The topical 5-minute PSA film powerfully explores mental health through the lens of COVID-19 isolation

By Nigel Smith
September 10, 2020 01:12 PM
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Sarah Jessica Parker is lending her iconic voice to a great cause.

The actress, 55, who for six seasons recorded voiceovers for HBO's beloved Sex and the City, got behind the microphone once again for the new short film, Inside & Outwards. The topical 5-minute PSA film powerfully explores mental health through the lens of COVID-19 isolation, capturing the inner struggles so many are currently experiencing amid the pandemic.

"It's very lonely," Parker tells PEOPLE of doing voiceover work. "I guess it's maybe what it's like to be a writer a little bit. I love it actually, but it's very different [from acting] and I like to just take it apart and do piece by piece, chunk by chunk and just repeat, repeat, repeat, and give to people too many choices."

Parker says she recorded her narration from inside a closet in her New York City home, where she lives with her family, including husband Matthew Broderick, 58, and their children James Wilkie, 17, Tabitha Hodge, 11, Marion Loretta Elwell, 11.

"I put some towels down and tried to make it sound nice in there," she says. "I hoped that I was recording it properly because that's all new to me!"

Sarah Jessica Parker

The short features a score by Oscar and Grammy-nominated artist Sufjan Stevens and boasts appearances from a group of artists whose work has been on pause since March due to the pandemic, including two NYC Ballet Principal Ballerinas, Broadway artists and dancers like Emma Portner and Robert Fairchild. Choreographer Justin Peck, who worked on Steven Spielberg's upcoming West Side Story movie adaptation, also lent his talent to the short, directed by Ezra Hurwitz.

Parker, who currently serves as the Vice Chairman for the New York City Ballet, says she misses experiencing the art N.Y.C. normally has to offer.

"I miss the city being alive as I know it," she says. "It's just not an option right now and knowing that is one thing, but when you reach for it and it's really not there, it feels deeply upsetting. Never mind your own desire to be an audience, but the collateral damage of so many actors and performers out of work is just, it's stunning to try to really understand."

Inside & Outwards is available to view above. The film was released online on Sept. 10 to mark National Suicide Awareness Day, and was made in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.