang on a second. I have a visiting dog here and she lost her bone.[Muffled] Where did it go, Stanley? Where did it go? … Sorry–I didn’t mean to cut you off. Anyway, about therapy, I have to do this. It’s not just time–it’s time. I didn’t quit smoking, although I went till five on the first day.
C: Five a.m.?
S: P.M.! That’d be really pathetic. “She shot out of bed at five a.m. and said, ‘I made it five hours,’ and lit up.” [BEEP!] Sorry! [LONG PAUSE] I’m back. You’ll call me when you come to New York next month, right?
C: Yeah. I’m lining up my schedule now: all my former girlfriends who will still deal with me.
S: Wait. Let me ask you a question: Do they all know each other?
C: No … Jesus, no.
S: Ever have the fantasy of putting all of them together in one room and letting them figure out why they’re there? I do.
C: I managed to achieve that my senior year in high school. I’m gonna do it again, because it’s 10 years later and there are lots more.
S: I couldn’t really do that myself, because they all know each other and, since they’re all actors, they’d all just think they were up for the same part. By the way, I was really pleased that you were doing this. I wonder if you and I will have one of those things where you’ll write, and do other stuff, but always do my interviews. Wouldn’t that be neat?
C: Like those two guys in the 18th century–Boswell and that other cat.
S: Or like Michael Apted and 35 Up.
C: Except that we didn’t start early enough for that, Sarah.
S: Well, you know, my life didn’t really begin until I met you.