The decision to name Mr Big at the end of SATC was controversial, says producer

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Anna Brech
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For six years, Carrie and Big kept us enthralled with with their magnetic on-off dynamic.

He made her laugh but also drove her crazy with his non-committal ways. For a long time, he never really seemed capable of giving her what she wanted.

Their relationship was an emotional roller-coaster of the calibre that makes Elizabeth Taylor’s bond to Richard Burton appear balanced. They had passionate sex, 3am rows, ‘let’s-just-be-mates’ periods, and pretty much broke up a marriage to be together.

Yet, no moment floored us quite as much as when Mr. Big’s real name was revealed right at the end of the series finale in 2004. 

Fans will recall that Carrie flipped up the cover of her bejewelled pink phone (those were the days) to reveal the name of her lover – spoiler alert - “John”. 

If you’re anything like us, you might have felt slightly short-changed by such an ordinary name. And that’s perhaps because it was a rushed script choice. 

In a new interview this week, Michael Patrick King, the executive producer behind the hit HBO show, explains that the decision to name Big was a very last-minute one; and it caused no small amount of controversy.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, King says: “In the last episode, in the last moment, I realized [I had] to say Mr. Big’s name and I just [mimes typing on a keyboard] ‘John.’

“And then I told all the writers and they were like, ‘What the hell?’ And I was like, ‘We have to say his name because now he’s real!’”

“It was just one of those things where it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s happening right now’ and you didn’t plan it,” he adds. “In my mind? He had no name.”

And what of the name choice? For someone so colourful and compelling, we expected something a little more interesting than plain old John. It felt slightly anti-climactic.  

But King explains that the appeal was in the simplicity.

“If I wanted to give him a name, I wanted to give him the most generic, American, most generic, almost pilgrim name,” he notes. “There's no spin, it's just John.”

Remind yourself of the moment unfolding in the video, below.

Images: Rex


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.