Swapping New York cool for wide-eyed gushing, “Sex and the City” star and co-producer Sarah Jessica Parker arrived at Harvard Thursday (Feb. 7) to collect the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ annual Woman of the Year award.
“This is, I really believe, the highest honor in the land,” she said as she posed proudly with the brass pudding pot. “This is the pinnacle. This is what I’m going to tell my phantom children.”
Parker, who started acting as a child and never attended college, began her reign with a tour of Harvard Yard. “It’s magnificent,” she said, snapping nearly as many photos on a disposable camera as were taken of her by journalists and onlookers. On the brief tour, which began at Johnson Gate and proceeded to the John Harvard Statue before exiting onto Massachusetts Avenue, Parker chatted easily with the Pudding members who escorted her.
Bare-legged between her Capri-length pants and her stiletto heels, Parker looked distinctly un-New England, her hot pink scarf flashing “movie star” to a growing crowd of onlookers. At the John Harvard Statue, the Harvard Krokodiloes surprised and delighted Parker by emerging from the crowd with harmony and finger-snaps.
At the afternoon’s Woman of the Year parade, Parker rode through Harvard Square in a red Corvette flanked by Hasty Pudding members dressed in drag; well-wishers lined the streets yelling for her attention. “Show us your shoes!” shouted a fan from the Holyoke Center terrace, a reference to Parker’s “Sex and the City” character, Carrie Bradshaw, and her passion for designer footwear.
The parade finished at the Hasty Pudding Theatre, where Hasty Pudding President Greg Padgett ’02 and Krishnan Unnikrishnan ’02, vice president of the cast, roasted Parker, making good-natured mention of some of her less memorable films.
Put through her paces to demonstrate her worthiness of the award, Parker shimmied through a few dance numbers from her career, even slipping off her heels to moonwalk to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” then attempted to seduce a lonely dragon over “Sex and the City’s” signature cosmopolitans.
When asked to sing “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie” in the voice of “a sexed-up Carrie Bradshaw,” Parker protested that she hadn’t sung the tune since 1980. “Is this the only way I’ll get the Pudding?” she asked, then conceded, “Since this is as close as I’ll get to any college degree.”
“I feel very honored to be among this company,” said Parker, referring both to the Hasty Pudding members and the actresses who precede her as Woman of the Year. Attributing her petite figure and flat belly in part to lots of laughing, Parker quipped, “today has been a great workout.”