The actress who played Carrie in HBOs classic series is back after a 12-year gap
During the publicity for her new TV series, Divorce, which follows a middle-aged couple caught at the furious fag-end of their once bright-burning marriage, Sarah Jessica Parker took the time to make something very clear to the fans of her previous HBO show, the era-defining Sex and the City. This is not Carrie in the suburbs, Carrie the commuter, she told the New York Times. And I kind of want to get ahead of that, so that there is not this giant heave of disappointment when people find the show is not that same buoyant kind of thing.
She was right in that Frances, the dissatisfied and often dislikable heroine of Divorce, is nothing like the perennially optimistic Carrie Bradshaw who tripped blithely through Manhattans gilded playground for six seasons and two movies, eternally convinced that every day would bring some fresh romantic surprise. And yet its hard not to see Divorce, which was created by Sharon Horgan and starts on Sky Atlantic on 11 October, as the earlier shows bitter flip side, a world in which Carrie and Big (or, more realistically, Carrie and Aidan) buy a McMansion in Westchester, have two kids, rack up debt and slowly see their love wither into contempt.
While television audiences have fused Parker and Carrie so successfully that no profile of the 51-year-old actress is complete without an inventory of her outfits and shoes, she herself has always been clear on the difference. Bradshaws life is nothing nothing like mine, she told Vogue in 2011. I loved playing her and it changed my life in wonderful ways, but Im not a crazy shoe lady. I dont think about fashion all day long.
Maybe not, but there were still times when her association with her most famous role threatened to overwhelm her career. When Sex and the City ended in 2004, she returned to movies, winning a Golden Globe for her performance in The Family Stone and giving well-reviewed turns in a mixture of comedies and indie fare. To viewers, however, she remained indelibly Carrie, a fact she subsequently acknowledged by agreeing to star in two Sex and the City movies (and she has never rejected the idea of a third).