Warning: This post contains spoilers for Thursday’s And Just Like That.
A lot of the early buzz about HBO Max’s Sex and the City revival And Just Like That… has centered around a fictional death — but the show suffered a real-life tragedy as well.
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Willie Garson, who played Carrie’s fabulous BFF Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City and reprised the role on And Just Like That…, passed away in September, while filming of the revival was still underway. We saw Stanford in the first three episodes, but in this week’s Episode 4, he was absent, and he left a letter for Carrie telling her that he’s moving to Tokyo to go on tour with the teen TikTok star he manages. (He also told his husband Anthony he wants a divorce.)
It was an abrupt end for such a beloved character, and that is the last we’ll see of Garson on And Just Like That…, showrunner Michael Patrick King confirms to TVLine, but originally, “he was supposed to be in all 10 episodes.” As far as Stanford moving to Tokyo, “we had to put some patch to explain his absence,” King explains. “So I tried to make the lightest thin ice to just skate over.” Stanford working as a talent manager for TikTok stars “was already in the storylines,” he adds. “We just had him go to Japan.”
Garson was ready and willing to film more episodes of And Just Like That…, writer Julie Rottenberg notes, but his declining health made it impossible: “We thought we might have more time, and we didn’t, and that is the definition of reality getting in the way of plans. I know he wished he could’ve finished more of the work, and it was so aggressive and happened so fast.” In fact, King reveals that “there was a beautiful last scene that was going to be between Carrie and Stanford that he wasn’t well enough to do, which explained a little bit more.”
But Garson’s final scenes as Stanford still stand as a testament to his talent and perseverance, writer Elisa Zuritsky adds: “For most of the scenes you’ll see in the show, we had no idea he was sick. And you can see, as we did, how healthy he looks, and how funny he was. It was as if he was in the prime of his life. So it’s still an unbelievable fact for us that he’s not here to enjoy the moment.”
Alright, Sex and the City fans, weigh in on Stanford’s abrupt exit — and share your favorite Stanford memories — in the comments below.
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