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Mario Cantone: Seeing late co-star Willie Garson on 'SATC' reboot 'just killed me’

The reboot has been "bittersweet," he told TODAY.
/ Source: TODAY

"And Just Like That...," the "Sex and the City" limited series sequel now airing on HBO Max has been a delight to watch, but there's also been a layer of sadness in it: One of its regulars, Willie Garson, passed away in September.

For Mario Cantone, who played Garson's character's husband, Anthony, seeing him again on screen was particularly "bittersweet."

Willie Garson (Stanford) And Mario Cantone (Anthony) in "And Just Like That..."
Willie Garson (Stanford) And Mario Cantone (Anthony) in "And Just Like That..." HBO Max

"It was very tough to watch," Cantone, 62, told TODAY on Friday, noting he'd watched the premiere with his husband. "Watching my friend Willie Garson with me in one particular scene just killed me, I lost it. I miss him a lot."

Garson, who played Carrie's BFF Stanford Blatch on the show, started out in a charged, antagonistic role with Cantone's Anthony, but the two men eventually fell in love and married in the follow-up movies.

In "That," we're told that Blatch abruptly dumps his husband and goes to Asia to manage a rising TikTok star. Carrie gets the news via a letter, where he writes that "by the time you read this, I'll be in Tokyo."

Garson in "And Just Like That..." HBO Max

Garson died in September of pancreatic cancer at age 57.

Anthony and Carrie have a moment on the show where he tells her, "I don't get it — we were so happy."

Meanwhile Cantone said, "We all just huddled together and loved each other and moved on and did this with him in our hearts. It was hard to watch but we continued, there were a lot of rewrites and (showrunner) Michael Patrick King is brilliant... It’s been a good time, it's been a bittersweet time."

Kathie Lee Gifford, Willie Garson, Mario Cantone and Hoda Kotb on TODAY in 2012.Peter Kramer / TODAY

That aside, Cantone said he thoroughly enjoyed reuniting with all the "Sex" folks.

"It was like no time passed, it really was. Because I loved them all and there’s no one better to work with.... It was scary at first because I'm like, 'Who is this guy again?'" Cantone chuckled. "(Anthony's) similar to me. He spikes a little bit more than me, especially at this time of life because I'm too tired to spike much any more."