Sarah Jessica Parker: A ‘big movie star’ behaved inappropriately towards me

Press Night for 'The Starry Messenger' held at the Wyndham’s Theatre

Sarah Jessica Parker did an interview with NPR’s Fresh Air to promote the latest season of HBO’s Divorce. Does anyone watch that? I never have, because whenever I see the trailers/promos for it, I always think it looks so stupid. Maybe I’m not the target audience, but it feels very “Eat Pray Love but she just stayed in New York and whined.” Maybe I’m wrong and it’s a brilliant character study or something. Anyway, this Fresh Air interview was interesting (more interesting than Divorce, perhaps?) and SJP talked a lot about growing up legit poor and the current Me Too era and she gave us an interesting little blind item too. Some highlights:

On growing up poor: “We did receive free lunches at school. There were times that we existed with the help of many of those programs, but there was this wonderful period in the ’70s where arts was also funded by our government and there were programs and tickets available for free or for a very small stipend. My mother is industrious and smart and was always aware of any opportunity that she could afford. And listen, there were all sorts of things we didn’t have, but my mother felt those were not nearly as necessary as exposure to the arts. I mean, she really felt that your life was far more enriched by [arts] than a Barbie doll, or a television set, or air conditioning, or clothes that everybody else in your grade wore, or sneakers that were popular, or Popsicles…”

Understanding her career in retrospect in the Me Too era: “It really wasn’t, I would say, until about six or eight months ago that I started recognizing countless experiences of men behaving poorly, inappropriately, and all the ways that I had made it possible to keep coming to work or to remain on set, or to simply … just push it down, push it away, find a little space for it and move on. …[I] really just didn’t allow it to consume me. To be honest, I don’t know why I either wasn’t courageous or more destroyed by some of the things that I was privy to, that I was on the receiving end of.

A movie star behaved inappropriately: “I think no matter how evolved or how modern I thought I was … I didn’t feel entirely in a position — no matter what my role was on set — I didn’t feel as powerful as the man who was behaving inappropriately, which … strikes me as just stunning to say out loud, because there were plenty of occasions where it was happening and I was in a different position and I was as powerful. I mean, I had every right to say, “This is inappropriate.” I could have felt safe in going to a superior…And, in fact, I will say, when there was a situation with somebody and I did go to my agent — because I felt I was no longer able to convey how uncomfortable this was making me, how inappropriate it was … within hours everything had changed. … He said to them, “If this continues, I have sent her a ticket, a one-way ticket out of this city” — where I was shooting — “and she will not be returning.”

The person who harassed her: “I didn’t have to listen to jokes about me or my figure or what people thought they could talk me into doing. All these men. All these men. That stopped. The nature of the person who I felt was really the instigator, this was a grown man, a very big movie star and, you know, he was baked, meaning his personality, it was cooked. He was a formed person and that wasn’t going to change. But I felt certainly better and safer, like I could finish what I had agreed to do.”

[From NPR]

I wonder who behaved inappropriately towards her, to the point where she had to get her agent involved. From the way she describes it – and what we know of the SATC set – I do not believe she was referencing an incident on Sex and the City, even though that’s the headline some sites are going with, that the dude was a SATC guest star, even though I don’t see any reference to that. I feel like this happened on a movie, and it was probably earlier in her career. Let me look through her IMDB… wow, no one really jumps out? She worked with Alec Baldwin, would he do that? Hm….

30th.Annual GLAAD Media awards NYC

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86 Responses to “Sarah Jessica Parker: A ‘big movie star’ behaved inappropriately towards me”

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  1. Sara says:

    Baked: McConnaughey?

    • Lara says:

      My thoughts exactly! Especially as her agent said she would leave the city and he was in the LA episodes

      • Renee says:

        She and McConaughey played in a dreadful movie together called Failure to Launch. But for whatever reason, he’s not the 1st person I would think she is talking about.

        I’m thinking Hugh Grant in Did you Hear About the Morgans? He just always seems like a creep to me.

      • Vanessa says:

        My guess would be Vince Vaughan, in that case.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      She stated baked as in their personality being fully cooked – and not changing. Not a reference to marijuana.

    • launicaangelina says:

      I interpreted “baked” to mean he was a grown man who was set in his ways and not likely to grow and change.

    • GeeWhiz says:

      James Caan is what popped into my mind. I didn’t even consciously remember them being in a movie together but it struck me so strongly that I looked it up.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    Matthew Broadrick? ;)

    • Kebbie says:

      Lol the thought of her agent contacting his is hilarious to me. “She will leave and not come back if this continues!”

  3. Michael says:

    My money is on Bruce Willis because he is a massive jerk who has been called out by other stars for being an ass

  4. Valiantly Varnished says:

    The first person that came to mind was Alec Baldwin. That is my gut feeling. And considering the company Alec likes to keep and who he defends – I would not be the least bit surprised if it was him.

    • margedbarge says:

      Don’t disagree at all that Alec Baldwin is a dick, buuuuut. He’s so generally recognized and understood as being a dick that I think if these kind of allegations against him existed they would have come out in the first few waves of MeToo allegations. He’s definitely a dick but I’m not certain that he’s that particular kind of dick. I could be wrong though!

      • emma33 says:

        I agree with you Marged… he would be low-hanging fruit for a MeToo allegation and that fact that no allegations have come out probably means he treats women OK professionally. ( Also, even though his first marriage was a disaster, it’s not like he has a whole string of dysfunctional relationships .)

    • Shelly says:

      I don’t it’s Alec Baldwin, he interviewed her for his show last year and they seem to have a very easy rapport. My vote is Hugh Grant…

  5. Millenial says:

    If I had to guess, I’d go with Dennis Quaid, maybe. Hugh Grant is sketchy, but in a seemingly consensual way. McConaughey would be a no, I think. Alec would sort of surprise me, because he seems like more of an all-around a-hole but not in that specific way, but who knows.

  6. Lightpurple says:

    There was a lot of trouble with State & Main, which filmed locally and there were reports she walked off the set so it could have been Alec Baldwin.

    But she also worked in her early years with Johnny Depp, Jeremy Piven, Bill Murray, Gene Hackman, Hugh Grant

    • Fanny says:

      I agree it was most likely Alec Baldwin and the movie was State & Main. She was a supporting character in that and wouldn’t have had the same power on the set that she would have had on SATC or one of her starring movies.

      Also, David Mamet has a terrible reputation. I haven’t seen the movie, but I remember the trailer – SJP’s big scene was as an actress pleading “I don’t want to take my top off!”. That was supposed to be a funny joke – how silly of this dumb blonde actress to think she’s there for any other reason than to take her top off!

    • holly hobby says:

      Nicholas Cage in that Las Vegas movie. I forget the name but it’s not leaving Las Vegas. He was dressed as Elvis in that one though.

      • ariel says:

        Honeymoon in Vegas.

      • manda says:

        Honeymoon in Vegas! Love that movie. Hope it wasn’t this one because I love that movie

      • windyriver says:

        The way she talks about this person being a grown man, a very big movie star, fully baked, a formed person who wasn’t going to change – I think it’s an older guy that she was somewhat in awe of, likely early in her career. Most everyone else named are roughly her age, not sure I’d see her being in awe. Even Alec Baldwin; he’s a bit older, but he was coming up/beginning to be noticed around the same time, so not sure she’d feel that way about him.

        I vote for Caan in Honeymoon; at that point he still had some of that glow from the colossal fame of The Godfather. But depressing to realize from these comments how many guys seem to be realistic possibilities…

      • Carol says:

        I’m thinking James Caan. He was a huge movie star at that time or a bit earlier. He liked the ladies and was a bit crude towards them from what I read about him. I don’t think it was Hugh Grant because I believe SJp and Hugh got along really well and became friends afterwards.

      • India Rose says:

        Caan was atrocious to Bette Midler on the set of “For the Boys”. The stories were grotesque. He has a horrible reputation. Garbage human being. I can’t watch him.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      James Caan, too.

      • Jess says:

        James Caan is my guess. She was young, he was old, and I could see him thinking he could do whatever he wanted to her. I hope not, though, because I love that movie.

      • Agenbiter says:

        Caan fits. None of the other guesses would have the open sense of collective entitlement characteristic of Caan’s generation.

      • Tigerlily says:

        Agree it’s James Caan whilst filming Honeymoon in Vegas

    • Meg says:

      Ooohh people wondering if this is alec baldwin reminds me of when lisa kudrow said a guest star on friends who she’d rehearsed with all week said she was finally ‘f**kable’ on the day of filming when her hair and makeup had been done by makeup artists and hair stylists as opposed to all week during rehearsals when it wasnt.

      • Sue Denim says:

        v good insight…I’ve heard awful things about him from NYers…

      • Alice says:

        Huh. I always thought Lisa Kudrow was referring to Sean Penn or Charlie Sheen..both were guest stars on Friends.

      • Lucy2 says:

        I thought th Lisa Kudrow one was Michael Rappaport, who was recurring for a few episodes and then very quickly written out.

  7. Lurker says:

    I’m thinking Vince Vaughn when they were in LA for SATC

    • Vexa says:

      Yes that was my first thought as well! Vaugh was probably at the height of his star power then, right?

  8. drea says:

    The Divorce is fantastic. Nothing like eat, pray, love. It’s not schmaltzy, self-reflective, or pretentious.
    Most of the characters have no real redeeming qualities and it’s funnier because of it!

    Sure, she’s a little Carrie in it, but overall it’s a fun half hour of television.

    • ks says:

      AGREE! It’s a very good show.

    • manda says:

      Love the show! I thought I was the only one watching! I think her friends are hilarious. Just a really great show. I was so pleased when it was renewed for a third season.

      Yeah, I never read eat pray love, but Divorce isn’t a self-exploration or about finding your inner whatever. It’s just a story about two flawed people getting a divorce, and OHHHHH the crap they slung at each other. So funny. The other characters really add to it. I didn’t think I would like it either, but my sister rec’d it and it was good (I also enjoyed camping….)

  9. BengalCat😻 says:

    I was thinking Nic Cage or Johnny Depp. (Ed Wood was such a great movie)…but Alec Baldwin sounds like a perfect guess.

  10. Lady Baden-Baden says:

    Steve Martin?

  11. sweetpea73 says:

    Nic Cage on the set of that Vegas movie. She has spoken before how the crew harassed her about her nude scene and she ultimately renegotiated to not have to do it.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      I highly doubt that since she and Nic were dating while making that film.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      James Caan was also on that movie. and he is SKEEZY. and a bigot.

      • SophiasSideye says:

        Yep, James Caan was my guess.

      • windyriver says:

        Yes, I would guess James Caan as well. He was still a big star at that point and IIRC she had quite a few scenes with him, not that many with Nicholas Cage, as the whole point was Cage was running all over trying to find her. She was supposed to be the image of Caan’s late wife…

  12. Sherry says:

    Regarding Divorce, I surprised myself last year by starting to watch it, and it’s not at all my kind of show. And I like it – it’s pretty addictive.

  13. Arizona says:

    I always get frustrated when people who are big stars do blind items about things like this. I get it, and nobody has to name names if they don’t want to – but I still wish they would.

    I totally understand what she’s talking about, though. When all of the #MeToo stuff started coming out, it made me really re-examine some of the situations I’d been put in at work or life in general, and realized that a lot of it I just brushed off or tried to ignore. It was not okay! There was only one time when I tried to do something – a group of about five of us complained about our manager, because he would make lewd comments and suggestions. He was suspended for one day, and that was it. Sigh.

  14. J ferber says:

    I highly doubt it was Steve Martin.

  15. Andrea says:

    David Duchovny?

  16. EMc says:

    I dont think it was SATC.. even though she said it didnt matter how powerful she was, they wouldn’t give her a one way ticket out to never return for a show she’s the star of. I initially thought Matthew M also, because of the baked comment. I know she clarified what she meant, but it makes me wonder if she clarified only because she made it way too obvious..

  17. Nicegirl says:

    James Caan?

  18. SJR says:

    I completely forgot about the movies she has starred in, I went right to What movie star was in SATC?

    Failure to Launch, still a good flick. She was good in LA Story.
    She really has had a pretty good career for years.

    And, I think a lot of women can recall being put in uncomfortable situations when they are just starting employment and are younger. I think back on several times when I should have reported/stood up for myself but “Dont rock the boat” and I needed the paycheck.

    People can be true power trippers and enjoy making others squirm. And I am glad that women are reporting and changing the workplace culture.

  19. Sue Denim says:

    I was thinking State and Main because there were several big named men on that, and it seemed a bit bro-y, plus she was big enough by then to have some clout…but yes, I think a lot of us have been reevaluating past incidents w men and realizing there was prob more menace than we could fully recognize at the time.

    Separate note but I watched the Ben Bradlee doc on Hulu and in it, his wife and JFK develop a friendship, JFK develops an attraction to her, and one night — it sounds like — he raped her. But the wife thinks somehow she must have led him on, been somehow responsible, was it an affair, etc. and so she and Ben let it pass… I think people then didn’t understand things like this as rape…and in even worse cases the women would be blamed. I asked my father about it, since he’s of that generation, and he said men knew tho, that JFK would have known exactly what he was doing, he just felt entitled to what he wanted…

    Such sobering times but maybe as more of the truth comes out, women and the men who love them will be armed with better insight and information…

  20. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    Cain? Cage? Baldwin? For some reason I can’t see Banderas or Harry Connick invading inappropriate space other than overtly flirty. But who knows…she’s acted with quite a few men.

  21. frankly says:

    My thought was Hugh Grant since he readily admits in every interview that he’s an ahole. And I remember when their movie was being made there was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama gossip.

  22. Meg says:

    Hugh Grant I reckon.

  23. ariel says:

    The way I read it, it sounded like it happened multiple times- the general “inappropriate comments” stuff.
    But there did seem to be a specific reference to SATC, and it seemed to be in the same vague story about her agent saying he’d fly her out of town if it did not stop.
    Which seems to say that it was an out of town (I.e. Los Angeles) episode(s) of SATC.

    But maybe the two things (1) her power on SATC and (2) will get on a plane out of town, are not meant to be part of the same incident.

    She did talk about the Bruce Willis movie -Striking Distance- and how awful it was. But she specifically spoke about being treated like a non-entity, not specifically sexually. it was an incident where she almost drowned doing a scene in the water, and instead of the director, etc. asking if she was okay, he just wanted to know if they got the shot.

  24. Meg says:

    Ooohh people wondering if this is alec baldwin reminds me of when lisa kudrow said a guest star on friends who she’d rehearsed with all week said she was finally ‘f**kable’ on the day of filming when her hair and makeup had been done by makeup artists and hair stylists as opposed to all week during rehearsals when it wasnt.

  25. Beech says:

    @Sue Denim, it was rape? I did a quick search on Google and the one account I read said JFK made a pass at her. Whatever, he was shamess as she was friendly with Jacqueline and he with Bradlee. JFK went on to have an affair with Toni Bradlee’s sister, Maty.

    • Sue Denim says:

      Beech — I googled it too and couldn’t find info either but from the doc — which I recommend in general — It sounded like it was much more than a pass, that they’d all been drinking, she walked down a hallway, JFK followed her and assaulted her, didn’t say how far that went but it sounded v bad and left her v confused. I’d meant in my original comment to couch it as “assault possibly rape…”

      And yes, her sister — Mary Pinchot Meyer — is a tragic case, affair w JFK then murdered… https://people.com/politics/jfk-mistress-murdered-mary-pinchot-meyer/

  26. Lucy Pine says:

    sad..

  27. Mika says:

    I’m just here to say that “Divorce” is awesome. It’s written by Sharon Horgan, who also writes “Catastrophe” and is one of the most brilliant voices on television. It’s dark and sarcastic and funny the characters are sympathetic and unlikable at the same time. You should all watch it.

  28. FHMom says:

    Bill Murray?

  29. KEEKS says:

    My guess is Hugh Grant for some reason, well, I know the reason. Some things I have heard from British men in my life are completely disgusting.

  30. pantalones en fuego says:

    My money is on Steve Martin.

  31. Harryg says:

    Divorce is fun!

  32. Dizzy says:

    I want to stick up for Hugh Grant because I’ve seen a video on you tube of Sarah talking about how much she likes him. Although he is famously grumpy he is also very honest about being grumpy.

  33. Nightsky says:

    Definitely thinking James Caan. He had a bad rep in the 80′s and 90′s for trying to pressure women into bed, then turning nasty when the women rejected him.

    • Sue Denim says:

      I’m thinking this too now. She went on Alec Baldwin’s brief talk show, so prob not him…

  34. NΞΞNΔ ZΞΞ says:

    My ex worked on State & Main and I visited the set a couple of times. Alec Baldwin made a few lech-y comments to me which were meant to sound flattering. I suppose it could’ve been him but he doesn’t really have that reputation and I feel like any major offenses on his part would’ve surfaced by now. A lot of David Mamet’s work comes off as sex-obsessed, but he was considered a really friendly, appreciative director by the crew. SATC had just started and was getting lots of attention, but I remember that SJP flew back to NY on the weekends while most of the cast stayed in town and she wore rubber boots around the set (even when it wasn’t raining).

  35. India Rose says:

    This comment really got me: “I didn’t have to listen to jokes about me or my figure or what people thought they could talk me into doing. All these men. All these men. That stopped.”

    I so relate to living much of my life with the understanding that we exist in a patriarchy & there’s not much to do about it except push back when it’s unbearable. Me Too sent this flood of voices out to say: This is happening to you? Me too. You are not alone. We have power. Together we can use this power to tell our own stories in our own voices. All these men. All these men. They don’t own us any more.

    There’s still a long way to go. But a lot happened in the last two years because our voices said: Enough. This is not okay. This is no way to live. And that makes me hopeful.

    Peace, bitches.

  36. Les says:

    Craig T. Nelson in The Family Stone. I loved him when he was Coach on TV but he started to give me the willies after that. He gives off this alpha male bullshit vibe and I can absolutely imagine him treating her in real life as disrespectfully as his character did in the movie.

  37. Anna says:

    Mikhail Baryshnikov or Vince Vaughn.

  38. Mina says:

    It’s probably Jack Nicholson.