When Sarah Jessica Parker came to Hollywood in the early ’80s, starring in TV shows like Square Pegs and the movie Footloose, celebrity was very different. The paparazzi were not as demanding, entertainment journalism was much more niche, and social media was not part of the job.
It would be an understatement to say that the Sex and the City star preferred it that way. As she confirmed Wednesday in an interview, sharing personal updates with the world is not among her favorite things.
“I’ve never taken a selfie. In my whole life,” Parker told Time. “I don’t always love cameras everywhere in phones. There are times it feels very intrusive and inappropriate, especially when I’m with my children.” Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick, are the parents of son James Wilkie, 13, and 7-year-old twin girls Marion and Tabitha.
Parker sort of made an exception to her no-selfies rule earlier this month when she brought her son to see one of his favorite artists, Kanye West, at an L.A. concert. West’s wife, Kim “Queen of Selfies” Kardashian, brought Parker and her son backstage and managed to record a few moments with the actress. For her part, SJP tried to hide her face most of the time. Kardashian must have been confused about what was happening.
Parker prefers sharing photos of the books she’s reading, the view she’s taking in, or a cool object she finds, versus selfies on Instagram. Her Twitter feed is full of, well, old posts. Her most recent tweet went out in November 2014. (Her follower count is still at a healthy 731,000.)
“You either have the constitution for something like Twitter or you don’t,” she shared with Time. “And since it’s not necessary, since I’m not required by law to be on Twitter, I felt very comfortable not being on Twitter. I didn’t like the tone. I was very distressed and disappointed by the language and the familiarity and the intimacy. People don’t have to like me. I don’t care about that at all. You’d be delusional to think there’d be no strong feelings objecting to me. But I was confused why people would follow and say mean things. I think when you can’t have a civilized conversation, I’m inclined to leave.”
One place you can find Parker for sure next month is HBO, where her new series Divorce premieres Oct. 9. Obviously, with a new show comes extra attention, and Parker was asked whether or not that would be difficult for her.
“My life is speculated about — my marriage is, constantly,” she answered. “I don’t imagine that it will become so much more dense that that will become overwhelming to me. I’ve weathered the worst already. The work is important to me.”
“I want it to be well received,” she continued. “That matters to me. I care about trying to separate what matters and what doesn’t. I read, but I don’t read about myself. Sometimes it’s brought to my attention for reasons that are legitimate. I’m much more human than people think. I’m easily hurt, still, after all these years. I have developed a tougher skin, but I’ve worked really hard, and the show is interesting and important, and I’m proud of my work and that’s all I can do. I can’t control it beyond that. I’d like to control it, but I can’t.”
Parker also touched on something else she can’t control — the persistent rumors that she and former Sex and the City co-star Kim Cattrall feuded behind the scenes.
“You answer when [questions about that are] deserving and worthy of an answer, and the rest you let go, and let your reputation speak for itself,” she said diplomatically. “It was always so heartbreaking to me that there was this narrative about Kim [Cattrall] and myself because it just didn’t reflect anything that happened on that set. They just didn’t do it to the Sopranos guys. It was so strange to me and upsetting. I posted something on Kim’s birthday and people were like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know you liked her!’ What? We were all at liberty to walk away at any time! But nobody asked those questions of shows with men. Isn’t that interesting?”
Some things in Hollywood never change.