Nicole Ari Parker on ‘And Just Like That…,’ ageism in Hollywood and more
Parker joins 'And Just Like That'... as Lisa Todd Wexley, a character introduced to the group through Charlotte.
In the latest episode of Acting Up, Nicole Ari Parker opens up about her exciting role in HBO Max’s And Just Like That…, ageism in Hollywood and more.
In case you haven’t heard, Sex and the City is back and bringing some new faces along with it. And Just Like That… is the latest installment in the popular series surrounding Carrie Bradshaw and her friends.
This iteration sees the friend group branching out with new people in their lives, including Nicole Ari Parker, who joins the series as Lisa Todd Wexley. But the series creators aren’t just adding in various Black characters without thought, consideration, and reason, Parker told theGrio’s Cortney Wills on Acting Up.
She explained, “They are very aware that they’ve added these four characters, right? It’s not like, ‘Oh twenty years later everybody gets a new brown friend, let’s not say anything!’ But they’re staying on brand with the show…it’s fun, it’s flirty, it’s about fashion.”
Parker said that the show provides insight into how real female friendships work and how racial differences can play into those relationships.
“We’re not always in a heated debate with our white friends, right? But we might trip up over both of us going to the department store and who gets approached…in real-time things happen that make the record skip, and that’s the kind of way that they’re dealing with it, which is kind of cool,” she said.
She also credits the show for avoiding tokenism, as her character Lisa is completely different from Karen Pittman‘s professor character and both are living full, three-dimensional lives. Parker added that the show diversified the writer’s room as well, which was a pivotal aspect of handling the new casting additions.
Photos of the show in production have been hitting the web for months, with some criticism being leveled at the advanced age of the show’s core three characters, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis).
After calling all three of those women “radiant,” Parker opened up about ageism in Hollywood, calling it frustrating. “On the artistic side, you get better. Now that I’ve had kids and I pick up Shakespeare now, I know exactly what I am saying,” she explained. “I could play a superhero now…the ageism puts you into this one space.”
“There’s these boxes, and there’s no movement, no dynamic fleshing out of a full life,” she added. “The irony is that you build this amazing life, you became this even way sexier person because you know who you are, and the writing sometimes just isn’t there.”
“It’s changing because more of us are behind the scenes producing stories, but I think we could really improve in that department.”
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