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Why Sarah Jessica Parker nearly said 'no' to 'Sex and the City'

The classic series might still have been made, but without a little encouragement the actress would never have said "yes."
/ Source: TODAY

Many great TV shows (and movies, too) have great casting stories. But did you know that one of the star of "Sex and the City," Sarah Jessica Parker, wasn't sure she wanted to play Carrie Bradshaw at first?

Completely true! According to The Hollywood Reporter, which excerpted a forthcoming book about the Creative Artists Agency, in the late 1990s Parker didn't feel like she wanted to go back into TV again after her run in series like "Square Pegs" and "Equal Justice."

Sarah Jessica Parker in the early 1980s, in her "Square Pegs" role.(C)Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

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"'Darren Star reached out to me,'" she recalled her agent telling her. "'He's written this pilot ["Sex and the City"] and tells me he wrote it with you in mind — you were in his head when he was writing it. I'm going to send it to you. I've read it. I think it's really good. You should meet with him.'"

But the woman who would be Carrie was unsure.

Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie found both love and heartache with Chris Noth's Mr. Big on "Sex and the City."AP

"I said, 'Really? I feel like I’ve got it all right now. I can do a play, then do a movie, then do a play, then do a movie. There’s a lot of flexibility. What could be better? Do I really want to go back to making a television series when I’m maybe held hostage signing a long-term contract?'"

But her agent persisted, and she was won over...with a few concessions. "I met with Darren, and there were a couple of concerns that I had — like I really wasn't keen on doing nudity and language issues — but [agent] Kevin continued to say to me, "This is different. You have never done anything like this before. No one's ever done a part like this. Do this."

Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kristen Davis: The ladies who made "Sex and the City" so great, posing in 2009.Ray Tamarra / Getty Images

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Thanks to his wise advice, Parker signed on and her career took off in a totally new way. She ended up winning four Golden Globes and one Emmy for the part, and simultaneously became an icon for aspirational, stylish, single women ever. The show ran from 1998 to 2004, and spawned two feature films (fans are still hoping for a third).

Sarah Jessica Parker in May. She had definite reservations about playing Carrie on "Sex and the City."Brad Barket / Getty Images

Hey, part of the business is knowing who to listen to. Carrie on, SJP!

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