Sarah Jessica Parker On Her All-Female Production Company: “We’re Trying To Find The Stories That Haven’t Been Told”

by Erika W. Smith

Fans know Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie on Sex and the City—or more recently, as Frances on HBO’s Divorce—but behind the scenes, Parker is working to help other women’s stories get told. She runs her own production company called Pretty Matches (after her one-and-only line in the 1974 TV movie The Little Match Girl), and her publishing imprint, SJP for Hogarth, which will release its first novel, A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, this summer.

In conversation with sportscaster Mary Carillo at Tribeca Film Festival last week, Parker explained that her production company’s staff is all women, though that wasn’t necessarily intentional. (In fact, they had a man on staff for a while.)

“I can’t say the process of creating this group was intentionally to seek only female hires, we were just excited by these women we met,” Parker said, adding, “I am a woman, I’m informed by my life experiences and what I see from my female friends or watching women in the world.”

The production company doesn’t have an all-women rule, but they do prioritize women’s stories, she explained: “What we’re hoping to do is to tell whole stories, stories about everybody. But we are keenly interested in the woman’s points of view in the story. We try to look after her and how her story is being told. We’re trying to find the stories that haven’t been told, that should be told, and that are marginalized or overlooked.”

She added, “We’re happily burdened by trying to do right by the female stories we’re telling.”

That point of view showed when Parker discussed playing an “unlikable” character on Divorce (a Pretty Matches title), saying that the criticism of “unlikable” “would not apply to a man,” and that she “didn’t worry too much if she was likable, because I liked her […] whether she’s likable or not, I don’t know about that, but I think she’s human.” 

top photo: Divorce/HBO

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