Steve’s ‘And Just Like That…’ Storyline Was Inspired by Actor David Eigenberg’s Real-Life Hearing Loss

The show’s writers tell Vanity Fair “We love Steve. We are really invested in the Steve-ness of him”

Cynthia Nixon and David Eigenberg
Cynthia Nixon and David Eigenberg on "And Just Like That…" (HBO Max)

The “Sex and the City” sequel “And Just Like That…” on HBO Max has divided fans of the original show for many reasons, a lot of them involving Miranda (Cynthia Nixon)’s husband Steve (David Eigenberg). Not only does Miranda cheat on him, Steve also seems to serve as an aging-related joke who humiliates himself and embarrasses Miranda, isn’t interested in sex and is losing his hearing.

We can’t speak to most of that, but it turns out Steve’s hearing impairment is actually drawn from reality. In an interview with Vanity Fair – titled “Justice for Steve” — series writers Elisa Zuritsky and Julie Rottenberg revealed that Steve’s storyline was inspired by Eigenberg’s real-life struggle with hearing loss.

“When [showrunner] Michael Patrick [King] reconnected with David Eigenberg about the show, the very first thing that David said was, ‘I got hearing aids.’ It was literally what he led with,” Zuritsky told the magazine. “That actually wound up being Steve’s tone about his aging.”

But the writers insist that they didn’t set out to humiliate Steve or make him a laughingstock, even if the story has inspired demands that “Steve Deserves Better.”

“Everyone on the show, every single person, loves David Eigenberg as a human being,” said Zuritsky. “We love him as an actor. We love Steve. We are really invested in the Steve-ness of him. He’s so full of life, and the Steves out there are good guys.”

OK then! Though guys, whatever the intent, that skid marks scene made everyone cringe.

Rottenberg also explained her and Zuritsky’s thinking behind the slow-motion collapse of Miranda and Steve’s relationship, telling Vanity Fair: “Miranda’s journey is representing another reality out there, which a lot of people go through – the reevaluations and transitions in life. Grown couples grow apart, and people come to epiphanies about what their spouse is or isn’t fulfilling for them. Miranda’s story was very representative of a certain path that a lot of women find themselves on.”

When asked if the show is ever going to consider Steve’s side of things, Zuritsky revealed that he won’t be in the dark for much longer. “You’re going to get that scene,” she promised.

The writers also explained that the fights fans are having about these developments happened first between the production staff, long before the show debuted.

“Our assistant-directing department made buttons for the whole crew. You could choose a ‘Team Steve’ or ‘Team Miranda’ button. It was very funny,” Zurtisky said. She didn’t reveal which button was most popular on set, but she did say that that Eigenberg was “Team Miranda.”

“That’s so David Eigenberg. That’s just what Steve would do. You have to realize that there are hundreds of people who work on the series, and they’re sort of our first glimpse of what the audience is going to feel,” she told Vanity Fair.

The season finale of “And Just Like That…” airs on Feb. 3