Kristin Davis on Hollywood, Sex and the City, and finding herself

Sex and the City star Kristin Davis has opened up about the intense scrutiny women face in Hollywood, ahead of the new season of And Just Like That.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kristin Davis strutting down New York City’s Fifth Ave in a Prada lipstick. Print skirt or a dominatrix-style latex corset.

“I have it – right now, it’s in my bedroom,” Davis says laughingly of the corset she recently paired with a hot-pink blazer, striped skirt, top hat with a veil, sky-high heels, riding crop and leather gloves.

“I don’t know where I could ever wear it!” – Kristin Davis

That look, however, wasn’t from Davis’s wardrobe – it was from Charlotte York’s, the character she first played 25 years ago on Sex And The City. Though the 58-year-old actor has spent much of her career playing the ultimate New Yorker, she does, in fact, live in Los Angeles, where she’s speaking to Stellar on a Zoom call.

“I’m taking my daughter to see [a movie],”

Davis says of Gemma Rose, whom she adopted in 2011 (and raises as a single mother along with Wilson, the son she adopted in 2018).

“So I’m sitting in my car talking to you while she’s having dinner with our friends we’re going with, nearby. And when I get done, I’ll join them – so I’m in Santa Monica, in the car.”

Even so, Davis has spent the better part of the year in New York shooting the second season of the SATC spin-off And Just Like That … (AJLT), which made headlines when it first aired in 2021 for everything from its plot lines (Mr Big’s death, the absence of Samantha Jones) to its handling of serious social issues, like gender politics and racism.

But first, let’s go back to the ’90s, when it all started for Davis. “I was an out-of-work actor, living in the hills in LA with my dogs, doing a lot of yoga,” Davis recalls. “I’d been on Melrose Place for a year, which was one of [SATC creator] Darren Star’s other shows, and I’d gotten killed off, which was kind of sad, kind of not. I felt like it wasn’t a great fit.

“Darren sent me this script [for SATC] …

I’d been a poor actress/waitress in New York previously. And to think about moving back to New York and filming there seemed, like, so crazy. Nobody really did that, except for cop shows. The idea that [SATC] would be kind of glamorous and have four women as [its] stars … Everybody wanted these parts in New York and LA; everyone read for them.”

Of course, the HBO series became one of the most talked-about shows of all time, and Carrie Bradshaw and her friends helped to change the way sex, dating and women’s lives were represented on our screens during SATC’s six-series run from 1998 until 2004.

So did Davis ever anticipate it would be such a success? “No, no,” she says, her voice not unlike Charlotte’s waspy, Upper East Side tone.

“We never thought it would be that [successful], ever. We didn’t think we’d still be together 25 years later. It’s crazy, crazy. It was unheard of that women would be talking about sex and relationships in a very open way. It’s funny to think that now because it’s like, ‘Of course they would! Why wouldn’t they be?’ The culture around dating … around being single has changed a lot. When we began, it was a New York City thing … single career women. And we got some negative press about that, [a] ‘Who do these women think they are?’ kind of thing.

“Now I feel everyone understands that women have different priorities. Women get to choose what they want to do, when they want to do it. I feel like there’s more freedom around women’s choices – but that’s not true everywhere around the world. Unfortunately, though it obviously should be. I do think there’s more acceptance, is what I’m saying.”

“I think that ageism is very, very real,” Kristin Davis says

“As much as we’re lucky we’re able to do [AJLT], it doesn’t mean that we’re escaping that. It was true for the first show as well. There would be articles that would have body-shaming in them. There would be articles shaming the sexuality [themes] of the show. And now, there are articles that talk about our faces.”

While Davis is aware of the polarising nature of the new show, she insists it doesn’t court controversy for the sake of it, despite season-one plots such as the affair between Nixon’s character Miranda Hobbes and Sara Ramirez’s non-binary comedian Che Diaz becoming fodder for memes.

“We’re not trying necessarily to change anyone’s mind. I don’t think we ever were. We’re just there,” Davis says of the fuss around the show. “People can talk about it, and I think that’s part of what we want to do, start conversations … Maybe open people’s eyes to things that might be happening.

“It wasn’t like the young women were trying to get male attention. I was just blown away by the confidence. I guess … I forgot what it’s like to be a young actress. You know, you’ve got to put yourself out there. It’s a good thing I never had to do this.”

As for what’s in store for Charlotte in the second season, Davis says her character is dealing with motherhood and her changing sense of self.

“‘Who are you? What are you doing?’

She’s going through something along those lines,” Davis explains.

“I don’t mean to say she doubts her choices, it’s not that. It’s more just like, she wants to know, ‘Is this all that I am forever? Or maybe there is more that I could be doing to fulfil my own self, rather than just thinking about my family.’ I think that’s something women go through. My friends and I have those conversations occasionally.”

Beyond her own family life, Davis has found personal fulfilment through her work as an UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador since 2017. Advocating for women and children as part of the United Nations Refugee Agency and travelling widely in India and Africa.

Something else that remains close to Davis’s heart is her enduring friendship with Parker and Nixon. Recalling one of her first encounters on the set of SATC’s pilot episode, she says, “The first day that we did a group scene, Sarah called me over … ‘Come by my [trailer]!’ I was like, ‘OK.’ And she had a big [box] of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. And I was like, ‘I am happy.’”


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