Sex and the City’s Charlotte sits down with Movies.ie to talk movies, sex, fashion and more!
Kristin Davis is reunited with her ‘sisters’ for the big screen version of the controversial, ground breaking television series, ‘Sex And The City’.
Davis, aka Charlotte, reunites with Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie, Kim Catrall as Samantha and Cynthia Nixon who plays Miranda, for the film which takes place four years after we last saw the fabulously dressed four as they struggled with men, careers, sex and romance in urban Manhattan. For Davis, playing the rather more conservative Charlotte – who when we last saw her was desperate to become a mother – has been a positive experience and no matter where she travels in the world there is always someone who wants to ask about Sex And The City.
Here the 43 actress chats to Movies.ie about the TV show, fashion and what do expect from the upcoming movie.
Q: Did you have any trepidation going back to doing this? Did you think it would work? A: Well, yes because I trust Michael Patrick King (writer and director). As time went on we got a little more anxious because of the level of attention that we did not expect at all – like things have shifted in our culture since we ended our show.
Q: In what way? A: Well, previous to showing up and having hundreds of people standing there with their video cameras rolling – previous to that day – I was just so happy that we got to go back and work together. I tend not to think about the finished product. I’m not the star and I don’t need to think about that. (laughs) and I‘m happy about. But I don’t think ‘oh my God, what’s going to happen if we don’t make $300 million?’ My mind does not go there.
Q: How was it working together again? A: Cynthia said that it’s like almost if you went back to high school yet not. There’s an intense familiarity and we are in many ways like sisters. We finish each other’s sentences and really, even when the show ended, we were not separated from each other. People kept saying ‘how is it to be back together?’ But we weren’t separated – well we seemed so for the public because obviously we’re living our normal lives, but we weren’t actually. So it wasn’t that strange re-acquaintance thing because we weren’t unacquainted. It is strange because we were just ourselves due to the lack of work, and the personal time and we had to go back and be our characters. It was very surreal.
Q: Who would be the geek in the group? A: That’s obvious. I would be. (laughs) But Cynthia meant that there are visual clues to do with the past – like how our hair is, shooting on the street and the clothes – yet we’re now and we’re us still, but we’ve been thrown back a little, just in terms of the situation.
Q: What does your character need, what’s her journey? A: She needs to be a good mother. I have my adopted daughter. Charlotte worked really hard for a long time to have a child. She’s an over achiever so number one in her mind would be to be a good mother and friend and good wife too. But I don’t want to give too much away. My fear is that there are no surprises left. People are going to pay to see it and I hope there will be something that will be a surprise.
Q: Are you in a different place in your life now than you were doing the series? A: I feel good. I don’t feel in a very different place but I’ve had time to do different things, like going to Africa, doing charity work, seeing other parts of the world. That’s been fantastic.
Q: How has NY changed in the four years the show has been off the air? A: There’s the insanity of the video and the stalker-razzi. When we started we had this small group of paparazzi and we knew their names and it was kind of relaxed. It seems strange to say, now, because at the time we didn’t think they were relaxed. But now we know they were. When we went back to work and there was this cacophony and insanity and it was shocking. We did the pilot in ’97 and we wrapped in 2004. Things had started to escalate by then. When Sarah was pregnant and they started trailing her 24/7 it was frightening and scary and strange, like ‘what’s going on?’ Now that’s common. That’s normal. My first day was with Chris North and there were maybe 10 cameras on us all day all the time. When we were acting and when we weren’t. Even while we were filming the scene. That’s weird and hard and strange. I was like, “They’re getting the dialogue.” You want the scene to be a surprise when an audience sees it. We’d have the paparazzi but not the video before. So it’s escalated in a way that there’s no place else for it to go. We always had fans and tourists. Before we’d be in Time Square and shooting and a double decker bus would come by and we’d wave, and we’re happy to do that, but that weird having five video cameras in your face all the time – that’s new.
Q: Why was the show as ground breaking as it was? A: It’s hard to be objective having been in it. Now it’s easier to be objective having had a break. There hadn’t been a show like this. A lot of it was Candice’s column. She was here in NY – it was a very NY centric thing. HBO had the good sense to do a show about women and we had our fantastic writers who were not afraid to push the envelope. They were not afraid.
Q: Were you suddenly seen as people that had a knowledge of sex? A: Not so much me because my character is Charlotte. Before we were neurotic and scared. Afterwards there was this weird learning curve. People would stop us on the street and tell us their stories. Sarah Jessica and I would be like (whispering) ‘oh my god, what are we going to do?’ We’re kind of conservative, because she’s more conservative than her character, and I’m less conservative that my character. We were like, ‘how are we going to handle this? What are we going to say to these people?’
Q: Were you aware of a gay sensibility to the show? Lots of people said the characters could easily have been gay men.. A: Eventually we were aware of them saying it.. When the gay community embraced it, we were thrilled, who wouldn’t be thrilled? They’re not the easiest group in the world to please. And also we’re in Manhattan, we’re theatre people, so to us that seemed normal. When people started saying they’re really gay men, we were like, ‘Wait a minute. That’s a little far.’ I’m not trying to play a gay man. I’m perplexed by that comment but when something hits, people project a lot and at a certain point, you go, “they are going to say what they are going to say.” And you just go with it.
Q: It changed the way that women talked about sex in other parts of the world. Do you think it changed the way people talked about sex in America? A: More so. We’ve got the puritan thing still going on. Which is why we still have to have this discussion after all this time. I don’t think we’ve worked it out culturally yet. I’m happy to have been on a show that let people talk freely.
Q: Were there times on the show when you didn’t want to do any scenes? A: There were things I was like, “Wow – were not going to do that?” It was more me being concerned about my friends, meaning the other actresses, had to do in a scene.
Q: You all became fashion icons because of the show. What role does it play in the movie? A: Well, fashion is the star of the new movie (laughs). But that has to do with everybody taking our pictures and analyzing it before the movie has even happened. I don’t feel like an icon at all. Sarah is, and rightly so. Even before the show she had an incredible personal style and she was the one that got Pat Field (costume designer) to do the show. And Pat taught us and changed us – the show and us personally. I learned a lot. I was a neophyte in all ways to do with fashion before the show.
Q: Do you like Charlotte’s style? A: I love her style. Pat is so good she taught me what looks good on me and what works for me and Charlotte. Because Pat is so bold people sometimes forget that she does dress for character and when we came back we had long discussions about how our style would have evolved. She’s so special and different.
Q: Would the movie have happened without Patricia Fields doing the costumes? A: No, definitely not. We’re a unit. Someone said to me the other day, are all four of you in it? And I was like where have you been – living under a rock? Of course all four are in it. But also we couldn’t do it without Pat, or without Michael Patrick King (director and writer). We’re a unit.
Q: Do you think that the show changed the way that people interacted socially? A: (laughs) If it did I think it’s fantastic. I think it was already happening. I lived here (in New York) in the 80’s as a waitress/actress and you’d see fantastic people walking down the street and you’d be: ‘Wow I could never live up to that!’ That’s how I felt. I think it made it grander and for people in, say, Milwaukee, for them it made it more accessible maybe. It was already happening here. When I’m here I’m always, “Wow, look at her – she looks great. I think that’s always been true here. I’m from South Carolina. When I go home I’m like, “Wow, people looking good.” People used to be preppy and conservative. I think there is a cultural thing and it wasn’t about us.