When you think of Sex and the City, you think Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie, of course, is synonymous with Sarah Jessica Parker. And when you think of Carrie/SJP, your next natural thought is her main love affair with the elusive, damaged, and powerful Mr. Big, who, of course, was played to perfection by Chris Noth. Let’s take a look at the iconic couple in their heyday, shall we?
But what if Mr. Big was played by a different actor? Would it have been the same show? The same chemistry? Would the producers have chosen the same “happily ever after” ending for Carrie and Big in the series finale? Well, it turns out that SATC creator Darren Star actually had a different actor in mind for Mr. Big. He originally wanted—wait for it—Alec Baldwin to play the part!
“I was thinking of Alec Baldwin for Big initially [in Sex and the City],” Star told Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t really watch Law & Order, but I met with Chris Noth and thought he was perfect. I remember the first table read, how good he was. I’m not saying that Chris was Mr. Big, but he brought a lot of his own persona to the role…”
Carrie’s other great romance on the show was with the complete opposite of Mr. Big, Aidan, who was played by John Corbett. Carrie cheated on Aidan with Mr. Big, setting up one of the most heartbreaking love triangles in TV history. But according to Star, Aidan was almost played by a different actor too! “We initially were thinking about Aidan Quinn for Aidan, but I think he wasn’t available,” he said. “I loved John Corbett in Northern Exposure, and we were like, ‘Well, what’s John Corbett been up to?’ He just had the laconic, dudish vibe.” Ultimately Corbett was the right man for Aidan, but here’s a fun fact: Star says they kept the name Aidan for the character “because we loved the name.”
It’s funny how things work out because if Baldwin had gotten the role of Mr. Big, it might have been hard to accept him as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. Yes, one could argue that Jack Donaghy was a quirkier, funnier version of Mr. Big, but we think things worked out for the best. We prefer thinking of Baldwin as the yin to Liz Lemon’s (Tina Fey) yang instead of Carrie Bradshaw’s!