Sharon Pinkenson Wishes People Would Stop Asking About Her Hair




If you want to make a movie in Philadelphia, you’ve gotta go through this feisty blonde, who’s known as much for her signature coif and constant Rittenhouse presence as for her role as executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, where she’s run the show for 20 years. Here, she talks curls and Noam Chomsky, and tells us how to make a Pinky.

My name is … Sharon Pinkenson. Sometimes Sharon Pinkenson Weiss. Mrs. Joseph Weiss.
I have a perfect … attitude about life. I am an inherently happy person. I am an optimist.
People tell me all the time that I look like … Goldie Hawn. Meg Ryan. A lot of other people. I don’t think I look like any of them.
My hair is … my golden asset.
The hardest thing about what I do … is finding enough tax credit money. Arguing with the government, convincing them that this is the best business they could possibly be in.
One thing the city really needs is … I could never name just one thing.
If I owned a pet pig, I would name it … I wouldn’t own a pig. I have no pets.
Every night before I go to sleep … I spend a long time cleaning my face and doing all of my toilette.
Philadelphia gets a bad rap for … a lot of the things it deserves to get a bad rap for.
My earliest memory of a movie theater … is going to the Saturday matinees, where you went in all day and watched the serials, the movie after that, the cartoons. And sitting on the back of my parents’ car at the Levittown drive-in.
When I’m watching a flick on my couch, I snack on … wasabi peas.
If I didn’t live here … I’d live in L.A. But I wouldn’t like it.
Every morning … I read the newspapers and trades. Millions of them.
If I were mayor … I would hire really, really smart people to work with me. Mostly women.
In 1969 … I met my husband. In those days, I was wearing a black armband and an MIA bracelet, and cutting classes at Temple to march down Broad Street and go to Noam Chomsky lectures. Going to be-ins.
If I have one drink, it’s going to be … a Pinky. My own drink. I carry a card around so bartenders can make it. Two parts any citron vodka, one part fresh-squeezed lemon juice, one part tonic from a bottle. On the rocks, with a cocktail straw. No garnish. It tastes like South Philadelphia lemon water ice.
My most prized material possession is … the first ring my husband gave me. It belonged to his father. Star sapphires.
My biggest junk-food craving is … a dark-chocolate-covered ginger­ candy from Jagielky’s in Ventnor.
The sexiest actor alive is … Gerard Butler.
I am deathly afraid of … drowning. I used to have a mole on my face, and someone once told me it meant I was going to die by drowning. But I love the water.
One day I hope to … travel to Machu Picchu. One day soon.
I wish people would stop … asking me what hair products I use.

Interview by Victor Fiorillo