Why Sarah Jessica Parker Almost Said No to 'Sex and the City'
If you haven’t tuned in to Alec Baldwin’s podcast Here’s the Thing, this will certainly give you a reason to queue up the series. The podcast is a collection of intimate and very honest conversations hosted by Baldwin. Our favourite episode features an in-depth chat with Sarah Jessica Parker. The Sex and the City star dishes details on everything from childhood memories to career advice. We won’t give it all away, but the below play-by-play on how she landed (and almost denied) the role of Carrie Bradshaw is too good not to share!
Scroll down to find out why SJP almost turned down the iconic role!
SJP: Kevin Huvane, my agent of 28 or 30 years now, rang me and said there is this pilot script, the guy named Darren Star—you know who Darren Star is? I said yes, I certainly do. Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place. He said he has written this pilot with you in mind.
AB: So Star told your agent he wrote this with you in mind?
SJP: Correct. Kevin Huvane told me that that’s what Darren Star had shared with him. When I read this script, I was really kind of confounded by the idea that I was the voice that would have come to mind, because she was so disparate. Carrie Bradshaw was so unlike anything I’d ever played.
AB: Were you ready to do a TV show?
SJP: No. And to be honest, at that time, HBO was a very different network. It was a place primarily male-dominated.
SJP: I thought the script was spectacular and gave it to Matthew and my oldest brother Pippin, and they both read it and said, "Without a doubt, you should do this. You’ve never been offered anything like this. The writing is really, really good. It’s smart. It’s different." There is nothing else they could think of that was like it. So I did the pilot, went on with my life, and one day I was walking down the street and I ran into Meryl Poster. I think I was on my way to see a play. And she said to me, “Oh I saw your television show.” And I said to her, “What television show?” She said, “ Did you do a pilot called Sex and the City?” And I literally said, “Oh, that’s right! I did.” And she said,: “It’s good.” And I said, “It is? I haven’t seen it." And she said, “Oh you know, I just saw it I think it’s really good.” I said, “Ah…OK.”
AB: So Meryl Poster told you she saw the pilot—what happened next?
SJP: I think eventually I thought she was forced to see it and there was this discussion of it, you know, going to series. I then try to get out of it. I went to Kevin Huvane, and the great television agents at CAA. Anyway, I called a meeting and said, “Gentlemen you have to help me get out of this. I don’t want to do a television series. I’ve re-thought this. I would like to offer myself up to HBO basically free. I will work for them for the next four years. I will do any television movie they want, but I just don’t think I want to be caught up and tied down in a television series.”
SJP: I went to the set on the first day, and I never looked back. Everyday I’d shower and go to work. I was gobsmacked by the idea that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. There weren’t a day that I spent on that set that I didn’t want to be there.
Can you imagine the television and fashion world if Carrie wasn’t Carrie? Mind = blown, right? How about this scenario: Imagine the crew’s fashion if the show aired today.
What’s your favourite SATC episode? Share with us in the comments below and tag your friends so they can share too!