The Stunning Transformation Of Sarah Jessica Parker

Most of us know Sarah Jessica Parker for her iconic turn in Sex and the City as the chain-smoking, party-going, loveable, messy columnist Carrie Bradshaw. Of course, Parker continued to appear on our screens after the show ended in 2004 with roles in projects like Failure to Launch, New Year's Eve, Glee, and the HBO show Divorce (via IMDb). But Carrie is probably still Parker's biggest role — and in 2021, news of a Sex and the City reboot sent fans into a frenzy. While we all know what Parker is up to these days, we couldn't help but wonder... how did the star get where she is today?


It turns out that Parker has been in the acting business for a long, long time. After growing up in a poor family, she leapt at the chance to make her own way with early childhood roles both on stage and screen. Since getting started at 8 years old, the actress has never really slowed down. Curious to know more? Here is the stunning transformation of Sarah Jessica Parker.

Sarah Jessica Parker grew up in a large family without much money

While you may be used to imagining Sarah Jessica Parker running around New York City in a pair of unpractical but expensive shoes, her childhood was a little different. She was born in Nelsonville, Ohio to Stephen and Barbara Parker. She was 3 years old when her parents divorced. Her mother then married Paul Forste, a truck driver, and had three more children. Parker was one of eight children in total, and, as she explained to The Telegraph, the family didn't grow up with much. "There were some Christmases where we went without presents," she explained. "But my parents gave us so much love." Nevertheless, her parents made sure their children's lives were culturally rich.


For Parker, the experience of growing up in such humble circumstances has given her an indomitable work ethic — and for that, she's grateful. As she explained, all of her eventual success was due to her own hard work. "I think it's a real privilege to grow up the way I did," she told the Daily Mail, "and I think my son's strangely at a disadvantage because he's a child of affluence and he doesn't know what that means."

Sarah Jessica Parker started acting when she was 8 and soon landed a lead role on Broadway

Even though Sarah Jessica Parker's parents didn't have much, they supported their daughter's acting aspirations from an early age. Parker's first professional role came when she was just 8 years old. Then, in 1979, when she was 14, Parker was selected from the children's ensemble in a Broadway production of Annie to take on the titular role (via iNews). In an old interview, Parker explained how she performed in the musical every night and attended a professional children's school at the time. It's clear that her childhood was dominated by her budding career.


In a 2016 interview on Popcorn with Peter Travers, Parker reminisced about her early days on Broadway. She even confessed that there were still elements of Annie in her as an adult. "There's a little 'Tomorrow,'" she said referring to one of the musical's most famous songs. She added, "There's also a little 'Maybe.'" Even though Parker's turn as Annie came when she was still young, it seems that the role has stuck with her.

Sarah Jessica Parker spent her teenage years working

Once Sarah Jessica Parker got a taste of life as a professional actress, she never really slowed down. As she told The Telegraph, she never had the typical teenage rebellious phase. "I was already independent," she explained. "I was already working." She certainly was busy. A few years after Annie, Parker landed a role on the TV show Square Pegs about teen cliques in the '80s. As she told A.V. Club, "I knew at the time that it was unusual and special, and even though I wasn't really well-versed in television — because we didn't get to watch a huge amount of television — I knew from the pilot script that it was special."


From there, Parker took on the memorable role of Rusty in the classic musical film Footloose, which, as she recalled, helped her grow up. "It was a really great experience, and I was on my own and living in a hotel," she said. The roles kept coming. As Parker explained of those early years, "You know, all you want is a job. You're auditioning, you want to have as much experience as possible."

Sarah Jessica Parker transitioned to rom-coms with Honeymoon in Vegas

In 1992, Sarah Jessica Parker starred in Honeymoon in Vegas opposite Nicolas Cage. The role marked a transition in her career from supporting character to leading lady. "It was definitely the first time I got to play the part, the object of a man's affection versus the best friend of the object," she told A.V. Club


The role was also the first sign that she was on the route to stardom. As she explained, the director simply offered the role after seeing her in L.A. Story. "It was enormously influential and impactful and meaningful for me," she said. Apparently, she'd never imagined that her career would be understated — that she'd be a "journeyman," as she put it. "So, when it changed, it was nothing I had expected, and it was wonderful," she said. As we all know, this turning point in Parker's career was just the beginning.

Sarah Jessica Parker starred in this Halloween classic

In 1993, Sarah Jessica Parker starred as Sarah, the ditzy blonde witch in the Disney Halloween movie Hocus Pocus. For Parker, the movie wasn't exactly a momentous job. In fact, as she confessed years later on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, she could barely remember the plot! However, one thing she did recall was flying on her broom. "I could fit an entire New York Times up the back of the corset," she recalled. Apparently, she would just hang out on her broom and read while everyone else took their breaks!


At the time of filming, Parker didn't realize what an impact the movie would have. In 2014, the actress confessed in an interview with Fox 5, "It's so interesting to me ... only since having joined Twitter fairly recently do I understand people's affection and devotion to Hocus Pocus and I can't really explain it expect perhaps it came out at a certain time and this generation of people were a certain age and that moment and those memories that they connect with that time," she mused. She went on to joke that the premise of the movie was "freaking weird."

Sarah Jessica Parker met Matthew Broderick while working on Broadway

As of 2021, Sarah Jessica Parker has been married to Matthew Broderick for over 20 years. The couple first met in 1991 in New York City after Parker's brother introduced the two. At the time, Broderick was directing a Broadway play, and Parker was starring in the off-Broadway play The Substance of Fire. After meeting, months passed before they went out on their first date. As Parker told The New York Times, "He left a very charming, very self-affecting message on the machine."


At the time, they bonded over their similar dreams and aspirations. "Matthew and I come from a different time and place," Parker told Harper's Bazaar in 2013. When we were young people, all we ever wanted was to be good working actors."

In 1997, they tied the knot in an understated affair. As Parker told People, she had never considered marriage to be a goal, but with Broderick, it felt like the natural thing to do. "I never thought about a wedding dress. Never. Had not one daydream about it," she explained. "At one point I just simply remember thinking, 'God, I really hope he asks me to marry him.'"

Sarah Jessica Parker shot to fame with Sex and the City

In 1998, Sarah Jessica Parker took on what is arguably her most iconic role to date — Carrie Bradshaw in HBO's Sex and the City. As the actress explained to A.V. Club, she had no idea that the show would be as huge as it was. "None of us knew," she said. As she went on to explain, she was far too busy working on the show to realize its enormous cultural impact.


Nevertheless, Parker must have realized her career was heading in the right direction during Sex and the City — after all, it was her first time being both actor and producer on a project. As she told Forbes, the show's creator, Darren Starr, asked her to be one of the producers. She spent the first year observing the other producers, then took on the role herself. "You just learn the business of producing which involves numbers and budgets and unions and interpersonal relationships and complicated people and easy people and people that betray you and at the last minute, you're dealing with a lot of people you're responsible to and for," she said. Wow, sounds like she certainly learned a lot!


Sarah Jessica Parker's first child forced her to change her hectic routine and re-evaluate

In 2002, Sarah Jessica Parker gave birth to James, her first child (via Vogue). At the time, she was at the height of her Sex and the City fame and had just become the show's producer. When James arrived, her busy schedule naturally shifted. As she explained in an interview with Oprah, "Most of my friends in New York are single women or gay men. And it's taken some time to be able to say, 'I can't go to dinner with you. I want to put my son to bed.'" She went on to explain that this "whole new way of thinking" was a struggle, but a privilege nonetheless.


At the time, Parker was beginning to think about her future. "So much of my life lately has been Sex and the City, and now I want more. I want to be a better parent, a better actress — to keep myself challenged and terrified," she told Oprah. As she explained, she was looking forward to life after the show finished when she could slow her pace of work down and "do a couple of movies a year" — and that's exactly what she did when the show ended in 2004.

Sex and the City made Sarah Jessica Parker a fashion icon

Sex and the City is famous for its revolutionary approach to sex and female friendships. However, the show was also a revelation in the fashion world. For Sarah Jessica Parker, the show marked the beginning of her status as a fashion icon. As she later explained at New York's Vulture Festival (via Hello!), she ended up keeping the majority of her character's iconic wardrobe.


In a 2013 interview with Harper's Bazaar, Parker discussed her new footwear collaboration called SJP with the designer Manolo Blahnik, whose brand of luxury footwear she famously wore on the show. As George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik, said, "She has a fan base in the fashion world that's extraordinary, and it's truly because she's such a nice person."

Parker had previously dipped her toes in the fashion world with an apparel line called Bitten and, later, a line called Halston, but it was with the SJP line that she really made her stamp on the industry. As of 2021, the footwear line is still going strong and has expanded to sell accessories, gifts, clothes, and fragrances in addition to shoes. It's safe to say that Parker may never have created this fashion empire if it wasn't for Carrie Bradshaw.


Sarah Jessica Parker had twins through surrogacy

As Sarah Jessica Parker told Oprah shortly after having her first child, "You always want more." It seems that she and Matthew Broderick did want more — but it wasn't a straightforward process. As the actress explained to The Telegraph, she "tried and tried and tried" to get pregnant. The couple finally decided to go the IVF route with a surrogate. In 2009, their twin girls, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, or "Kitty and Babe" were born. "We were just hopeful that we would have one healthy child. It was a wonderful shock getting two; the cherry on the sundae," Parker said.


Of course, welcoming two new children to the family was a big change for everyone. As she told WebMD, she did have the help of a nanny, but she tried to be as hands-on as possible. "People seem to be very surprised that we don't want a life with that much outside help." As she went on to say, having private family time was a big priority for her.

Sarah Jessica Parker's HBO show Divorce was a real departure from what she knew

In 2016, Sarah Jessica Parker took on her first big TV role since Sex and the City with HBO's Divorce, a show about a couple's struggling marriage. As Parker explained to IndieWire, the show was a whole new experience. For one thing, the TV industry had changed significantly since the early 2000s. "Nobody owns anything anymore," she said. "[With Sex and the City] we were like, 'Sunday nights! Nobody does original programming in the summer on a Sunday night!'" Of course, that's no longer true.


Her character was also a real departure. "From [the first scene], she feels different," Parker explained to IndieWire, describing her new role. "It was hard to take on somebody so new, so wonderfully different and somebody who is not buoyant; not full of all sorts of color — like Carrie Bradshaw, for instance."

It seems that Parker's venture into new territory paid off. As The Guardian noted of her performance, she shines in the show despite its differences with more familiar territory.

Sarah Jessica Parker launched her own publishing imprint in 2016

After launching her fashion business SJP in 2013, Sarah Jessica Parker launched another business venture in 2016 with SJP for Hogarth, a publishing imprint. In the press release about the imprint, Penguin Random House announced that Parker would act as Editorial Director, being "involved in every aspect of the publication of books issued by SJP for Hogarth from their selection and acquisition to cover design and promotion." That's right — Parker became a publisher!


As the actress explained to iNews, going into publishing had been a lifelong dream. "I've been an avid reader my entire life," she said. "I was nervous about it and didn't feel I was equipped," she confessed, but, nevertheless, she was determined to try this new venture. So far, it's been a huge success. The first book she published charted at No. 12 on The New York Times bestseller list, while the second received amazing reviews.

Social media has become a big part of Sarah Jessica Parker's life and career

Just like the rest of us, Sarah Jessica Parker has had to keep up with the ever-changing technology that has become a huge part of daily life. For Parker, this has meant embracing social media as a public figure. As she explained to L'Officiel, joining social media has its benefits. "Not only do I learn a lot," she said, "but I display myself in a completely new way." She went on to explain that there were, of course, "challenges" that came with being online. "I feel like I have to think a lot about how to respond to comments and how to speak on these platforms, because I do not like exchanges with a lack of courtesy." That's certainly refreshing to hear!


Apparently, Parker loves engaging with new people over social media — especially if it means she can talk about one of her favorite subjects: books. Plus, she feels it gives her a chance to show the "more human side" that fans might not always get to see. We absolutely love Parker's mature, empathic approach to social media!

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick were set to reunite on stage when the pandemic hit

Before Sarah Jessica Parker married Matthew Broderick, she starred opposite him in the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business. Even though both had hugely successful acting careers, they never reunited on stage or screen. However, in 2020, the couple was all set to appear on stage once again when the project was tragically cut short due to COVID restrictions.


As the couple explained to CBS News, the play was Neil Simon's Plaza Suite, and it was canceled just hours before opening night. Nevertheless, the couple managed to experience a few previews before lockdown. It seems the pair enjoyed it in spite of their initial hesitations. "I think it has been incredibly pleasant," Parker said. Apparently, it gave them an excuse to spend more time together. "I mean, we spent more time together in the last two-and-a-half, three months than we've spent since we were courting, really, sincerely."

Sarah Jessica Parker is working on a Sex and the City reboot

Even though Sarah Jessica Parker had said in 2018 that the "world has changed so much" that Sex and the City could never come back, in 2021, an upcoming reboot of the show was announced. As Parker explained to Vanity Fair, the show would take on a much more contemporary outlook. "It's incredibly diverse in a really exciting way," she said, adding that the show would be about new "life experience, political world views, and social world views." Apparently, the show is even set to tackle COVID-19!


The Sex and the City reboot isn't the only project Parker has lined up in 2021. In fact, she's also set to return to the world of Hocus Pocus with a much-awaited sequel directed by Adam Shankman. As Parker told CinemaBlend, "I think now we've gotten to the point where we've agreed publicly to the right people 'Yes, that would be a very, very fun idea,' so we'll see what the future holds."