Ms. Big

Can You Imagine Sex And The City Without Sarah Jessica Parker?

sex-and-1There are few actresses who’ve become as synonymous with their most famous characters as Sarah Jessica Parker and Carrie Bradshaw, the winsome sex columnist she portrayed on HBO’s Sex and the City for six seasons and two spin-off feature films. Yet, it almost never was. In a recent chat with Playbill‘s Seth Rudetsky Parker reveals that she nearly passed on the role. After all, she was an in-demand feature film actress and appearing in a HBO series didn’t then offer the career-advancing cachet it does these days. Rudetsky writes:

We, of course, talked about Sex and The City, and turns out, she was reluctant to do the pilot because she didn’t really want to do a series. 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.” She tried various ways to get out of it including telling HBO that she would film three projects for free if they’d release her from her contract! Basically, they convinced her to honor her deal, and she now has no regrets. She loved played Carrie Bradshaw and she told us that there may be a project coming up involving all the ladies!

So that raises the question: Which other hot 30-ish actress in the ’90s could have played Carrie besides SJP? Meg Ryan? Bridget Fonda? Jennifer Jason Leigh? Tell us in the comments.

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  • Liam White

    No I wouldn’t watch it! No Carrie no SATC

  • Mark Reimer

    Always admired the well eqipped man in the black shirt.

  • Glücklich

    Great work! Now let’s talk about who shot JR.

  • Brian

    I could never understand the appeal of Sarah Jessica Parker. Her whiny, chirpy voice is enough to put off the most tolerant people out there. Another whiny, chirpy voice I can’t stand is that of Jennifer Aniston.

  • martinbakman

    Jacki Beat.

  • ingyaom

    SJP had a career before SATC? All I can remember her in is a bit-part in “Footloose”.

  • Cam

    This sounds like a B.S. story invented by her publicist.
    The first season of the show had something like 10 episodes. It isn’t as if it took up more than a bit of her time, and she was not THAT in demand.

  • Ladbrook

    Well, Dana Delany was offered the role first, but she turned it down. Thinking back, Delany as Carrie makes about as much sense as casting Joan Crawford as Scarlet O’Hara.

  • MarionPaige

    I remember seeing this “shot of Parker” in this stupid dress that looked like it was made of newspaper and realizing that somebody somewhere actually thinks this woman is attractive. Since Sex and The City really had no Black fans and since Parker was voted the most unattractive actress by a mens mag, it goes without saying that the series could have been even more popular with a different (more classically attractive) lead.

  • MarionPaige

    you also have to “feel” for the author of Sex And The City who sold the property to HBO for peanuts only to see Parker make millions off of it.

    According to a forbes article, Parker made more than $25 million in one year off of the last Sex and The City movie.

  • skilos

    They all acted like a bunch of drag queens, SO………….Neil Patrick Harris as Carrie.

  • SpunkyBunks

    What are we going to talk about next, that Diana Ross almost turned down the Wiz?

  • Jonny Quander

    Dana Delany was the first choice to play Carrie, but and turned it down because she had done a movie called ‘Live Nude Girls’ with Kim Cattrall that was somewhat similar. It was women and their sex lives, as well as that film “Exit to Eden”. She didn’t want to be typecast as an actress obsessed with sex. Delaney would have been an interesting choice for Carrie.

  • Cam


    LOL! Maybe my favorite comment all week.

  • Ladbrook

    @SpunkyBunks: She should have… it was a horrible adaptation.

  • Uppity

    Sarah Jessica Parker was not getting a lot of film work at the time. She was doing the occasional movie but was not a heavily in-demand actress, despite her obvious talent. There were a lot of actresses her age or younger competing for film roles. It made sense for her to transition into TV. The reason she didn’t want to do it after the pilot, was because of the sexual content, not because she wanted to go from “gig to gig.” It’s not uncommon for actors to get cold feet; Goldie Hawn tried to back out of First Wives Club because her character, an ageing, insecure actress who has cosmetic surgery, was so close to the bone. The studio head Sherry Lansing threatened to sue and so she was forced to do the part. I’m sure HBO would have enforced the contract on Sarah Jessica Parker as well, as the chemistry between the leads was undeniable.

  • onthemark

    Sex & the City without Sarah Jessica Parker? … hmm … that would be like the Central Park carriage rides without horses!

  • Cam


    LOL! bitchy

  • teeohpee

    I can not only imagine Sex In The City without SJP, I probably would have watched the show if someone else had the role.

  • Richard Holaday

    Never seen it, I was too busy watching Queer As Folk.

  • KerryB

    Sarah Horsey-Face Parker is the only reason I’ve never even seen Sex & The City.

  • Finrod

    I would have been fine if it had just been Samantha and her Trick of the Week. And Steve. He was sweet.

  • Ricky Smith

    yes very much so

  • notevenwrong

    @Jonny Quander, I have loved Dana Delaney since China Beach and she may have been an interesting lead, but I think SJP did a great job on SATC, at least until they started making her character whiny and crazy, but that wasn’t her fault.

  • jwtraveler

    If they do any more sequels, they’ll have to rename it “Hot Flashes and the City”.

  • dean3000

    I re watched satc and Carrie Bradshaw is a complete c u n T. I’ve noticed that about us sit come the main protagonist is usually a nasty piece of work. Samantha was cool and I respected Miranda with her no bs attitude Charlotte was a shallow shameless gold digger till Harry did her the right way. Everyone needs a Harry not necessarily hot but 100% passionate and 100% committed.

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