Kristin Davis was asked to audition for the role of SATC’s Carrie Bradshaw – but she shut down when she read the writers’ description of the character.
After all these years, the Sex and the City gang feel like our real-life friends – and it’s always hard to reconcile the fact that their names aren’t actually Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.
Kristin Davis, of course, played the latter. And, while the actress hasn’t reprised her role as Charlotte since 2012’s Sex and the City 2 movie, she will always remain (in our minds, at least) that same glossy-haired, Connecticut blue-blooded WASP with a Park Avenue apartment to die for.
Which is why it’s so surprising to learn that Darren Star, the series’ creator, wanted Davis to audition for the role of Carrie Bradshaw.
In an excerpt from Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new book, Sex and the City and Us, Star opened up about the SATC casting process, and revealed that Sarah Jessica Parker initially wasn’t sure she wanted to play Carrie. So he asked Davis, who had already secured the role of Charlotte, to read the part instead.
“Davis shut down when she read Star’s description of Carrie as having ‘the body of Heather Locklear and the mind of Dorothy Parker,’” the book goes on to explain.
For those who don’t know, Parker was an American poet, writer, critic, and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.
Dynasty and Melrose Place star Locklear, on the other hand, is even now the subject of countless “bikini body” articles.
Naturally, it was the overly-prescriptive physical description of Carrie’s character which caused Davis to balk.
“All Davis could think was, ‘I am never in a hundred million years going to have the body of Heather Locklear’,” the book reveals.
“The character also smoked and swore a fair amount – before Parker shifted the character a bit – which felt outside Davis’ boundaries.”
The actress politely declined the role, reportedly telling Star that “Carrie’s fantastic, but I’m Charlotte”.
It almost goes without saying that Star is not the first to describe his leading female characters in terms of their looks: earlier this year, Vulture penned an article entitled How 50 Female Characters Were Described In Their Screenplays.
Princess Buttercup from The Princess Bride, for example, “doesn’t care much about clothes and she hates brushing her long hair, so she isn’t as attractive as she might be, but she’s still probably the most beautiful woman in the world.”
Terminator’s Sarah Connor is “small and delicate-featured” and “pretty… in a flawed, accessible way”. And Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast At Tiffany’s is praised for her “chic thinness” and “breakfast-cereal air of health”.
It was, of course, SJP who eventually agreed to play Carrie – although she had some conditions for considering the role.
“She didn’t want Carrie to throw around the word ‘f**k’ [and] hoped Carrie would be thoughtful about language, given her profession as a writer,” the book reveals.
The actress also famously insisted on a no-nudity contract clause throughout all six seasons of Sex and the City.
“I’ve always had one, and it’s apropos of absolutely nothing,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016.
“Some people have a perks list and they are legendary. They have to have white candles in their room. I don’t have a crazy list like that. I’ve just always had [a no-nudity clause].”
However, SJP made it perfectly clear that, while she will always decline to appear nude on camera, she has no issue with anyone else — including her former SATC co-stars — disrobing.
“I don’t have any judgment about anyone who chooses to do it,” she said.
“I think it’s fantastic that people feel comfortable doing it. It’s not some kind of principled position or religious or ideological on my part.”