Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Chris Noth, and Jennifer Hudson discuss filming Sex and the City.
"When I finished the first draft of the film it was 365 pages long and then I began the trimming down of the Christmas tree to fit our $65 million budget," says Michael Patrick King, the film's writer and director. "It's really amazing how effortlessly the chemistry just came back. Our girls are emotional Rockettes."
Parker, who is also one of the film's producers, was determined that Carrie and company would make the transition from television to film. "I worked on putting this movie back together for two years," she says. "I think Michael and I work so well together because we both come from a background of family chaos. This whole process is quite beyond description. I mean 10 years ago, HBO was still under the radar and now look at where it's come."
During the show's hiatus, she found time to start Bitten, an affordable fashion line for women sizes 0-22, as well as star in several films including The Family Stone and Failure to Launch. But she hasn't made it back to the Broadway stage, where she starred in such musicals as Once Upon a Mattress and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opposite real-life hubby Matthew Broderick. "We just can't think about working together again on stage, because our son, James, likes to have one of us always home to put him to bed and take him to school," she explains.
Cattrall, who had amassed a long series of both film and stage credits before (and after) joining Sex and the City, had to make a quick change back to Samantha once the film's shooting schedule got set. "I had only two weeks to switch between the high collars and the high heels," she says of playing the outspoken American born wife of author Rudyard Kipling in the British television film My Son Jack opposite Daniel Radcliffe.
The actress received a great deal of attention for her work as the sexually adventurous Ms. Jones, but always enjoyed the challenge. "As a character, she's always a bit of a tightrope, you know, how much is too much?" she asks. "And it's odd, how in some insane way the younger man/older woman scenario of the show wound up mirroring my life," says the now 52-year-old star, who is now involved with Canadian chef Alan Wyse, who is more than 20 years her junior.
Perhaps no one's real life has changed more than Nixon's in the past few years, including her much-publicized relationship with Christine Marinoni. "Falling in love with a woman is just falling in love and it certainly didn't affect my playing Miranda in the movie," she says. "I am a mother in real life and I play a mother in the movie. In fact, Steve and Miranda's baby on the show is now the boy who plays our son in the film." As to any similarities between her and her character, Nixon notes, "Miranda is a grump and I'm not. But I even like the bad things about her, like her neuroses." Meanwhile, the stage-trained actress, who won the 2006 Tony Award for her performance in Rabbit Hole, returns to the boards next year in the Off-Broadway premiere of Lisa Loomer's Distracted at the Roundabout.
Davis says her biggest challenge wasn't getting back into the character of Charlotte, who had finally found wedded bliss when the series ended. "What was difficult was working with such enormous crowds around us all the time; not just a couple of fans, but cell phone cameras and video cameras," she notes. "That's when we realized that we have fans not just from before but a whole new base from all that syndication. It means we had to bring not just our game, but our super game."
Hudson, who first came to fame as a semi-finalist on FOX's American Idol, is the film's newcomer, playing Carrie's assistant, Louise. "I never watched the show, so when they called me, I got the DVDs and watched them all. It's that addictive," she says. "I am so glad to have a role like this. Louise is so different from Effie [White, her Oscar-winning role in Dreamgirls]. And these women are all icons, but they're nice, decent people. And I'm a bit of a sponge, so I picked up things. You know, I was an actress before I was a singer."