Sarah-Jessica Parker on optimism, chocolate Digestives and jade rolling

Sarah Jessica Parker smiling over her shoulder gettyimages - 1500393469
(Image credit: Future)

As a journalist I'm often asked to interview celebrities. Some have been really exciting, but others, I'll admit, I could take or leave. There's really only ever been one star that I actually wanted to meet, sit down and talk with, and that's Sarah Jessica Parker

I grew up watching Sex and the City - I, like so many other millennials, had the black and pink shoe box DVD collection and fancied myself a Carrie. I invested heavily in the the oversized corsage trend, but couldn't quite manage the six inch stiletto heels. Suffice to say, she was my dream interviewee.  

At the end of last year my wish came true. Parker was over in London in her role as Brand Ambassador for Roc Skincare and I was one of the lucky few chosen to ask her questions. At the time she was taking part in the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, so couldn't talk about her acting roles, so any mention of Miss Bradshaw and the gang was a big no-no. 

At the launch earlier in the day, the question of ageing skin had come up (as it always seems to do with Parker) to which gave an eloquent and polite response and the conversation moved on. Later, when I had my one-on-one time with her, she started the interview by kindly saying to me "I feel like I have said what I need to say about ageing today. I think we're all tired of hearing me talk about it. Please can we not bring it up again." This wasn't a surprise to me, because during my research I had read everything she had ever said on ageing, because believe me when I say she gets asked about it a lot, and I'd made a point of leaving any questions related to that subject off my list.

What I wanted to find out was what little things make her happy. So here is Sarah Jessica Parker: My Life In...Micro Joys.

On optimism:

"Sometimes it feels challenging to be optimistic, but I try to be when it's hardest. I think when things are going smoothly or fine or well, it's easy to see possibility, and it's therefore easy to be optimistic. I say this to my kids too: 'You should feel upset. If you're upset or you had an experienced that was unpleasant, upsetting, disappointing, and you feel shattered in some way, feel it. But what are the ways in which you can resurface?' Because I think, especially for young people, there's a real danger in sitting in the saddle of blue. For me, it's not been helpful to stay too long in the place that's upsetting or frustrating. For me, I have to, I don't think it's compartmentalising so much as, okay, that happened, now what? What can I do to feel differently or carry on or put it away. Not to forget it. Not to say it didn't happen or exist or make those feelings not be felt and seen and handled."

Sarah Jessica Parker smiling over her shoulder gettyimages - 1500393469

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On beauty: 

"What is beauty? What is your version? My version, their version, his version, her version? I think it's what you are bringing to a friendship, a conversation, parenting, your professional life as a colleague, as a friend. Beauty can be defined by so many things."

On keeping things simple:

"With my skincare routine, I will do two things at most. I have sensitive skin, so I can't use fragrance and I can't experiment. I like simplicity and efficacy. I love the Roc Max Hydration Cream, it's my companion product. I use it every single day.  And I use it everywhere - I use in on my hands, I use it when I fly... It's a science-based brand, so I know that it's good for me and it's simple."

On her passions:

"Outside of parenting and being a mother, which I'm very passionate about. I would say going to the theatre, the ballet and books. Books are right up there. You can get involved with books more. They don't require you to get to a theatre. And isn't it best to pass on a really good book?"

On jade rolling:

"I keep mine in the fridge and I use it to wake up in the morning. I love that cool feeling. When you're waking up at 3:20 in the morning every day for work, and you're getting home at seven/eight o'clock at night, and then you're back at work at four the next morning and getting home at nine, you're so tired. So anything to be awake, it just feels good. I don't know if it does anything, I don't have techniques, I just kind of roll it here and here. I got one for each of my daughters, and I put a different coloured grosgrain ribbon on them so they could say: 'Nope, that's Tabitha's. That's Loretta's.' I used to use them on the kids anytime they'd hit their head or hurt their knee, I would use a bag of peas and the jade roller."

Sarah Jessica Parker during the actor's strike in New York - gettyimages 1758280383

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On podcasts:

"I listen to tonnes of UK podcasts and news coverage - I really like The Rest is Politics and Pod Save The UK. And have you heard of Tortoise Media? It covers really important stories and it does it beautifully. I like it for its hardcore true investigative journalism. They have really good miniseries, bigger global stories and then they do long stories that take two to three years to research and investigate, like Sweet Bobby. I also really like Rumble Strip, Kerning Cultures and The New York Times The Daily."

On biscuits:

"When we visit the UK we go absolutely crazy for a dark chocolate covered McVities Digestive. If I had to pick the greatest cookie ever, that would be it. It's perfect. I love a chocolate Hobknob too, with all the oatmeal, but I don't think the rest of the family agrees. We all love the Digestive. We don't dip it in our tea like you do though. I also love a Jersey Cream, I think you guys call it a Custard Cream. The last time we were here, we bought Wine Gums. They're unbelievable, I've never had those before." 

On jewellery: 

 "I have my charm necklace that I wear everyday. It's got each of my child's star signs, not that I know anything about astrology, but somebody bought me one when I had my son, so I had to get the others when I had more children. And then I got one for myself and my husband, so now there's one for everybody in the family. And then I have three hearts that I just bought at a junk store - for my three children. There's an old watch fob that I found, and my husband gave me some keys as a reminder of our play Plaza Suite. And then I have a little subway token, which reminds me of my husband. None of it is super fancy, but its fancy to me."

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick - getty 3238404

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On style:

"One of the biggest influences for me is street style. Like when I walk down the street in London you'll see people and you'll think, 'Oh my God. She's so smart. How did she think of that?' or 'What did she see that made her make that choice?' I think public transportation is a great place to see things and see people being themselves, that's a great way of being inspired."

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.