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And Just Like That’s Nicole Ari Parker Says She Didn’t Replace Kim Cattrall: Fans Are ‘Protective’

And Just Like That’s Nicole Ari Parker Says She Didn’t Replace Kim Cattrall
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Not a replacement! While fans were disappointed to learn that Kim Cattrall would not reprise her role as Samantha Jones on HBO Max’s And Just Like That, the creative team brought in a new slate of characters to complete the Manhattan-based trio’s friendship circle. However, according to Nicole Ari Parker, they are not replacing Carrie Bradshaw’s former bestie.

Related: Everything ‘Sex and the City’ Stars Have Said About Joining the Revival

“I got a taste of the crazy fans that this show has, who are very protective of the series and all these things, and I just appreciated it all,” Parker, who plays Lisa Todd Wexley in the HBO Max revival, said of her character not being a Samantha Jones replacement during an interview with E! News on Thursday, January 13. “I was so happy to meet Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, like, they’re all so radiant and beautiful.”

And Just Like That’s Nicole Ari Parker Says She Didn’t Replace Kim Cattrall
Nicole Ari Parker on ‘And Just Like That.’ Craig Blankenhorn/HBO MAX

The 51-year-old Soul Food alum further gushed over her fellow AJLT newbies, including Karen Pittman (Nya Wallace), Sarita Choudhury (Seema Patel) and Sara Ramirez (Che Diaz). “And they were adding these two Black characters, an Indian character, a nonbinary, Latinx character; New York was starting to look like New York,” she told the outlet. “I think just being able to play a grown-up woman in all her glory actually inspired me. You know, like, why don’t I pick up my kids [whom she shares with husband Boris Kodjoe] from school with my nice dress on?”

Related: Everything the ‘SATC’ Cast Has Said About Kim Cattrall’s Absence in Revival

The first two episodes of the HBO Max revival dropped on the streaming platform in December 2021, quickly explaining the 65-year-old How I Met Your Father star’s character’s absence.

“And where’s the fourth Musketeer? Where’s Samantha?” Bitsy Von Muffling (Julie Halston) asked Carrie Bradshaw (SJP), Charlotte York (Davis) and Miranda Hobbes (Nixon) outside a restaurant in the premiere.

After Charlotte revealed that their pal was “no longer with us,” Miranda and Carrie clarified that she moved to London after growing apart from her longtime friends.

“Well, what is there to say?” Carrie said in the episode. “I told her that, you know, because of what the book business is now, it just didn’t make sense for me to keep her on as a publicist. She said, ‘Fine,’ and then fired me as a friend. I understand that she was upset, but I thought I was more to her than an ATM. I always thought the four of us would be friends forever.”

Cattrall previously played the bold publicist in the original series — which aired on HBO from 1998 to 2004 — and in both feature-length films. However, she chose not to come back for the new episodes amid rumors of a set feud with the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker designer. (SJP, for her part, has long refuted Cattrall’s allegations about her behavior.)

Related: ‘Sex and the City’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

As the new trio and showrunner Michael Patrick King went back to set, they intended to focus on these beloved characters as women in their 50s, navigating new life journeys.

“It never was on the radar as four because Kim Cattrall, for whatever reason, didn’t want to play Samantha anymore while we were doing the [third] movie,” King, 67, previously told The Hollywood Reporter in December 2021. “I never thought, ‘Oh, there’s a hole I have to fill.’ Samantha doesn’t not exist in their lives. [And Just Like That] was born of these three characters: What’s their life, and who can I bring in to inform it?”

New episodes of And Just Like That premiere on HBO Max every Thursday.

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