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Sarah Jessica Parker recalls 'very big' male movie star who behaved badly on set

The "Divorce" star recalled "countless" instances of men behaving poorly on set over the years, including having her agent intervene regarding a "big movie star."
/ Source: TODAY

Sarah Jessica Parker has not been immune to her own #MeToo moments with badly behaving men on set during her long career in Hollywood.

The "Divorce" star spoke about her experiences with harassment in the industry, including one with "a big movie star," in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air."

Sarah Jessica Parker has opened up about her experiences with male harassment in the entertainment industry.

"The nature of the person who I felt was really the instigator, this was a grown man, a very big movie star and he was baked — meaning his personality, it was cooked,'' Parker said. "He was a formed person, and that wasn’t going to change, but I felt certainly better and safer, like I could finish what I had agreed to do (after confronting the issue)."

Parker, 54, did not name the actor or specify the project she was working on at the time.

She called her agent to help resolve the issue, which she said also included the actor "not living up to contractual obligations as well."

"I felt I was no longer able to convey how uncomfortable this was making me, how inappropriate it was, and also that it was crossing lines outside of this personal exchange,'' she said. "I called my agent, and it was fascinating. Within hours, everything had changed.

"And in fact, I will say he also said to them, ‘If this continues, I have sent her a ticket, a one-way ticket out of this city where I was shooting, and she will not be returning.'''

Parker described her return to the set after her agent intervened to stop the behavior of the male movie star.

"It wasn’t perfectly pleasant, but I didn’t have to be coy anymore and I didn’t have to dread a potential conversation,'' she said. "I didn’t have to listen to jokes about me or my figure or what people thought they could talk me into doing. All these men...and that just stopped."

The former "Sex in the City" star hadn't even taken stock of all the instances of male co-stars behaving poorly in her career until reading about the scandals involving movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"It really wasn’t, I would say, until about six or eight months ago that I started recognizing countless experiences of men behaving poorly, inappropriately, and all the ways that I had made it possible to keep coming to work or to remain on set, or to simply, as I’ve described it, just push it down, push it away, find a little space for it and move on,” she told Gross.

"I always found a spot and really just didn’t allow it to consume me. I don’t know why, to be honest. I don’t know why I either wasn’t courageous or more destroyed by some of the things that I was privy to, that I was on the receiving end of."

However, she did recall employing certain tactics to try to work around bad behavior by males on the set.

"Sometimes it was making deals, trying to be witty and clever and use information that I had about this other party,” she said. "Maybe their politics. Maybe making a joke, 'If you continue doing that I’ll tell everybody that you’re voting for George Bush in the next election.’

"I would try to find ways with language. I did things like have a friend spend the night and answer my phone. I remember in a hotel once, I asked a male friend of mine if he would stay in the hotel room with me and just answer the phone and simply say I wasn’t there."

She also admitted that even when she was in positions of power on the set as her career progressed, she hesitated when it came to stepping in to stop poor behavior by males involved in the shoot.

"No matter how evolved or how modern I thought I was, I think that I didn’t feel entirely in a position — no matter what my role was on set — I didn’t feel as powerful as the man who was behaving inappropriately,'' she said.

"Which just strikes me as just stunning to say out loud because there were plenty of occasions where it was happening and I was in a different position, and I was as powerful. I had every right to say, ‘This is inappropriate.’ I could have felt safe in going to a superior."