‘Sex and the City’ 20 Years Later: How Warren Beatty Slammed the Door on Guest Role

Don’t worry, this story turns out alright, alright, alright

It’s been 20 years since “Sex and the City” premiered on HBO, and several of the writers are telling some behind-the-scenes stories to commemorate the comedy that would define a generation.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, writer Jenny Bicks recounted the mortifying experience of trying to convince Warren Beatty to guest star during the show’s third season.

Remember when Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) goes to Los Angeles because there’s some Hollywood interest in turning her columns into a movie? Well, the team was in LA two or three days before filming the scene, but still hadn’t landed a movie star to play himself. Don’t worry, though — this story ends up alright, alright, alright.

Bicks, Parker, writer Amy B. Harris and showrunner Michael Patrick King wound up at a “fabulous political [function] at Dee Dee Myers’s house, where Barbra Streisand and Donna Karan were sitting out on the lawn,” according to Harris. “And all of a sudden, we saw Warren Beatty, and Sarah Jessica [Parker] was like, ‘Oh, my God, should we ask him?’ And she was like, ‘I’m too embarrassed.’ Then Jenny was like, ‘I’ll go over.'”

Bicks, who said that she ended up being the “sacrificial lamb,” explained that King “basically pimps me out —  like, makes me the sacrificial lamb and throws me at the car. ‘Cause he’s like, ‘This is our last chance. You have to go talk to him.’ . . . So he literally turns me around, throws me at the car.”

Bicks said that although she’s not usually afraid to approach people, this moment was too out of her realm. Here’s what she ended up saying to Beatty: “‘Mr. Beatty, I’m mortified. We approached you for this part and we’re just so short on time and we’re really hoping you’ll do it.'”

The Academy Award nominee turned to Bicks and said “Yeah. Never going to happen. Never took it seriously.”

“To this day, whenever we are about to tell each other something either embarrassing or uncomfortable, we say, ‘Mr. Beatty, I’m mortified,'” Harris said.

But as promised, the writers found their perfect guest star to play the movie star interested in Carrie’s movie: Matthew McConaughey.