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Sarah Jessica Parker became one of television’s biggest stars for her portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. But there were certain aspects of the character that she felt the public might’ve found off-putting.

Sarah Jessica Parker once opened up on Carrie Bradshaw’s flaws

Sarah Jessica Parker posing at the at Hammer Museum Gala in the Garden.
Sarah Jessica Parker | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw has been very good to Parker. Playing the role helped give her a financially secure career, and an iconic character that she’d always be attached to. But although Parker’s become synonymous with her fictional counterpart, at the same time she couldn’t have been any more different.

In the show, Carrie Bradshaw was known for her excessive spending habits and promiscuous lifestyle. In an interview with The New Yorker, Parker seemed to find some of her character’s behavior disgusting.

“I could never do any of that stuff in my life,” she said. “It would be immoral. It would be unprincipled. An affair, husbands, kissing, buying, drinking—whims, whims, whims!”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Parker felt most fans would’ve found someone like Carrie Bradshaw off-putting. But the show managed to endear the character to the audience by humanizing her.

“The fashion was exciting,” Parker said. “But what was unique and special was that the language was so new — and I don’t mean the salty, ribald, provocative stuff. A woman like Carrie was unlikable to many people in terms of how she spent her time, how she spent her money, her personal choices about children and marriage and affairs. But there was a human-ness to her that people connected to.”

Why Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t find playing Carrie Bradshaw fun

The show didn’t solely focus on Carrie Bradshaw’s lavish lifestyle. One of the reasons she might’ve been so relatable to fans was due to the nuance of the character. Carrie Bradshaw navigated through many relationships, friendships, and internal problems that the average person could easily relate to. But the range of emotions Parker had to tap into to portray Carrie sometimes took its toll.

“She was a deeply emotional person,” Parker once told Daily Beast. “She made tons of mistakes. She was raw and exposed. She was flawed. She was ridiculous. She was silly. She was funny, she was smart. She sobbed and you know, pulled herself across a threshold countless times to try to find home. But people thought, you know, they didn’t think it was work for me. I’m like, no, actually, look at all of it. Take your time and look at all of it! And then ask me if it was fun—or do you want to have a serious conversation about the fact that I’m an actor?”

Why Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw caused fights in the writer’s room


Sarah Jessica Parker Once Shared How She Knew She Would Never Become a Movie Star

Carrie Bradshaw’s excessive spending was also a point of contention behind the scenes. There was debate among the fan community and the show’s own crew that Carrie might’ve been living well beyond her means. The issue came to a head in the Sex and the City episode “Ring a Ding Ding”. There, she was put in a situation where she had to buy her property instead of renting it, which was more than she could afford.

The character would ask for some financial help from her friends. After a bit of conflict, she’d receive the help she was looking for. But many fans seemed disappointed by the way the character was written throughout the ordeal.

“If people were pissed and hated that Carrie did that, I’m okay with that,” producer Amy Harris once told CNBC Make It. “The biggest fight we ever got into in the writers’ room was about the money. That was a very big debate.”

The episode exposed certain inconsistencies with Parker’s frivolous spending in correlation with the amount of money the character actually made.

In the end, however, Harris believed Carrie Bradshaw might’ve learned from her mistakes, which provided subtle character development for her arc.

“In my mind, she had to acknowledge all the s*** choices she’d made and the fact that she hadn’t saved a penny and that was a big mistake, and so she was living with that,” Harris said.