Though the revelation that Samantha (Kim Cattrall) would be returning for “And Just Like That” Season 2 excited many fans upon breaking last month, the HBO series’ cast and creator had mixed feelings about the news leak.
“My overwhelming thought at the moment is that I’m so deeply disappointed that someone leaked it to the press,” Cynthia Nixon told TheWrap. “It was going to be such a wonderful surprise that, as people were watching an episode, ‘Oh my God! There’s Samantha!’ You know?”
Showrunner Michael Patrick King echoed Nixon, noting that the “only upsetting thing” about the cameo is that the press learned of it. “I really wanted the audience to be sitting there and to see Carrie pick up her phone and see that it’s not a text, and then, ‘What?’” King said. “It would have been fantastic.”
“I guess you can only get one giant, spoiler alert, impossible thing in your lifetime — and it was that Big died,” he continued, nodding to the “And Just Like That” pilot’s big twist. “No one knew that Big died until they saw it. So I guess that was it.”
Samantha’s upcoming scene will involve her having a phone conversation with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker). Though Cattrall was not involved in “And Just Like That” after publicly stating she’d refused to revisit the character after the second film, the series has kept her character in the fold, primarily showing her texting Carrie during key moments of Season 1.
It’s been reported that Cattrall’s scene was filmed without King or Parker on set. Despite previous reports that made it seem as though King had little involvement in the cameo, the showrunner told TheWrap that he wrote the scene. Similarly, the comedy’s leads and executive producers Parker, Nixon and Kristin Davis all confirmed that they discussed the upcoming cameo with the showrunner prior to it happening, disputing the initial framing that the cameo happened without their involvement.
“It was a conversation that Michael and I were having with the studio. It wasn’t something I learned,” Parker, who also executive produces the comedy, said. She called the moment a “lovely and meaningful” way to combine the Season 2 return of “And Just Like That” with the 25th anniversary of “Sex and the City,” which premiered June 6, 1998.
“Samantha has been present in this show in smart and meaningful ways, and it just felt really nice to take the texts and add a face,” Parker said. “The conversation, where it happens in the story, it’s a rather sentimental moment that happens. And I think it’s just a nice way of continuing a friendship that is alive and well.”
As for King, he’s still shocked the cameo happened at all. In the past, Cattrall has been outspoken about not wanting to play Samantha in future projects.
“I don’t know how that came about. I think magic was involved. I think the fans must have manifested a shift somehow,” King said. “Something about the 25th anniversary magic — show business magic or fan magic or real magic happened, and all of a sudden it was just like, ‘Yeah. I’ll be Samantha for that.’”
Now that the secret’s out, the cast has a new fear: managing expectations. “I just worry now because it is one scene, and it’s very brief,” Nixon said. “It’s really just kind of a wave, you know, shoutout. And I just worry that there’s been all this buildup.”
Davis felt similarly to Nixon. “I just hope that it hasn’t been built up now and that people are disappointed, because we really did it for the fans,” she said. “We just thought it would be fun if she just showed up all the sudden on the screen. Wouldn’t that be great? But that’s not the world we live in.”
“And Just Like That” will return for Season 2 Thursday, June 22, on Max.