Sex and the City is one of those iconic shows we literally can't imagine pop culture without. We were sold from the very first episode—but apparently, it took star Sarah Jessica Parker a little longer to warm up to the series.
According to People, SJP almost backed out of the series after filming the pilot. On The Jess Cagle Interview, Parker admitted that she had no idea the show would change her life. In fact, she says she forgot she had even filmed the pilot until a fan stopped her on the street to say they liked it. At that point, Parker went into panic mode—not because she didn't like the show, but because she started to feel trapped by the commitment.
"I was like, 'I don't know if I think I want to do that. Is there a way to not do that?'" Parker said. "I met my agents in L.A.—Kevin Huvane—and I was like, 'Do you think maybe I could not do this now?' Because I wanted to keep doing a play and doing a movie and doing a play. So, the way I thought it was going to change my life was that it was going to like hold me hostage to a commitment."
This isn't the first we've heard about SJP's reluctance to commit to SATC. According to E! Online, in 2015, Seth Rudetsky wrote in his Playbill column that SJP had told him the same story about her SATC origins.
"Turns out, she was reluctant to do the pilot because she didn't really want to do a series," he wrote. "However, she loved the script so she filmed it and then forgot about it. Months later, she found out the show was picked up and she completely wanted to get out of it. I mean, completely. She really didn't want to be tied down to one job because she loved going from gig to gig and being, what she called, a 'journeyman.'"
Luckily, when SJP and her people took the request to HBO, the network execs knew exactly how to assuage her fears.
"HBO, in its infinite wisdom, sat me down and said, 'No, no, no, no, no. We don't function like that. We want you here if you want to be here and we make shows based on how we are feeling about [them]. We don't have to respond to advertising dollars, so let's just have a season and see how it goes.'"
From there, it was all smooth sailing. Parker said she never doubted her decision to do the show again.
"I was easily convinced and I went to the set the first day and I never looked back. It was the happiest, it was the most productive, fulfilling professional experience I could have imagined."
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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