‘Sex and the City’s leading male characters might well feel perfect in retrospect, but it transpires that neither Big nor Aidan were played by series creator’s first choices for the roles.
As the elusive Big, Chris Noth’s chemistry with SJP’s Carrie Bradshaw was a huge element of the enduring success of the show, but Darren Starr, who helmed the show through six series, has admitted in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly he had other ideas for the part.
"I was thinking of Alec Baldwin for Big initially,” he admits, as he wasn’t a regular viewer of Chris Noth’s big TV crime show.
“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.”
Similarly, Darren had someone else in mind for Aidan, Carrie’s other significant love interest.
“We initially were thinking about Aidan Quinn for Aidan, but I think he wasn’t available.”
Aidan Quinn, the star of ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ and ‘An Early Frost’ would have surely made for a much more intense portrayal of the amiable furniture-maker, whose romance with Carrie is eventually curtailed by her refusal to marry him.
Instead, it was ‘Northern Exposure’s laid-back but charismatic ‘Chris in the Morning’ who caught Darren’s eye.
"I loved John Corbett in 'Northern Exposure', and we were like, ‘Well, what’s John Corbett been up to?’ He just had the laconic, dude-ish vibe. But we kept ‘Aidan’ because we loved the name.”
And thus was history made…
Alec Baldwin went on to star in very Big-esque style in ’30 Rock’, while Aidan Quinn currently stars as Captain Thomas Greyson in CBS drama ‘Elementary’.
Chris Noth has most recently had a recurring role in ‘The Good Wife’, while John Corbett has reprised his big screen role in the comedy sequel ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’.