The Sex and the City franchise may be facing an uncertain future, but there’s no denying the major impact it had — both on pop culture and on star Sarah Jessica Parker’s life — when the series premiered on HBO in 1998.

“I panicked and I was like, ‘I want to maintain my life,'” she told James Andrew Miller in the latest episode of his Origins podcast, which delves into the beginnings of successful TV shows, movies, businesses, and more. “I like doing a few plays a year and a movie, and maybe a TV movie of the week.”

Parker has enjoyed a successful career on stage and screen since the age of 11, but after filming the SATC pilot and getting the go-ahead from HBO, the actress realized that she wasn’t prepared to be the full-time face of a TV series. “All of a sudden it felt like somebody was holding me hostage or something, or there just were these limitations, which felt very suffocating.”

Fortunately, Parker now says that her fears were ultimately unfounded. SATC enjoyed a successful six-season run and two feature films (with a third still up in the air but not likely), and in the end, her character, Carrie Bradshaw, taught her some valuable lessons — not unlike those Carrie herself often learned in the series.

“I wasn’t thinking about the part or what it offered. I was thinking about what I assumed to be the limitations to a long commitment to a television series,” Parker said. “If I had been more thoughtful about it … [Carrie] is someone who couldn’t be more different from me or my life, and therefore, what could be more interesting?”

Are you still holding out hope for another Sex and the City movie? Let us know @BritandCo.

(photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)