QUE SARAH, SARAH
FORGET TOM AND NICOLE. THE PEOPLES POWER COUPLE IS SARAH JESSICA PARKER AND MATTHEW BRODERICK. IN THEIR FIRST INTERVIEW TOGETHER, THEY TALK ABOUT BEING DUELING SEX SYMBOLS, THEIR FAMOUS EXES AND WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SEX AND THE CITY'S CARRIE BRADSHAW MET FERRIS BUELLER.
Its the day after the Emmy awards and Sarah Jessica Parker has just lost the Outsanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series prize for her turn as Carrie Bradshaw in the wicked HBO series Sex and the City: Furthermore, she lost it to Helen Hunt--her husbands ex-girlfriend. Despite that rude blow (as well as one dealt a few weeks earlier when Parkers Dudley Do-Right tanked), her husband of two years, Matthew Broderick, thirty-seven, is, nevertheless, feigning a Norman Maine fit of pique: Describing his role in You Can Count on Me, an indie film he made last summer while starring on Broadway in Night Must Fall, he witheringly notes that he plays not the lead, but, as they once told Norman Maine in A Star Is Born, Its even BETTER than the leadits a part that really leaves an IMPRESSION.
The son of the late James Broderick and one of the best actors of his generation, Brodericks oh-woe-is-me act is, of course, just that: His careerwhich took off at age nineteen in 1981 with Torch Song Trilogy (he won a Tony for the next years Brighton Beach Memoirs) then skyrocketed with his signature role in 1986s Ferris Buellers Day Offis still in tip-top shape. Not only has he scored a recent commercial smash, last summers Inspector Gadget, but earlier this year, in Election, he landed some of the best reviews hes ever received.
Still, with Sex and the City, its undeniably Sarahs moment. Her show is a true phenomenon that has inspired fashion trends (her characters iconic trademark, a gold name-tag necklace, gave cool status to that former accessory aberration) and fueled water-cooler debates (usually over such bon mots as Women are for friends, men are for fucking). Why the fuss? Simple. Sexs incisive, deliriously uncensored dialogue and plotlines have, as never before on television, allowed four female buddies to cuss, screw around, and verbally bash guys as merrily and matter-of-factly as people in the real world often DO.
And, hallelujah, the series success has finally pushed Parker, long an inspired natural comedienne, into the big girls club. The Cincinnati native has worked since she was eight years old in a career thats seen her go from TV brat in the 1982 sitcom Square Pegs to critics darling in 1995s off-Broadway hit, Sylvia, to movie-star-in-training in 90s vehicles such as L.A. Story and The First Wives Club. But with Carrie, the sexual anthropologist heroine she plays in Sex and the City, Parker has finally found a role that stamps her in the public imagination as definitely as her husbands Ferris did him.
Manhattanites to the core, the couple live in SoHo just blocks from where Broderick grew up. The two stars, never apart for more than two weeks, tops, both work regularly in theatre, movies, and television, hang with actor and artist friends, and each boast a trail of famous exesBrodericks include the aforementioned Hunt, as well as Jennifer Grey; Parkers, a seven-year romance with Robert Downey, Jr., and a fling with JFK, Jr. Yet somehow the duo remain solidly down-to-earth, seeming to have mastered the delicate balance between stardom and real life.
For Parker that trait stems, she says, from having grown up in a socially conscious working-class family of ten. Its nature and nurture and all that stuff, she reckons. Subsequently, the exotic beauty has been a 1995 ACLU Award winner, a member of the Hollywood Womens Political Committee, as well as the UNICEF Special Representative for the Performing Arts. For his part, the equally populist Mr. Broderick keeps himself real by remaining a committed subway and bike rider with a passion for pinball and the Yankees.
Semi-regular Joes, dont expect them to work their coupledom a la Beatty and Bening, or even Cronyn and Tandy. Though they teamed up once professionally for the 1995 Broadway musical revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (which earned Broderick a second Tony), this afternoon they claim to be nervous and embarrassed at even doing an interview together.
Not that it shows. The two are perched thisclosetogether in the sunny courtyard of L.A.s Chateau Marmont. Still clearly devoted after eight years together, the eternally youthful couple have ditched the evening duds of last night and are dressed to rumple in jeans and overalls. The golden-brown Parker gazes adoringly at Broderick, steadily rubbing a blindingly white arm of his (Harvey Fierstein once described my color as Brooklyn Green, he laughs) as he reciprocates by sweetly squeezing her knee. Quick, funny and full of stories, they banter away on topics from Marlon Brando, whom Broderick worked with in 1990s The Freshman (He actually told me he didnt think On the Waterfront was any good, laughs Matthew. I said he should really give that one another chance.), to Ross Perot (Hes a loon, sums up Sarah), to the issue of Matthews chunkiness problem (Its his most womanly qualityhes got anorexic eyes, teases Mrs. B). Live and in-person, it turns out that the Brodericks are neither Cronyn and Tandy, nor Cruise and Kidman. What they are, of all things, is the new Burns and Allen. Or, as I actually said .
HAD AN EPIPHANY LAST NIGHT DURING THE EMMYS. I CONCLUDED THAT THE TWO OF YOU
ARE THE PEOPLES TOM AND NICOLE. THEY DO KUBRICK FILMS, YOU
DO HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS.
HAVE TO SAY, I DONT THINK OF YOU AS A POWER COUPLE.
JUST SEEM SO ACCESSIBLE. YOU KNOW, YOURE NOT INTIMIDATINGLY BEAUTIFUL
ON THE STREET, SARAH, THAT YOUR NAKED BODY WAS PLASTERED ALL OVER
NEW YORK BUSES TO PROMISE SEX AND THE CITY: WERE YOU COOL WITH THAT,
BUT TELL US: ARE YOU ENJOYING THIS NEW SEX-SYMBOLDOM?
DO YOU THINK IT TOOK SEX, IN THIS, ITS SECOND SEASON, TO REALLY CATCH
ON VERSUS, SAY, HBOs THE SOPRANOS WHICH TOOK OFF RUNNING?
MATTHEW, IS THAT PUBLIC RESPONSE REALLY MAKING YOU FEEL LIKE NORMAN MAINE?
POOR, WASHED-UP OLD THING, WHY DONT YOU MAKE A MOVIE WITH SARAH?
MOVE ON, KIDS. I UNDERSTAND YOURE BOTH BIG-TIME YANKEE FANS. WHATS
IF YOU EVER HAVE CHILDREN YOULL NOT ONLY BE ABLE TO TEACH THEM THE JOYS
OF THE GAME, YOU CAN ALSO ENTERTAIN THEM WITH YOUR EVER-GROWING CHILDRENS
VIDEO LIBRARY. TOGETHER YOUVE GOT THE LION KING [AS SIMBAS
VOICE], INSPECTOR GADGET, GODZILLA, DUDLEY DO-RIGHT
TAKE THE FIFTH. THOUGH I THINK ITS TIME TO DELVE MORE DEEPLY INTO THIS
LITTLE MARRIAGEA MARRIAGE THAT YOU VIRTUALLY LOBBIED FOR
ON YOUR APPEARANCES ON DAVID LETTERMAN. YOU FINALLY GOT MATTHEW, BUT
STILL, LETTERMAN AND YOU HAVE A VERY PUBLIC FLIRTATION. SO WHATS MATTHEW
GOT THAT DAVE DOESNT?
ABOUT YOUR FLAWS? WHOS THE OSCAR AND WHOS THE FELIX?
THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING MARRIED?
BUT DO YOU EVER MISS WHAT SEX AND THE CITY CALLS THE DAYS OF
EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABILITY AND HOT ONE-NIGHT STANDS?
ABOUT YOUR EXES? LIKE, IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A ROOM WITH ROBERT DOWNEY,
JR., JENNIFER GREY, AND HELEN HUNT IS IT ALL KISSY-KISSY OR IS IT LETS
GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!?
CLINTONITES, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF REPUBLICANS?
LOVE THAT THE WOMAN WHO STARS IN THE MOST SEXUALLY EXPLICITY SHOW ON TV ACTUALLY
SAYS MALARKEY. SO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT BASTION OF REPUBLICANISM,
MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI? SEX IS FOREVER BASHING HIM.
SO, TELL ME: WHAT WOULD CARRIE MAKE OF FERRIS BEULLER?