Sarah Jessica Parker’s “fear was realized” about Project Runway’s judging process

Sarah Jessica Parker, last week’s guest judge on Project Runway 4, is a fan of the show, but was surprised by the reality of the designers’ constraints and by the judging–but not, apparently, surprised by Bravo VP Andy Cohen calling her “SJ” or failing to spell-check the transcript of his call with her. (Who has time to spell check when you’re trying to break up a transcript over as many ad impression-generating pages as possible?)

First, Andy tells us that he’s BFFs with SJ, or at least has her phone number, and we do not. “Every year, I beg the lady to appear on ‘Project Runway’ and every year she thinks about it really hard, gets really tempted, and respectfully turns us down. … I rang up the always classic Parker after she’d had a minute to digest her appearance on one of her fave shows,” he writes.

During their conversation, Sarah Jessica Parker says that watching the episode on TV, “I was shocked at the lack of time and felt guilty about the lack of money!” She also says that the actual judging process was different than what she expected. “The judging conversation took a left turn I didn’t expect it to take. We got hung up on the vintage of the look, on the decade, and didn’t get to talk about his work. Remember how impressed I was with his sketch? Nina and Michael and Heidi are used to this experiecne [sic] and understand the need to get points across quickly and maybe don’t want to coddle the way I want to.”

She says that she avoided guesting on the show during previous seasons because of the judging. “I didn’t want to judge. I felt it in my head, but watching the episode I didn’t realize how much editing took place. I didn’t realize it was an hour or more dedicated to discussion of the fashion, so watching on TV there’s less nuance. Nina, Michael and Heidi, because they are experts, have strong opinons [sic], but on TV it seems spare and harsh because it’s edited. So watching on TV it makes me feel kind of terrible. Having experienced it, I see you can’t devote an entire episode to the judging and give all the time it needs for the nuace [sic] (though I would watch an hour of judging!).”

“So, my fear was realized; I wish I could get transcripts to the designers so they knew every single thing I said about them. It’s such a fragile time for them — regardless of their years living and years experience,” she said. “You worry that your words will be the final words they hear that won’t allow them to go the full distance. You don’t want to be the nail in their coffin of creativity, you know?”

Sarah Jessica Goes Deep About Runway! [Bravo]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.