Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon on Exploring Grief in And Just Like That – The Hollywood Reporter

[This story contains spoilers from the first two episodes of HBO Max’s And Just Like That.]

when and like thatHBO Max’s continuation of Sex and the City, which was dropped on Thursday, there seemed to be one line among critics: It’s all about sadness.

While no fan of the hit HBO series would have imagined that the horrific loss of Big (Chris Noth) in the first episode, tragically, somewhat mirrored the publicly unexpected death of series star Willie Garson, satk The follow-up — which is happening as New York City emerges from a deadly pandemic — is perfectly in line with what a lot of TV has chosen to do over the past year. That is, it chose not to avoid the obvious.

Although it’s rare for a global pandemic to happen, death and grief are part of everyday life, and the show decided it could still be funny and romantic and help Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte unravel their identity while still exploring what it means to lose your youth, friends, lovers, and even Distinguished hair colour.

So, while some critics and viewers may find the saddest moments out of the ordinary Sex and the CityThat’s not quite the case, says star Kristen Davis. The and like that The actress said The Hollywood Reporter She realizes that the HBO Max series “She came out strong,” but she doesn’t fully agree that sadness is what defines the show.

“I wouldn’t say this series chose to focus on sadness in general. I know we’re out of the box with this so I can feel everyone’s feelings. I also feel that culturally, we’re seeing a lot at the moment. [such as] She says: “Sadness and anxiety – many things” THR Noting the effects of both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. “For me… we are always in Sex and the City It has elements of drama like breast cancer and fertility. Things other than just sex.”

For star Cynthia Nixon, the show’s decision to include grief and loss was about finding a way to take the characters in a direction they weren’t already. “I think, basically, we wanted to take all of these characters and pull the rug out from under them in comedic ways and in dramatic ways,” she says.

Although the intent may be dramatic, it is also not entirely wrong for satk continuation. These themes have narrative meaning both in terms of the setting of the show, Nixon points out, and in terms of where characters like Miranda (Nixon) and Charlotte (Davis) are in their lives.

“We are coming out of a period of widespread death. You have lost people in the pandemic, and I think many of us have. I also believe that when you are 55, I hope you have more than 30, but there is more life behind you than You wait for him and you are very aware of it, says Nixon.

One of the ways the show chose to emphasize those messages was to permanently take Big from Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker). “There will be nothing more destabilizing than what you can do with Carrie,” she explains. “In the same way I took Miranda’s identity as a corporate lawyer—or I took it, threw her on the floor and trampled on her. She took her red hair and got rid of it.”

“When you’re 55, you’re still young enough to have one, two or three other big classes. Change your career if you want to but also realize that time to do so is running out,” she says. “Death is part of life but it reminds us of how valuable our loved ones are to us. Charlotte says it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t know if it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s something that makes you re-evaluate your life and your place.”

The actress, who is also directing an episode of the series, says the change “seems awful sometimes,” but notes that the loss can be a driver for the evolution. All expected – and unexpected – changes to and like that Then they are both an act of grief and growth. “Most of us never welcome change. We usually fight change because change is so scary. We love to keep doing what we know how to do,” she says. “But life has changed.”

Those moments when everything turns upside down are when people really get out and “proactively decide to change,” Nixons says.

“I think of a lot of people whose lives changed after 9/11, not necessarily if they knew someone who died,” she continues. “It was such a feeling of– Just like this. Something massive can happen and the world can change. Death can seem much closer than we thought.”

According to Nixon, this growing set of inverted expectations, or “just like that” moments, will continue to affect all of the show’s characters, as the series star promises there will be “more” characters to come. For Miranda, in particular, what will happen will make what viewers have already seen “look small”.

While sadness of the frank and subtle kind will remain an element – if not total – and like thatShe also surrounded the series, which was filmed during the pandemic under COVID-19 protocols and after the death of one of its stars. Beloved actor Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, Carrie Bradshaw’s best friend on the HBO original series, died at the age of 57 in September.

during the and like that Many writers said at the New York premiere on Wednesday THR That Garson’s death required the show to be “transformed” because it already filmed some of his last screen appearances. However, this will be acknowledged. “Think [Michael Patrick King] “I got it in a very beautiful way,” said author Samantha Irby.

For Nixon and pretty much all of the cast and crew, his death “was obviously completely unexpected and unknown” because Parker “was the only person who knew he was sick when we were filming until things became undeniable,” she said.

Everyone was told after that time, she said, and were able to shoot him. “Fortunately, not only when we learned he was sick, but then it could be something we can discuss and listen to,” Nixon shares. “I know that was very important to us and I think it was really important for him not to hide that from us anymore.”

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