Sex and Politics in the City

Actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matt Dillon talk about helping a Hollywood cause: Iraqi refugees.

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

There's still a week before inauguration, and already celebrities are trickling into town, some for related do-gooder events. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matt Dillon were in Washington yesterday to bring attention to the plight of Iraqi refugees, especially those who worked for the Americans but were apparently unable to get help leaving Iraq even after they had become targets of violence. The stars hosted Refugees International's one-night showing of Betrayed, a play about three Iraqi translators who risked their lives to work at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.

"I think there seems to be more concern about what we're going to do to get out of there and how we are going to get out of this mess that nobody is really thinking about the wreckage we are going to leave behind us," Dillon tells us. "It's a humanitarian crisis."

Betrayed is based on an article written by journalist George Packer (who penned the play as well) for the New Yorker . It ran in New York City for a good part of 2008. While Betrayed is in Washington only for a night, Parker, whose brother, Pippin Parker, directs the play, tells us that she hopes it can eventually have a longer run in D.C. "I would love for this play to be seen here because this is where laws are made and this is where people come to make a difference," Parker tells Whispers. The Sex and the City star adds that last night's performance wasn't "superintentionally" timed in conjunction with the inauguration. "Obviously, we wanted it to be around this week because lawmakers are in town, and it's certainly an exciting time to be here," she says.

Both stars give Obama ringing endorsements. "I thought he was fantastic," Dillon tells us as he recounts how he met the future prez two years ago. "I didn't think he was the long shot," Dillon says. Parker also met the president-elect once on the campaign trail. "I would be very surprised if this wasn't an issue that was very interesting and important to him," she says of the Iraqi refugees. "He is such a thinking person, he is such a mindful man, I think he is so curious about the world, and I think he understand how we all connect and are all reliant on one another and upon one another's moral code," she gushes.

Still, the stylish star won't be attending the inauguration. But she remains such an Obama fan that, in her family, Inauguration Day begins the new year. "We're counting January 20 as the beginning of 2009, so we've put off the party until now."