Just like Us, the cast of HBO Max’s And Just Like That were surprised to learn about the surprising twist when Chris Noth’s beloved Mr. Big tragically died after a grueling Peloton bike ride.
“I gotta tell you, that first table read where we read it, man, it was deep,” Karen Pittman, who plays Dr. Nya Wallace in the revival, told Us Weekly and other reporters on Friday, December 10. “It was really [gasps dramatically], we were, like, clutching the pearls and all of it.”
Sarita Choudhury, who plays Seema Patel on the show, was equally shocked upon reading the script.
“It was so painful,” Choudhury, 55, revealed during the roundtable interview about watching the 67-year-old Equalizer alum’s final scenes. “I am so moved by Chris’ performance. I watch him [and], I’m like, ‘No actor could do what he does.’ It’s so awkward and sexy, like he’s from another generation. I don’t understand him, but I love him like [Carrie Bradshaw] does.”
The England native further revealed how her character comes in to support Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie amid the challenging time.
“I’m lucky because my character doesn’t know, so in a weird way, the setup is smart,” Choudhury said. “I come in and the way I help is [because] I’m not tiptoeing around [Carrie]. I just go in and I probably say some things that are not easy for her to hear because I don’t know. And sometimes by her reaction, I’m like, ‘Oh, but that’s what’s kind of great about our friendship.’”
At the conclusion of the first episode of the HBO Max series — which premiered on Thursday, December 9 — Big suffered a heart attack after a high-impact Peloton ride. The investment banker walked toward the shower post-workout before suddenly collapsing, grabbing his left arm in pain. After a heartbreaking scene, the 56-year-old Broadway veteran’s character returns home where she finds her husband unconscious on the ground. “And just like that, Big died,” Carrie said before the credits rolled.
As a result, most of the second episode dealt with the sex columnist’s bereavement as she prepared for his funeral.
“All the characters are affected by [the death], and it creates a giant hole, as Miranda says in her eulogy,” showrunner Michael Patrick King told reporters on Friday, noting the story line impacts the remainder of the show. “First of all, Chris has an incredible love-hate relationship with Mr. Big. I’ve been with him when 35 people have chased him down the street screaming, ‘Mr. Big!’ I get it. It’s a lot to take on. So, at first, he was hesitant, and then someone is like, ‘Do you want to join the show again and die?’ He said, ‘Of course, no.’”
While keeping spoilers at a minimum, the 35-year-old Morning Show alum briefly teased the forthcoming journey of the Sex and the City alums and newbies in the wake of the tragic death.
“I think what you’ll find is true for all of the characters is that we all start out kind of knowing our path and knowing what we’re about and we’re women and this is where we are in our lives,” Pittman explained. “And over the arc of the season, you’ll see us all sort of slow down and the wheels start to turn in the opposite direction because maybe we don’t know everything we thought we knew? And this of course is the journey for women as we get older. … I think [viewers] will really enjoy how these women [and] how the friendships develop over time and how they shift and change with that.”
New episodes of And Just Like That premiere on HBO Max every Thursday.
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Scroll down to see how the cast reacted to Big’s heartbreaking death: