Warning: This post contains a spoiler for And Just Like That…, which has already made big news but if you’ve avoided it thus far, then tread lightly with the post below.
On Thursday, And Just Like That.., the long-awaited (and, alas, Samantha-less) revival of Sex and the City dropped, and like clockwork, people couldn’t stop talking about one of its biggest twists: Mr. Big (Chris Noth) is no more. The fictional character’s death was so massive it had real-world impact: Peloton, the exercise bike company, on whose product Big suffered a fatal heart attack in episode one, saw its stocks plummet after the episode went live on HBO Max. The news was genuinely shocking — and now we know it’s due in part to the TV-makers doing their best to mislead the press.
The revival’s on-location shoot was breathlessly covered by the paparazzi, with photos regularly showing the cast filming around their old stomping grounds of New York City. Showrunner and executive producer Michael Patrick King said they took advantage of that. As per The Daily Beast, King admitted that he and his team went so far as to stage partially fake scenes to throw off the press’ scent.
“We had to have some red herrings!” King said, revealing that during Big’s funeral scene, he actually had Noth show up, as one of the mourner’s at his own character’s service. But that wasn’t all: Noth was also seen shooting scenes in Paris, which presumably were also intended to throw the press off the scent. (If so, then the actor got a free trip to the City of Lights, which is nothing to sneeze at.)
What’s more, they even planted what appears to be a fake script, suggesting that Big and Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) got divorced. The page’s narration had Carrie saying, “I was taping the podcast; I was washing my hair. Yes, I wasn’t eating or sleeping, but at least I felt good about my marriage. Now I’m just one of the wives he was taking care of.”
The plan worked: For months, publications like Page Six speculated that they split up, not that one of them suddenly died after decades of unhealthy New York City living. And all Noth had to do was show up for scenes where he wouldn’t make the final cut. And just like that, everyone is talking about Sex and the City like it was the aughts again.
(Via The Daily Beast)