Sex and the City was not just another girly sitcom, it was a rule-breaking worldwide cultural phenomenon that would forever change the nature of television. Each week, women – and men – would tune in to see what Samantha, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte would get up to next. You may think you know everything about the hit show but we’re sure you’ll be surprised by some of these fun and fabulous behind-the-scenes facts.
Don’t Send Nudes
Sarah Jessica Parker played the lead character of Carrie Bradshaw. The show was always provocative, but the leading lady had a specific onscreen rule she refused to break. She would not do any fully nude scenes – much to the disappointment of all the show’s male fans.
A Close Call
Surprisingly, Kim Cattrall almost didn’t land the role of the sexy and sassy Samantha. Cattrall passed on the role multiple times before eventually being convinced to take the character on. Darren Star, the show’s producer, had to beg Cattral to consider the part. We simply could not think of anyone playing the iconic role better than the beautiful Cattrall.
Mr Big Who?
Carrie’s longtime love interest was the commitment-phobic and dashing Mr Big. Even after years of playing the role and appearing consistently in the show’s six-season run, fans might not have realized what Mr Big’s name actually was. The cat was let out of the bag in the very final episode of the series. Big’s real name was John James Preston.
A Dye Job
It’s hard to believe that Miranda’s red hair is not the actress’s natural look. Cynthia Nixon, who played the part, is actually a natural blonde. She decided to dye her hair for the role. Another interesting tidbit; Nixon did not have pierced ears during her time on the show, so all those fabulous earrings she donned were actually clip-ons!
A Sad Change
The opening credits of the show feature iconic buildings from New York City’s skyline. From the first season up to the 4th season, Sarah Jessica Parker’s name was shown over an image of the World Trade Center towers. After the September 11 terrorist attacks and the horrific collapse of the towers, the credits were subsequently changed to show her name plastered over the Empire State Building.
Protecting the Family
The show was not only known for its quick-witted dialogue but it also made headlines for its very – and we mean very – steamy sex scenes. Kristin Davis, who played the demure Charlotte, was so sensitive to the risque content that she asked her family to not watch the show. She was particularly concerned about her grandmother, who would have no doubt thought the show to be oh-so-scandalous.
One of the many reasons the show became a pop culture staple, was the fashion. Oh, the fashion! From Manolo Blahnik’s to Hermes scarves and Chanel suits, the SATC girls’ wardrobes were the envy of women around the world. One of Carrie’s most noteworthy outfits was the cream tutu she wears in the opening credits of the series. Much to our surprise, it was revealed by the show’s costume designer that the item cost a whopping $5. Talk about a bargain!
Carrie Bradshaw was not simply a character, to many women, she became a friend. The show tackled some of the most relatable topics for single women in their 20s and 30s, so much so, that in 2009, The Guardian named the character ‘Icon of the Decade,’ claiming that she “did as much to shift the culture around certain women’s issues as real-life female groundbreakers.”
A Bakery Bouncer
One of the things we loved about the show, was that the SATC women knew how to eat. Every episode featured the four friends demurely munching their way through one of New York’s best menus. After being featured on the show, Bleeker Street’s Magnolia Bakery became the city’s hottest spot for cupcake-loving fans. The increase in popularity actually caused the bakery to hire a bouncer to make sure the sugar-crazed crowds were kept in check.
In Season 3, episode 18 entitled ‘Cock-a-Doodle-Do,’ Carrie and Big take a dramatic tumble into the Central Park boating pond. The scene was actually pulled off in a single take but there’s more to the story behind the scene. When Carrie fell into the pond to avoid a kiss from Big, SJP suffered a nasty cut on her foot, she had to have tetanus shot directly after filming the take.
There was no one who could resist the sweet and quirky charms of Carrie’s other best friend, Stanford Blatch. Although the character was a flamboyant and proud gay man, off-screen Willie Garson loves women. Bizarrely, Garson and SJP were once actually set up on a blind date! The two are now close friends.
We’d all like to think that the four women of SATC were the best of friends in real life too. To our collective disappointment, this is not the case. For years, the tabloids have followed the increasingly bitter feud between SJP and Cattrall. The pair most recently had a major public fall out over the tragic death of Cattrall’s brother. After SJP publicly wished the Cattrall family her condolences, Kim lashed out at her co-star on Instagram saying, “You are not my friend.”
Dressed to Kill
Carrie wore some truly magnificent outfits. After each episode aired, the ladies’ fashion choices were almost always a point of discussion. There is one dress in particular that left a lasting impression on viewers, as well as the show’s costume budget. The most expensive item that Carrie ever wore was the Atelier Versace Couture ruffled gown featured in the penultimate episode of the show. The dress cost a jaw-dropping $80 000.
One of the things that always irked fans was Carrie’ s seemingly incongruous budget and her extremely high standard of living. It’s hard to believe that a writer could afford a shoe collection such as Carrie’s, many a daily meal at top restaurants as well as her fabulous apartment. The character claimed she spent a measly $750 on rent. Carrie’s apartment actually sold for a cool $9,65 million in 2012.
The Real Mr Big
Chris Noth’s character, Mr Big, was actually inspired by SATC author Candace Bushnell’s real-life ex-boyfriend, publisher Ron Galotti. In the series, Big was a larger-than-life ladies’ man who always seemed to leave Carrie in pieces on some darkened New York street corner. We have to say – respectfully, of course – that Galotti doesn’t exactly live up to our grand expectations.
Here Comes Baby
Aidan was one of Carrie’s big loves. Fans simply adored him and were rightfully crushed when the relationship ended. In season 6, the two characters have an unexpected run-in and to our surprise, Aidan has an adorable baby strapped to his chest. What you may not know is that the baby in question was actually SJP’s own child, that’s why the little bundle of joy looks particularly thrilled to see her.
We all get Carrie’d away with the fantasy of our favorite television shows (see what we did there?). The relatability of the plot, the breathtaking New York setting and the familiarity of our most-loved SATC girls all left us feeling as if the show’s created world was somehow real. Sadly, this behind-the-scenes tidbit proves us wrong. The ubiquitous Cosmopolitan cocktails featured on the show, were not real. Most of the time, the girls were sipping on watered down cranberry juice to avoid getting boozey and potentially unprofessional on set.
In one of the most memorable comedic scenes on the show, new mom Miranda has a ridiculous experience involving her child’s umbilical cord and her cat. Miranda’s beloved feline steals Brady’s umbilical chord while a panicked Miranda tries to remedy the bizarre situation. The believable-looking ‘umbilical chord’ was, in fact, some beef jerky tied to a piece of string.
At the height of the show’s popularity, SATC was undoubtedly a cultural phenomenon. It tackled issues surrounding sex, relationships and gender in a brazen way that had simply never been done before. As the show’s success continued to soar, the stars earned themselves some hefty paychecks. In 2001, SJP became an executive producer of the show, the promotion came with a pay raise that left the actress walking away with $3 million dollars after each episode.
You might think that Carrie’s greatest love affair was with the ever-charming Mr Big. We beg to differ. The relationship that was most important to the fashion-obsessed character, was the one she shared with her shoes. Each episode SJP would wear yet another pair of $400 heels that would inspire envy in every female – and some male – viewers. The costume decision required some commitment on SJP’s part, she spent a grueling 18 hours a day in heels while filming the show.
Age is Just a Number
SATC did not pay too much attention to conventions. The show was all about breaking stereotypes and pushing the boundaries of the often ridiculous societal expectations placed upon women. To the characters, age is just one of the concepts that they chose to toy with. Mr Big was a decade older than his love interest Carrie, Samantha is 51 while her boyfriend Smith Jerrod is just 36, Charlotte is 43 and her husband, Harry Goldenblatt, is 47.
What a Bargain
SATC was based on the sometimes scandalous life of Candace Bushnell. The writer created the alter-ego of Carrie Bradshaw so her conservative parents wouldn’t discover her racey column in The Observer was penned by her. Her book, titled Sex and the City, was the inspiration for the series. Despite the show’s worldwide success and notoriety, Bushnell was only paid $60 000 for the rights to the book, a paycheck she might have resented after the show’s subsequent success.
Actor Swith Up
There were more than a few cameos by some of the most fabulous actors in Hollywood. One of the most memorable was Matthew McConaughy’s appearance in the episode ‘Escape from New York.’ Few people know that the role was initially turned down by a few A-listers. The part was originally written for Alec Baldwin, who declined. It was then offered to Warren Beatty and George Clooney, both of which turned down the part.
One of the reasons the show was such a great success, was the attention paid to every little detail. The show’s producers went the extra mile to make the ongoings seem believable. The doctor in the scene where Miranda gives birth to her son Brady is actually a real doctor, while the pre-nuptial agreement signed by Charlotte before wedding Trey, was written by a real-life lawyer.
A Noteworthy Detail
In the first SATC movie, Carrie finally gets a proposal from Mr Big. Before the big day, Carrie appears in a Vogue shoot featuring some of the most truly beautiful wedding dresses. One of which, was a magnificent dress made by iconic designer Vivienne Westwood. In the movie, after seeing just how fabulous Carrie looked in the shoot, Westwood gifts the bride-to-be the dress along with a handwritten note. In true SATC fashion, the note was actually penned by Westwood herself. It’s all in the details!