Meeting Sarah Jessica Parker for the first time was always going to be a surreal experience, but finding the I Don't Know How She Does It star offering a plate of brownies to a room full of journalists was just plain strange.
Sarah Jessica is more down to earth than you'd ever expect the woman who played Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City to be, and there's much more to her than her role as a style icon - as she was at great pains to tell us.
In her latest role in I Don't Know How She Does It (based on the Allison Pearson novel), Sarah Jessica plays the long-suffering Kate Reddy, who's trying to balance a high-flying career, a husband and two children without much success. But, as she's quick to point out, she's in privileged position (she has three children with Matthew Broderick, including two-year-old twin girls) compared to most working mums. Read on to find out what she had to say...
Are 'lists' essential for a busy mum, or do you think they make you feel more guilty when you don't tick everything off at the end of the day?
'I don't know how a person would function without a list; there are people that probably aren't even aware they're making lists. I have to keep lists just in order to not be a huge failure - falling short constantly. I don't think that it makes women feel less successful because of the reality of the list. I mean, in my head, I know what's necessary and immediate, versus what's a long term goal.'
Does your husband keep 'a list'?
'Um. No. He doesn't need to. All of his needs are met (smiles).'
So would you have any advice for Kate (her character in I Don't Know How She Does It), in learning how you juggle everything?
'I'm really quite in awe of Kate and the millions of women like her, because there's a ferocity to the business and the chaos in her life and I really don't feel that same kind of relentlessness, you know the pace, because my work is very different and I have liberties that most working women and mothers don't have. I can dip in and out of work and I have a support system, and the financial means to make different choices and that's why I was so taken with Kate's story and the millions of other women who do it far better than I do, with much less support.'
So Sarah, what do you do for your time out?
'I don't know. I'm curious how all other mothers find time. I actually find that it's when all of the children are really in their beds, not their fake 'pretending-to-be-cooperative-and-going-to-sleep', but actually when I hear deep breathing, that I have any time. And mostly what I do, and this is true with the exception of trying to catch up on work and emails, is watch House Hunters International, that's what I do.'
Your guilty pleasure?
'It's not even guilty. I make public proclamations about how much I love it.'
Is it property porn?!
'I don't know how it relates to anything here in the UK, but it's a show...'
Location, Location, Location?
'...yeah! They just meet anybody in different countries all over the world and they're just real people looking to buy a home or a holiday home and it's fascinating, I cannot get enough of it! And sometimes my son will stumble down, having attempted sleep and he'll look and he'll say 'Oh my God I've seen that one, they buy the second in Romania' and that's really what I do. Of course I read all the time but reading is, you know, it seems like, I don't know, a hobby for someone who's got nothing but time.'
I Don't Know How She Does It will be released on 16 September.
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