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Sarah Jessica Parker Tried To Get Out Of 'Sex And The City,' Claims Author Candace Bushnell

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Jan. 19 2022, Published 9:01 a.m. ET

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Candace Bushnell almost experienced what would have been an epic full-circle moment.

The writer whose column for The New York Observer that was adapted into the bestselling Sex and the City anthology – which later became the basis for the titular television series, two subsequent movies, and now a spinoff titled And Just Like That – was almost cast to play Carrie Bradshaw in the original show.

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Bushnell recently appeared on the Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast, where she revealed that Sarah Jessica Parker was not sold on starring in the comedy-drama after filming the pilot.

"SJP did not want to do it, right? So after she shot the pilot, she did not want to do it. And I remember that vaguely," Bushnell recalled. "And I think at one point they were saying that I should have played the part. And now I'm like, 'Yeah, I should've played the part!' But then they convinced her to do it."

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Given that Bushnell's passions lie on blank pages and not in front of screens, it probably would not have worked out.

"And, you know, I probably had stuff in my contract," she noted, going on to add, "I don't love being on TV sets ... it's not really where I want to spend the bulk of my day. I mean, that's the thing that people don't really think about is you've gotta be on that set, and it's tedious. It's tedious work, you know? The battery's always running out, reshooting, the same thing over and over. It's also a lot of the time, you know, it's cold, it's rainy and you're sitting outside. Or you're in a tiny little crowded room with everybody else."

As for what drew her to Parker in the first place, Bushnell recalled thinking the actress was "nice and cute" and that she also had "comic timing" and actually lived in New York, "so she got the 'New York thing.'"

"If you don't live in New York and you're from L.A., like, they never get it. It's just a thing," she added. "It's like a flavoring."

Another key star that Bushnell said was not keen on taking on the project was Chris Noth, who plays Carrie's complicated love interest, John James "Mr. Big" Preston, who she later marries.

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"He didn't even particularly want to do it either, you know? I mean, he really only signed up to be a guest star," she explained, noting that Noth's character ended up being quite important to the foundation of the story.

"I think people tuned in to watch the show because it was really about, specifically, this new kind of woman, which is something that I outlined in the book," she went on. "A lot of people tuned in to see Chris Noth, you know, that's another sort of like unknown factor."

Bushnell did not speak about the avalanche of sexual assault allegations that came to light after Big's shocking death in Episode 1 of AJLT.

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When asked who she would have considered casting in the spinoff to replace Kim Cattrall's Samantha Jones, the author replied, "I can't even answer that question. I feel like those characters have kind of become so big that they're like characters in Star Wars. ... So I couldn't even, I couldn't even answer that."

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