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28 interesting facts about Sex and the City that every fan should know

It’s one of the most iconic shows of all time, but did you know these surprising facts about Sex and the City?

There are a handful of television shows that transcend the medium, leaping from the small screen and shaping pop culture, fashion and how a generation of women relate to sex. Sex and the City is one such show.

The series, which started in 1998, was pivotal in breaking boundaries for women, with frank discussions on sex, power, money, marriage, motherhood and so much more.

It was also a major influence on fashion. The characters didn't just follow trends, they set them with some of the best outfits from the show still inspiring looks to this day. Many women still want to dress like Carrie Bradshaw, opting to blend touches of their personality into runway trends and style staples.

Women across the world identified with the key four characters, and fans have stayed loyal to the New York heroines throughout the original six-season run, two successful movies, and a spin-off series, And Just Like That.

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Sarah Jessica Parker almost turned it down

Can anyone imagine Sarah Jessica Parker NOT being Carrie Bradshaw, the iconic fashionista and sex columnist? It's hard to imagine Sarah Jessica Parker's looks without the influence of Carrie.

Well, the star originally turned the role down – she allegedly wanted to focus on making movies, not a series. It’s reported that it was because the first series was only 12 episodes long and filmed in her hometown of New York City that made her agree.

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Kristin Davis didn't originally read for Charlotte

Prim and proper, the Upper East Side Princess Charlotte York - with a wardrobe to match - was played perfectly by Kristin Davis during the original run - and she returned to reprise the role in And Just Like That.

However, she might have been the more avant-garde and free-spirited Carrie. For the Writers Room podcast, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon revealed they both tried out for the leading part. Kristin said she was initially told SJP "may not do it,"  so she was asked to read for Carrie.

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Mr Big wasn't meant to be a regular

Impossible to imagine, but Carrie and Big weren’t endgame. In fact, Mr Big was first meant to be a guest star who would make the occasional appearance. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, casting director Ellie Kanner said "He wasn’t a series regular” but “he became that role. They wrote more for him.”

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Mr Big was based on a real man

Candace Bushnell, who wrote the columns the show was based on, has said the famous character was based on publishing executive Ron Galotti. As well as revealing who the man behind the character was (and that they are still friends!), Candace has also gone on record many times to suggest that Big and Carrie wouldn't end up together in real life.

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Kim Cattrall also turned down the show 'about five times'

Just like we nearly didn’t have SJP play Carrie, Kim turned down her signature role of Samantha Jones multiple times. Casting director Ellie Kanner told Cosmopolitan, “I think she was with [the agency] William Morris at the time. And she passed, like five times. She wasn’t into it. And we were like, ‘No, you don’t understand, Darren wants to meet her. We have to make this happen.'" And they did - thankfully! While Kim Cattrall is also a style icon in her own right, the show would be incomparably different without Samantha's outrageous, witty and brash character.

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Candace Bushnell didn't make as much as one might think

Despite the series running for six seasons, two movies and a spin-off, And Just Like That, Candace Bushnell reportedly only made $60,000 from selling the original rights to Darren Star.

Candace sold the rights to her bestselling book based on her own series of columns.

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Carrie Bradshaw's iconic tutu was surprisingly affordable

In the opening scene of every episode, a now classic Carrie moment sees her splashed by a bus in a pink top and ballerina tutu skirt. The tutu has become emblematic of the role, recreated on fancy dress occasions and other homages, but it was purchased for just $5 from a vintage store.

In 2017, a previously unseen alternative opener showing Carrie in a blue Marc Jacobs dress appeared on YouTube. Jacobs told his Instagram follows, "If Carrie hadn’t worn that iconic tutu in the opening sequence of Sex And The City, she would have had this Marc Jacobs spring ‘98 dress.”

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Sex and the City made Emmy history

SATC was the first-ever cable show to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2001.

During the series' original run, it was nominated for 54 Emmy Awards (winning seven, including Outstanding Comedy Series), 24 Golden Globe Awards, 11 Screen Actors Guild Awards (winning three), 10 Directors Guild of America Awards (winning two) and more awards for producing.

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The cast were seriously dedicated to their fashion choices

Even when she was being shot from the waist up, Kim Cattrall reportedly insisted on wearing heels, claiming it made her feel more like Samantha.

Similarly, Sarah Jessica Parker reportedly spent up to 18 hours a day in stilettos while filming. In a 2013 interview with Net-A-Porter, she admitted her feet had become deformed as a result. "For ten or so years, I literally ran in heels. I worked 18-hour days and never took them off. I wore beautiful shoes, some better made than others, and never complained," she said.

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Cynthia Nixon is not a redhead

Miranda might be an iconic redhead, with a fiery bluntness to match, but actress Cynthia Nixon is actually a natural blonde.

Darren Star, Sex and the City’s producer was concerned that her look was too close to the other women. His goal, reportedly, was to ensure each of the four women not only had different personalities but different looks, too. Since there were already two blondes in the series, Cynthia agreed to go red.

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Steve and Miranda weren't meant to be a long-term thing

Even before the, shall we say, controversial introduction of Che Diaz in And Just Like That, Miranda and Steve weren't always meant to end up together. Steve and Miranda were originally only going to last 3 episodes, but the chemistry between the actors changed this trajectory.

They would go on to get married in the show's final season. In the first movie, Steve cheats on Miranda but the two decide to start afresh with a romantic reunion on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Carrie asked *a lot* of questions

As any fan knows, during the original series and the first two movies, Carrie's voiceovers moved the plot along and summed up the themes of the storylines. Her well-known expressions - usually as she was shown typing on her laptop - included "That night I got to thinking" and "And just like that..." which was used as the title for the 2021 spin-off.

As it turns out, Carrie asked a whopping 90+ questions in voiceovers across the original run of the series.

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Many big star names and surprising figures appeared in the show

From Real Housewives and Bravo's Andy Cohen making an early-career cameo to roles for future Hollywood A-listers including Bradley Cooper, Justin Theroux, and Glee's Matthew Morrison, the show featured a lot of famous faces.

And some were very unexpected, including a cameo appearance from President Donald Trump in the eighth episode of the second series.

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The show's fifth season was 10 episodes short

By its fifth season, the show was still performing incredibly well, averaging over seven million viewers. However, the original 18-episode order was reduced to a short, eight-episode stint.

Why? Because Sarah Jessica Parker was pregnant with her first child during the 2002 season.

The writers felt it would have been inauthentic to write SJP's pregnancy into the show as they did not believe that Carrie would have really wanted children so the series was cut short.

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They might've made the Cosmopolitan famous, but they weren't actually drinking them

The Cosmopolitan - referred to as a Cosmo often - surged in popularity after it was the drink of choice for Carrie and co in the show's earlier series. Cosmos have become a staple for Sex and the City themed nights now, but it turns out the actresses were actually drinking water with food colouring or cranberry juice when they were supposedly sipping on the sweet cocktail.

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Carrie's flat is real

The gorgeous brownstone which Carrie lived in throughout the series became a character in itself, from sitting on the stoop to being left heartbroken on the steps.

The outside of Carrie's apartment in the show is a real residence, located at 64 Perry Street in New York City's West Village. It has since become a popular destination for fans and tourists, but people do actually live inside the building, so if you're planning on visiting, be mindful that it's someone's home!

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All of Cynthia Nixon's earrings had to be clip-ons

Miranda Hobbes - played by Cynthia Nixon - had her own style, as did all the women on the show. While her style included more suits and less outrageous ensembles than the likes of Carrie, Miranda often sported a pair of signature earrings. However, in real life, Cynthia Nixon doesn't have pierced ears.

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There weren't many repeat outfits on the show, with one exception

One of the only outfits to be repeated in the entire show was Carrie’s fur coat, and the winter staple was often included in pivotal moments throughout the earlier seasons.

She is wearing it when she first meets Mr Big, and she wears it once again in the very final episode of the original run, after Carrie and Big finally end up together.

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Carrie's iconic wedding gown almost didn't happen

After six seasons of on and off, Carrie and Big were finally meant to walk down the aisle in the 2008 movie. And Carrie had the most fairytale dress for the occasion, the now iconic couture Vivienne Westwood.

Despite that wedding not quite panning out, it also turns out the legendary dress nearly missed out on its screen debut. Costume designer Patricia Field revealed to Vogue that she’d initially wanted Carrie to wear the black Zac Posen bridesmaid dress worn by Charlotte as a "mourning dress", reflecting the topsy-turvy nature of her relationship with Big.

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A rumoured SATC 3 storyline involved Samantha and Miranda's teenage son

It has been claimed that the script for Sex And The City 3 featured a creepy storyline between Kim's character Samantha Jones and Brady, Miranda's 14-year-old son.

According to E! News, Samantha's main storyline saw Brady sending naked pictures to Samantha, after being caught masturbating earlier on in the film.

While never confirmed, it has been widely suggested that Kim objected heavily to the storyline, and it was one factor in not wanting to do it. A source told E!, "Kim never wanted to really do the movie to begin with. It was a combination of not-great money and a bad storyline for Samantha. It was a bad script."

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Another major actor was an early choice for Mr Big

Alec Baldwin was reportedly the first choice to play Mr Big. Producer Darren Star told EW, "I was thinking of Alec Baldwin for Big initially But I met with Chris Noth and thought he was perfect. I remember the first table read, how good he was."

Darren also had a different initial idea for Carrie's second big love, Aidan Shaw. In the same interview, he said, "We initially were thinking about Aidan Quinn for Aidan, but I think he wasn’t available. I loved John Corbett in Northern Exposure, and we were like, ‘Well, what’s John Corbett been up to?’"

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Fashion was used to send messages

The show was famous for its fashion, from Carrie's more out-there looks to Charlotte's conservative numbers. And, often, a character's outfit was more than just coincidental.

Natasha - the woman Big married, and who caught him having an affair with Carrie - was always seen wearing a specific colour. Her white and beige outfits were meant to signify her vanilla personality.

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Two of the show's cast members almost dated

Sarah Jessica Parker was once set-up on a blind date with Stanford Blatch actor Willie Garson.

While the two didn't end up connecting romantically, they were extremely close friends. Willie told Us Weekly that he and SJP "were friends for 10 years before the show" and talked "almost every day."

Willie Garson passed away in 2021, and SJP posted a moving tribute, writing "Sometimes silence is a statement. Of the gravity. The anguish. The magnitude of the loss of a 30 + year friendship. A real friendship that allowed for secrets, adventure, a shared professional family, truth, concerts, road trips, meals, late-night phone calls, a mutual devotion to parenthood and all the heartaches and joy that accompany, triumphs, disappointments, fear, rage and years spent on sets (most especially Carrie’s apartment) and laughing late into the night as both Stanford and Carrie and Willie and SJ."

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Sarah Jessica Parker had a no-nudity clause

The show was known for its boundary pushing and openness with sexuality, and there were many scenes of male and female nudity across the original run, the movies and And Just Like That.

However, SJP's Carrie was never seen with her clothes off - something which goes beyond Sex and the City.

The actress has had the clause for her entire career, explaining to People in the past, "It’s not a value thing, or like I’m judging anyone else. I think it’s great when women feel comfortable doing it, and that’s their choice."

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The show's finale finished filming just days before airing

Talk about cutting it close! Proving the fast turnaround of television, the hugely-anticipated finale of the show's original run finished filming just four days before it aired.

Over 10 million people tuned in to watch the finale on HBO, one of the paid-for channel's biggest audiences.

The finale saw Carrie move to Paris with Aleksandr Petrovsky (ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov), but things go sour and Mr Big flies to bring her back where she belongs.

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The most expensive dress worn on the show was worth over £60,000

The most expensive outfit from the series was thought to be a couture design from Italian fashion house, Versace.

Carrie wore the huge, couture Mille Feuille dress in the the first part of the show's finale. While she never got to wear it out in the episode, having been left waiting at home for her boyfriend, Aleksandr Petrovsky, the dress is estimated at around £63,000 ($80,000).

Carrie would later wear the dress again for spin-off And Just Like That.

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The cast had the chance to buy their favourite outfits

Legendary costume designer Patricia Field oversaw the fashion for the show's six seasons, and revealed that after they were done filming an episode, the four main stars could “choose to purchase anything that has been bought.”

Considering the fashion included some of the newest runway collections from major brands, from Versace to Chanel, that is quite the work perk.

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Sex (and the City) sells - the movie was a huge success

Four years after the original series wrapped in 2004, the first movie was released and proved that the demand for the New York ladies was still higher than the Empire State Building.

The first movie is still the highest grossing R-rated female comedy at the worldwide box office. It grossed over $415 million worldwide from a $65 million budget. The second film was also a huge hit at the box office, grossing $294 million on a $95 million production budget.

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It’s one of the most iconic shows of all time, but did you know these surprising facts about Sex and the City?