Before it hits the air with its first episode on January 14, The CW’s “The Carrie Diaries” already has something in common with HBO’s “Sex and The City” – a lot of attention on the streets of New York City.
“Turn the corner and there are all the paparazzi there just snapping away, and tourists looking, even regular New Yorkers looking, staring, ‘What’s going on?’ But it’s part of the game,” actress AnnaSophia Robb – who plays a young Carrie Bradshaw — told Access Hollywood during our visit to The CW drama’s set. “It’s fun to see [people] excited about the show. It is exciting.”
The show focuses on Carrie’s life in high school, as she and her family recover following the death of her mother.
It also features Carrie’s high school friends, her teenage loves and her growing fascination with New York City.
“Every episode we film part of it in the city, so it’s half in high school in Castlebury, Conn., which is a fictional town, and then half of it takes place in the city,” AnnaSophia told Access. “But Carrie will become more and more involved in the city as the show goes on, because it’s about her developing her relationship with Manhattan and the people she meets in the city.”
Like the HBO series, fashion will also be a major focus of the show, which is set in the 1980s.
“The fashion is definitely a character in this show, and what’s cool is each character has a very different sense of style and captures a different sort of element of the ‘80s,” AnnaSophia said. “Carrie, I don’t really know what my element is – [maybe] big skirts, lots of colors and layers and patterns.”
AnnaSophia had not seen the original show before landing the role, but she’s caught up now.
“Not prior to getting the role, but I started to do my research, and I’ve watched almost all the episodes, I’d say. And Amy Harris, the creator of [‘The Carrie Diaries’], was one of the writers on ‘Sex and The City,’ so she’s very in tune with it,” the actress said. “There are a lot of connections, which is nice.”
Don’t expect a copy of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw in the series. AnnaSophia is creating her own, youthful version of the character, although she hopes to pay homage to the original when it fits.
“I’m sort of figuring it out as I go along. I definitely say there are certain elements that I’d like to bring to the character and, you know, glean from SJP, but we’re not trying to copy ‘Sex and the City,’ because it was such a wonderful show, such an iconic character,” AnnaSophia said. “So we’re doing a take-off. It’s partly the book and partly from the original TV show and from Amy Harris — the creation she has in her head and what I bring to the character, so it’s a lot of different elements put together.”
“The Carrie Diaries” premieres Monday, January 14 at 8/7c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash