Editor's note: Spoilers for And Just Like That... lie ahead.
And Just Like That..., HBO Max's 10-episode continuation of Sex and the City, has definitely got the internet talking since it launched last week. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the way it deals with the absence of Kim Cattrall's scene-stealing character, Samantha Jones, after Cattrall declined to reprise her role.
Then, at the end of episode one, And Just Like That... shocked fans by killing off another longtime character, Carrie's husband Mr. Big. (The actor who played him, Chris Noth, has since been accused by two women of sexual assault, allegations he denies as "categorically false.")
Fans have also been wondering how Carrie's friend Stanford Blatch – a veteran of 27 Sex and the City episodes and both movies -– will feature in the new series. The actor who played him, Willie Garson, sadly died from pancreatic cancer in September.
Garson was able to film a number of scenes for And Just Like That... before his passing, but in a new interview with Vulture, Sarah Jessica Parker has revealed that his illness meant the show's plans for Stanford were ultimately curtailed. Garson, she explained, decided to step away from the show after sharing his diagnosis with cast and crew.
"He intended and wanted to complete the entire season. He had a very significant story line, more so than ever, so it was my fervent hope that he would be able to do it all," she said. "And for Willie to have to leave, you knew that it was serious. If Willie could be there and do one more episode or one more scene, he would have done it."
"But he knew what he needed to do to take care of his son and of himself," Parker continued, "and I am so glad that he did that because when he passed away, he wanted to do so in an environment and circumstance that made him feel safe and comfortable."
Meanwhile, showrunner Michael Patrick King revealed that Garson reluctantly declined an offer to film one last scene with Parker.
"My final interaction with Willie came when I spoke to him on the phone about a scene I had written for him to come in and do with Sarah Jessica — just Carrie and Stanford," King recalled. "It was a scene to explain his absence in the series. He was very realistic with me; he said, 'Please, don’t think I don’t want to do it — I can’t.' When I remember my time with Willie, the first thing I’ll think of is his love of being an actor. Every part of it."
And Just Like That... airs in the UK on Sky Comedy and NOW.