July 12th, 2011
05:02 PM ET
Sarah Jessica Parker could afford to hire round-the-clock help – the 46-year-old actress ranked at the top of Forbes’ list of highly paid actresses along with Angelina Jolie - but the mom of three, who does employ a nanny for her twins, tells Vogue that she’d rather do most of the childcare herself.
“We don’t have any live-in help. We’re pretty hands on parents,” she says of herself and husband Matthew Broderick, who are parents to toddlers Loretta and Tabitha as well as 8-year-old James Wilkie. “That’s something that’s important to both of us, and we don’t shirk it, because what’s the point in having a family if you’re not going to really participate in it, you know?”
As a result, Parker says she can completely relate to the juggling act her character does in September’s “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” about finance exec Kate Reddy who tries to balance work, her two kids and her marriage.
“[Carrie] Bradshaw’s life is nothing—nothing—like mine,” the actress says of her famed “Sex and the City” character. “I loved playing her, and it changed my life in lots of wonderful ways, but I’m not a crazy shoe lady, I don’t think about fashion all day long, although I have a great respect for the industry. Every choice we’ve made has been different, but with Kate [in ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’] I really understood the attempt at a life.”
And have a life she does, particularly a working one. Although Hollywood is notoriously tough for older actresses to navigate, Parker hasn’t yet felt that effect.
“I kept thinking that this age was the one to be worried about,” she tells Vogue. “Like probably for the last five, six years I kept thinking, ‘Oh, this is that age that I’ve heard about; this is that bad age where the work slows down.’”
She’d assumed that by now she’d be feeling “frustrated, left behind, or marginalized, playing parts I was reluctant to. But I’ve been so busy, I’m not so sure that I see this fallow period yet. I’m not saying it’s not coming and that it won’t hit me like a ton of bricks, but I do find work that I’m excited about and interested in with people that I want to work with.”
Such as Pierce Brosnan, who plays a colleague and potential love interest in the comedy. And it turns out Parker and Brosnan have at least one thing in common: they both get a wicked case of nerves when on a new shoot.
“I lose my appetite,” Parker admits. “By Wednesday of the first week on 'I Don't Know How She Does It,' I was sobbing, I was apologizing. I was feeling so awful and ashamed, like I had let the director down. If only they would not tell me when the camera was running, I would be OK. I’m like that two weeks into every movie. But the beauty of nerves is that you can always find a comrade in it. When Pierce came, he was a nervous wreck! Of course, by then I was really relaxed, but I was so comforted by it.”
Of course, Parker doesn't know what the future holds, but does know she hopes she’ll be doing exactly what she’s doing now.
“I like to be an actor and I like to be a working actor and I don’t know how long I’ll be doing that,” she says, “but it seems to stretch itself out in front of me more than I thought.”
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