SheerLuxe Chats To The Cast Of 'And Just Like That…' About Fashion, Friendship & More
SheerLuxe Chats To The Cast Of 'And Just Like That…' About Fashion, Friendship & More

SheerLuxe Chats To The Cast Of 'And Just Like That…' About Fashion, Friendship & More

This week, the second season of the highly anticipated ‘Sex & The City’ reboot ‘And Just Like That…’ drops on Sky Comedy. From new characters to the best fashion and Kim Cattrall’s return as Samantha Jones, we sat down with stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Davis and showrunner Michael Patrick King to find out what fans can expect from the new series.
By Harriet Russell

What was it like coming back for season two of And Just Like That…?

Sarah Jessica Parker: We were excited. Before we shot the first season, it had been ten years since any of us had played these parts but now they’re starting to feel familiar again. They exist more easily in our heads and their personalities are easier to recall. We were thrilled the first season was as widely watched as it was and that we were able to offer stories that people clearly felt connected to and had strong feelings about. We’re very lucky to have a home at HBO Max that allows us to make a show of this scope, especially with all the challenges that come along with it.

Michael Patrick King: I was thrilled by the wild reactions to season one. Some people were excited to be back with the girls but I know others wanted to track me down with a pitchfork. But And Just Like That… was always going to fail if we just tried to replicate the success of Sex & The City. The whole premise for the reboot was born out of Big’s death, so there was a deliberate breaking of the old paradigm to create something new. But because people are very connected to these characters, something like that is bound to cause shockwaves. The most important thing is that the show caused – and continues to provoke – a reaction. It means people are watching and talking about us again.

What are some of the main themes of season two?

SJP: A lot of it is about rediscovery. Carrie is learning to be single again at this age in a city she thought she knew and understood – but it’s a theme a lot of the characters explore. A lot of them have a lot of familiarity in their lives but there are also a lot of unknowns, and that feels quite like the original Sex & The City. Other than that, I never like to explain the main takeaways of the season, because I think that totally depends on the viewer and what’s possibly going on in their lives.

Cynthia Nixon: Friendship is a clear theme of the show too. The core group certainly see less of each other now than when they were single and didn’t have children, but they know each other so well. They used to have knock-down debates about men and sex and work but now they know better than to constantly fight each other on things. They accept that they all have different views and who they all are as people. That doesn’t mean there aren’t conflicts along the way – like when Miranda had sex with Che in Carrie’s apartment in season one – but there’s a lighter touch in all their relationships.

Kristin Davis: It’s also about what it’s like to live as a woman in an ageist society – ageing is now a very clear theme in And Just Like That... We’ve been brought up to think that older women aren’t interesting or that their lives are over or that they’re not sexy. I could keep going but the point is we’re trying to change that conversation. It’s not easy, though – lots of women have negative thoughts about a lot of other women and many of us have been indoctrinated to think ageing is bad. But really, what choice do we have? That’s something the show continues to confront.

How is it different to season one?

MPK: For me, character development is the driving force and having introduced so many new characters in the first season, the challenge now is to show the audience who they really are. There’s no more judging a book by its cover – we’re opening them up and finding out what they’re all about. For me, it’s all about being able to tell a story that’s never been told before – stories that are emotional, surprising and unique – and we’re lucky that HBO Max wanted to give us another go at doing that. That was the ethos of the original Sex & The City and it’s the same today.

Fashion is such a huge part of the show – how do the clothes this season reflect what’s happening in the characters’ lives?

MPK: I have to shout out our wonderful costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago here. Molly assisted Patricia Field, the original designer on Sex & The City, and she was later joined by Danny on the SATC movies. Pat was too busy to join us on And Just Like That…, so Molly and Danny have taken up the reins. I think fans are going to be really pleased and surprised by what they’ve come up with this season.

SJP: Carrie’s clothes are always a conversation between myself, Molly and Danny. Often, we use a single fitting to cover two or three episodes – so that can be up to 40 outfits at once, and we think a lot about the story. At least one of us always has a hard copy of the script with us and we’re looking for clues that MPK and his team of writers have shared to inform what the looks should be. He trusts us to interpret that material, but we always like to offer him some surprises too. There are times we get it wrong, or we have to argue our case on something, but it’s always about reflecting the story. We all agree that the clothes should never be distracting.

Can you tell us anything about Aidan coming back in season two?

SJP: MPK does tend to come to me before work starts and he pitches me the arc of the season, and specifically Carrie. We’ll talk about themes, characters and actors. Before we started work on season two, he shared this idea about Aidan coming back into Carrie’s life and what that might mean, and I thought it was really interesting. I was excited about working with John Corbett again, too – I know some people share our profound affection for Aidan, and others object to the relationship because of the characters’ past choices. The way Carrie walks out the door this season, she’s in a much more buoyant place. She’s dedicated her time to grief and removed herself from some of those more acute feelings. She’s seeing New York as a place of hope again – both professionally and romantically.

MPK: When Big was in the picture, Carrie had blinders on. She was convinced that he was her person and because he was complicated, it made for an interesting chase. Back then, when they were all younger, Aidan was not written to be a complicated character – by design, I might add. John Corbett is a very layered actor, but while Big was dark and intense, Aidan was light and available. Now Big is gone but is Aidan more complicated now? He’s certainly not who he was in the second movie when he and Carrie shared a kiss in Morocco. I wouldn’t have brought Aidan back if there wasn’t a reason. The reason is really to show love then, love now and how love is affected by life.

Kim Cattrall is also due to make an appearance this season – can you tell us anything about that?

MPK: I never really knew whether Kim would be up for coming back to the show but I always knew Samantha still existed – albeit in London. I never wanted to pretend anything else. She was a significant presence in the first season, but this season, I can say we have more than a text – we have a phone call. Lots of people already know she’s coming back but I want what’s left to be as much of a surprise for viewers as possible. Mainly because it’s such a treat. It’s so exciting for us, especially me as a writer, to see Samantha again – and that’s all I’m going to say.

Miranda made some surprising decisions in the first season – where does this take her this year?

CN: It’s funny because I think a lot of the reaction to Miranda’s storyline in the first season – leaving Steve to pursue a relationship with someone who identifies as non-binary – was based on this idea of Miranda being some sort of practical voice of reason. But I never saw her that way. I thought she was ambitious, headstrong – and often railing against the injustices of the world. She was always a bit of a bull in a china shop who often had to backtrack and apologise. Even if she still stood by her point of view. To me, that rang true in the first season of And Just Like That… – her growing political consciousness and desire to fight the patriarchy. But it was all very familiar to me and continues to be in the second season, too. One thing she’s really learnt is that being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to turn your back on traditional roles. But she’s still passionate about women’s rights – and you’ll see how she really pursues that journey in this season of the show.

And what about Charlotte – how has she developed as a character?

KD: A lot of people think of Charlotte as the prude – so it’s been very important to me to show audiences how comfortable she’s become with her sexuality and her body now that she’s in the right relationship and a happy marriage. A good, long relationship with the right person can lead to an active sex life in your 50s – but a lot of people don’t believe that. So, for me, that’s what Charlotte’s arc is based on. I’m lucky that MPK understands Charlotte so well and continues to give me storylines that are challenging and rewarding to play.

How does the show explore being single in your 50s as opposed to your 30s?

SJP: Carrie’s experience of being single in your 50s is only one woman’s perspective. There are many reasons that might happen, and Carrie’s reason is intertwined with loss. So, it’s not like we set out to answer this big question about what’s it’s like to be single in mid-life, because that looks different for everyone. What is interesting is that Carrie has had a long-term interest in what it’s like to be single in New York and the sexual politics of all that, and that continues into this second season. It’s not about age – it’s about what people are looking for at a certain point and finding things out about yourself in the process. There’s no one answer.

KD: It’s such a big question. The show used to be one thing because there was such a clear driving force. But now it’s different because the characters are older, wiser – but they still don’t know everything. Life is not predictable and based solely on what happened to Carrie last season, it’s clear you’re going to be thrown some curveballs at some point. The other characters we’ve brought in have also added new questions and dilemmas – so cultural issues and choices are also part of the modern mix. It’s not just about who you’re going to end up with – it’s about being on a path to a greater understanding of yourself.

Sex & The City first aired 25 years ago – how do you think it changed the way women are portrayed on television?

CN: When the original show started, the idea that women might have sex and speak about it frankly with each other and the men they were dating was shocking. It was also very eye-opening to see women in their 30s who were bright and attractive not rushing off to get married. It wasn’t clear that people would watch that kind of show – but the answer was a resounding yes.

SJP: I just want to add that I think there had been plenty of ground-breaking women on television before us – people like Mary Tyler Moore and Marlow Thomas. What made Sex & The City different was the platform we were on and the nature of the relationships we showed. It encouraged the networks to feel confident that there was a contemporary audience out there that was interested in female-centric stories that didn’t include action or guns. Emotional intrigue was enough.

MPK: A lot of the And Just Like That… audience has grown up with these characters. They joined us 25 years ago when they were 30 and they’re now entering mid-life so there’s this very relatable “I’m them, they’re me” relationship. We’ve all grown older together, so we’re still very connected. Today, these feel like your real friends – we’re not dealing with stereotypes here. But that also means that when the characters make questionable choices, like Miranda deciding to leave her marriage in season one, the audience feels it on a very deep and personal level. They don’t always like it – but that’s because we’re holding a mirror up to the fact that people, women included, are often flawed, complicated and unpredictable. That’s the essence of And Just Like That.

 The second season of ‘And Just Like That...’ will be available on Sky Comedy and Now TV on 22nd June.

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