For Parker, filming this series as the streets of New York slowly came back alive from the malaise of COVID-19 offered a chance to encourage women to celebrate their inner quirkiness, sartorially and otherwise. Sure, some of the outfits she sported for the show cost as much as her children’s tuition, she jokes in a phone call with Allure. Still, the next phase of SATC engages themes that are accessible to people in their 40s and 50s, across class demographics, while still delivering the escapist couture fantasy that has fans tuning in week after week.
Allure: How did it feel for you to come in as a new lead on a show that has such a defined fashion vocabulary? How did it feel to be a Black woman entering the space in this capacity?
Nicole Ari Parker: Oh, that was seamless. My extraness was right on brand. What I was waiting for was the script so I could see how that would really translate. What are they really trying to do or say about the fact that in 20 years you haven’t seen well-rounded characters of color written into the fabric of the show? I was pleasantly surprised that they found a way to say, “these three white girls didn’t have Black friends on a regular basis” — not that we ever tuned into the show for that. At the same time, they were able to write Black women characters who are dealing with their white friends, too. Just like you don’t know me, I don’t know you. I’m a whole person with a whole life.
Allure: You are part of some storied films and television shows — Soul Food, Remember the Titans, Brown Sugar. You have your own personal experience as a part of some major legacy productions. I’m curious about how it feels entering this new pantheon that has an established fan base, and built-in expectations for something they’ve treasured for so many years.
NAP: I’m very conscious of newness, for this fan base, Black and white. A large part of the fan base is Black viewers. Like Jay Z said, we got “Carrie fever.” I really wanted to be comfortable in this character. They didn’t just create a Black character and then make her rich — they gave her a husband, kids, a life, and a job title. She has thoughts and opinions, her house looks a certain way. Then, [they took into consideration] that Lisa Todd Wexley couldn’t be the only Black character on the show. There are other job titles, tax brackets, interests, and agendas for all kinds of women. They really made the role multi-dimensional.