Oprah: As you approach the next chapter of your life, what are the things you're most certain about?

SJP: I'm most certain of my utter and undistractible devotion to my son. I'm not a religious or spiritual person, but I'm extraordinarily grateful for my good fortune. At least twice a day, I'm reminded of how lucky I am. Sometimes I walk by a newsstand and my picture will be on a magazine cover—and somebody else is actually curious enough to buy it. I can't believe this is my life.

Oprah: I've had that exact moment. Five or six years ago, I walked into Walgreens to get some Nivea cream, and I passed the magazine section. I saw someone black on the cover, so I said to myself, I wonder who that is? It was me.

SJP: And I think it would be disingenuous to pretend that doesn't matter, like we don't care. That's not to say there aren't times when it's invasive, and people say mean and untrue things about you. But if that didn't exist, then the good—the perks, the advantages, and the opportunities—wouldn't, either.

Oprah: You're ready for the show to end—but are the other three women?

SJP: I don't think so. But they will be. I really didn't discuss it with them because I didn't think it was my place. I just made the decision and Business Affairs dealt with telling them. Not that it was cold. But I think it's good to walk away from that coffee shop and not hate one another. That friggin' coffee shop scene every week!

Oprah: America loves it.

SJP: I love it, too, but I want to continue to love it. One of the parts I love most is the producing part.

Oprah: So was it your idea to bring Mikhail Baryshnikov on the show?

SJP: Yes. The courtship of Mikhail Baryshnikov was a Dear Diary experience. I mean, come on: "Dear Journal, today I had a meeting with Mikhail Baryshnikov." It's crazy. I was like, "Please, God, let this happen" and it did. It's nuts. He's the greatest living dancer of all time, and a curious and interesting man. He's also sexy and smart and cultured and otherworldly. I thought, He's the person who could make Mr. Big [her ex-flame on the show] look like my high school sweetheart.

Oprah: How did the idea come to you?

SJP: I was in the shower one day thinking, Who are we going to find? Then it just came to me: Baryshnikov! I've loved him forever, and what he doesn't know and I still haven't told him is that I danced with ABT [American Ballet Theatre] back in the days when he was there. I actually danced with him! I'm too embarrassed to tell him now.

Oprah: Do your best ideas come in the shower? Mine come in the tub.

SJP: It's the only time when you're really, really alone. For people who live in cities where you have to drive a lot, ideas come in the car. For me the shower is the one place where all the world's spinning stops.

Oprah: It might have something to do with the water.

SJP: It's the quietest place. Standing in the shower that day, I didn't dream that in a million years we'd ever get Mikhail on the show.

Oprah: Really?

SJP: No. But it's a great lesson. Even when the odds are stacked against you, have a crazy-big dream—and then proceed.


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