The Carrie Diaries: EP Amy B. Harris Talks Crafting A Young Samantha Jones
This Friday, Samantha Jones is coming to The CW’s “The Carrie Diaries.”
The bold character, first brought to life by Kim Cattrall in HBO’s “Sex and The City,” is getting an ‘80s makeover as Lindsey Gort steps into Samantha’s early twenty something pumps.
Teenager Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb), who is trying to get over her heartbreak and spending her summer in New York City, will meet Sam in Friday’s Season 2 premiere at 8/7c.
Executive Producer Amy B. Harris explained what fans can expect when the force of nature that is Samantha enters Carrie’s life. She also revealed the support original “SATC” stars Kim and Sarah Jessica Parker gave the show’s the young actresses.
AccessHollywood.com: What went into crafting the young Samantha?
Amy B. Harris: I knew Samantha was who I wanted to bring in for second season and I just started to try to think about who did I think she was and we had sort of this wonderful character, sort of Manhattanite in Larissa [played by Freeya Agyeman], who is obviously not from Manhattan and what I love about Manhattan… is very few people actually are from Manhattan. You sort of come to Mecca as opposed to being born there. … I sort of started imagining Samantha as someone who had kind of come from nothing and had kind of crawled her way to this sophisticated kind of glamorous world in ‘Sex and the City.’
I just sort of started flashing on like, ‘OK, she’s from the panhandle of Florida. She had a shi**y life with a mom in a trailer who would ditch her. … What I loved in the series, ‘Sex and the City,’ what we did was, she didn’t commit, but she celebrated that versus it being some sort of problem for her. What I liked is thinking, ‘Why would someone not be that interested in committing long term or have struggles with the idea of that?’ and I thought, ‘Well, her mom was somebody who every time she got a boyfriend kind of ditched her daughter.’ [So] you would be someone who thought, ‘You need women who take care of you and… you can’t choose men over yourself and other relationships.’ So once I sort of started thinking about that as sort of her backstory, it really just started to kind of come very clear…
What I love about Samantha is she’s very proud of how far she’s come and she’s not hiding her past at all. She’s celebrating, like that’s who she is and what she came from, and we’ll start to kind of see that as the season goes on.
Access: Kim Cattrall was really sweet to Lindsey when she got cast. (Kim Tweeted the young actress, “So happy u’re playing Fearless Sam… The key 2 her is her heart. She never judges those she loves. Have a blast! Kimx.)
Amy: I had my own sort of contact with Kim and she’s been just so unbelievable gracious. I mean, she so holds dear the character of Samantha and has been so warm and kind to Lindsey. I think that really helped [Lindsey] feel confident… We literally cast her and the next day she was on a plane and the day after that she was shooting. … She was obviously nervous and wanted to do a good a job, but to know that the person who played the part before her was encouraging her was wonderful and quite frankly Sarah Jessica [Parker] did the exact same thing for AnnaSophia and sent her a lovely note. They’re very protective of those characters, but they’ve been incredibly generous and warm, even though I know sometimes it must feel strange for them to feel like, ‘Wait. No. Those are our parts.’
Access: Oh, wow. I had never heard Sarah Jessica had sent something to AnnaSophia.
Amy: She sent a lovely note to her and I think for Sarah Jessica, she really feels like this is its own show, she doesn’t want to like add any kind of energy to it either way and make it about her and I’ve really respected sort of how she’s handled that … It’s been quite sort of warming of my heart to — ‘cause I worked with these women for years, so to know that they’re supportive of the next round has been very meaningful to me.
Access: Lindsey has a big presence in the first episode and you can feel a lot of years behind this character, despite her young age.
Amy: You feel like she’s lived a kind of hard life and she’s looking for people to count on, but she’s not so sure she can, and I think this season, for us, [it] has been really fun because I think Carrie and Samantha have a lot to learn from each other. … Carrie’s always sort over thinking things and not always in the moment because of that, but she’s a wonderful friend and knows she has a big support system and then there’s Samantha, whose sort of like, ‘Go for it! A job is nothing. It comes and goes. Apartments? Who needs those? You just crash with people.’ But she’s very vulnerable and doesn’t really know if she has someone to count on. I think as she starts to realize that Carrie is there for her, that’s gonna be a really [interesting]. … [And Carrie] — she’s gonna learn to be a little more assertive… so I think they have a lot to kind of take from each other, which has been fun for us.
Access: So Sebastian and Carrie. Is Samantha going to be able to help Carrie get over him? He’s cute, but bad news.
Amy: I think there’s always the sort of first loves that are incredibly hard to let go of and they sort of hold a very special place in your heart because they were the first, and I think they’re in each other’s lives for better or for worse because when you’re in high school, the hallways aren’t that big. I do think he is not giving up on her and he’s very cute… very persuasive, but I think one of the things Samantha is really there to help Carrie with is to say, ‘Stop avoiding him,’ and, ‘Tell him off.’ And maybe that’ll make it better. Maybe it won’t. But maybe it will. I think it’s tricky between Carrie and Sebastian and he has a lot to prove to her if he’s gonna kind of come back into her life in a romantic way, but she’s got other fish to fry this season as well. There’s more than just Sebastian in her romantic future.
“The Carrie Diaries” returns for its second season Friday at 8/7c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash
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