The Look: Sarah Jessica Parker

It's hard to believe she had a life before Carrie Bradshaw -- but in 1990, Sarah Jessica Parker was a young, displaced Ohio girl, living in one of Hollywood's most historic homes with then fiance Robert Downey Jr. Check this profile out and see for yourself.

Hotel California

They say Jack Kennedy used to check in here-- without Jackie. Funny Girl was filmed here, and American Gigolo. This is Tinseltown at its finest. Down at the end of the West Wing corridor of The Beverly Hills Hotel, in a small room, a dozen people-- Firooz the photographer, stylists, assistants, editors, publicists, etc.-- are stepping on each other's toes as they wait for Sarah Jessica Parker's hair to dry. Sarah, despite the hair dryer aimed at her head, seems to be keeping her cool. "I think I'm totally grooving now," she says, really sincerely, to no one in particular. In Hollywood, you like someone who can say something like that and sound sincere. What's a friendly, attractive, Ohio native like Sarah doing in Hollywood anyway? She wants to know if her hair stylist has had enough to eat from room service. She wants to know if everyone here has voted in today's California primary elections. She's shocked at how many people haven't. She thinks it's odd that everyone can sit around and talk so casually about all the corruption in Hollywood.

How can someone who lives with Robert Downey Jr. in a house Cecil B. DeMille had built for Charlie Chaplin seem so un-Hollywood? Maybe she really is just like the young, idealistic public prosecutor she plays on TV's "Equal Justice." Sarah, who stars with Steve Martin in next spring's L.A. Story, is so un-Hollywood that she knows what she likes to wear and she wears it-- like maybe one of Robert's big black coats over a loose flowery dress and cowboy boots.She says some magazines have criticized her look. "I don't like that it bothers me when people say stuff like that. But when is it going to stop bothering me? It hurts my feelings. The people they like wear pant suits. I'm in my 20s. I'm not gonna do it!" Sarah comes out of the dressing room for the first shot and climbs onto the rumpled sheets of the bed wearing a slinky white slip.

Someone suggests that the bed is too tacky--it doesn't look like it belongs in this hotel--and Firooz says, "No, no, dear, this bed says The Beverly Hills Hotel." No wonder photo shoots make Sarah nervous. And she just doesn't like the way she looks in most pictures. "I usually cry at photo sessions," she says later. "But this time I had blast. Maybe I'll start acting like a total movie star and say, 'I'll only work with Firooz.' "Why not? This is, after all, Hollywood.

Joshua Mooney

Slip by Natori available at I. Magnin, Beverly Hills ($66).


  • Quinn Feliu says:

    Man, talk about a fantastic read! I've stumbled across your articles a few times within the past, but I usually forgot to bookmark it. But not again! Thanks for posting the way you do, I actually love seeing somebody who actually has a viewpoint and isn't just copying crap like the majority of other bloggers these days. Keep it up!

  • Joshua Mooney says:

    Well, thank you, Quinn. I wrote that article about SJP many years ago, but am pleased to hear you still find something worthwhile in it. Also? "Keep It Up" is my middle name.
    Joshua Mooney