Sarah Jessica Parker: Not Carrie

07/24/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Popular as her HBO show "Sex and the City" may be, Sarah Jessica Parker is simply not like Carrie, the sex columnist character she plays, reports PEOPLE magazine in its Oct. 20 cover story. For starters, Parker, 35, has girlfriends in New Jersey whom she actually visits, says the magazine -- an unthinkable notion to Carrie. In addition, Parker doesn't swear (having given up the F-word, as well as smoking, for New Year's resolutions); doesn't do nudity ("I've never felt comfortable with it"); and is more likely to consume M&Ms at the theater with her husband of three years, Matthew Broderick, 38, than she is to slug back cosmopolitans. Still, the real-life prototype for Carrie, writer Candace Bushnell (whose sex columns in the New York Observer inspired the series), believes that Parker's "saucy but sympathetic style" make her bed-hopping shenanigans on the show palatable. It's a personal style that seems to, ahem, Carrie-over into the subway-riding Parker's own life. "Everybody loves her," says actor Alec Baldwin, who come December will be seen with Parker in the new David Mamet screen comedy "State and Main," "and she remains as unaffected as you could imagine."

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