Sarah Jessica Parker has revealed that she felt “responsible” for her co-star and real-life friend Willie Garson’s well-being while they were shooting “And Just Like That…” in New York City this year.
via Page Six:
“I knew before we started shooting that Willie was sick,” Parker, 56, told Vulture in an interview published on Thursday. “He asked me to keep that confidential, and I honored that.”
But knowing that Garson, who was 57 when he passed away in September, was dying from pancreatic cancer weighed heavy on her when he was on set during the pandemic.
“We were a vaccine-mandated show, but nonetheless, a lot of our scenes were with a lot of background players, and I had great concerns about Willie staying as healthy as he could while shooting,” the actress best known for bringing Carrie Bradshaw to life explained.
“I couldn’t share that with anybody,” she added. “I’d only keep track of him, and I felt responsible in some ways for his health, his well-being on the set.”
Parker, who called Garson’s death “unbearable,” also spoke about how his character Standford Blatch was set to have his most significant storyline yet on the “Sex and the City” spin-off, echoing their co-star Chris Noth’s previous comments.
“[Garson] intended and wanted to complete the entire season,” Parker reflected. “He had a very significant story line, more so than ever, so it was my fervent hope that he would be able to do it all.”
The actress also revealed that Garson asked her to tell Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis about his diagnosis the day before they filmed what they called “the Black Event” — aka Big’s funeral.
During the two days it took to film, Garson made sure to share the tragic news with the rest of the cast.
“At that point, he shared with his fellow cast that he was sick. That day was excruciating, to be in a fictional world of the loss of a life, but in the real world, of somebody that you knew was sick — that was his last day working with us,” Parker said.
Garson passed away at home on September 21. He was a single father to his adopted 20-year-old son, Nathan.
The show hasn’t addressed how exactly it’ll tackle Willie’s passing in the series, but we do know his character will live on.