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Sarah Jessica Parker Felt 'Responsible' For Willie Garson’s Health On Set Of And Just Like That…

sarah jessica parker, willie garson : sjp felt responsible for willie garson's health on set of and just like that...

Sarah Jessica Parker will always look out for a friend.

Ahead of the late Willie Garson’s final episode of And Just Like That…, his Sex and the City co-stars remembered him in a new piece for Vulture. The actor, who passed away in September, kept his battle with pancreatic cancer largely private, but did tell SJP before they began filming the HBO Max spinoff.

Related: Kristin Davis Breaks Down Crying Remembering Willie: ‘I Wish He Was Here’

Speaking with the outlet, she shared:

“I knew before we started shooting that Willie was sick. He asked me to keep that confidential, and I honored that. It was fraught for me to know that he was sick with that particular, terrifying diagnosis. 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. I couldn’t share that with anybody. I’d only keep track of him, and I felt responsible in some ways for his health, his well-being on the set.”

The 56-year-old admitted that filming Big’s funeral “was particularly difficult for me and for all of us.” She explained:

“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.”

She went on:

“He intended and wanted to complete the entire season. 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. And for Willie to have to leave, you knew that it was serious. If Willie could be there and do one more episode or one more scene, he would have done it. But he knew what he needed to do to take care of his son and of himself, and I am so glad that he did that because when he passed away, he wanted to do so in an environment and circumstance that made him feel safe and comfortable.”

While TV’s Carrie Bradshaw didn’t elaborate on what Stanford’s storyline would have been, Cynthia Nixon stated that Willie “became the fourth girl” in the new (Samantha-less) episodes. She added:

“I wish we could have had more of that this season. We all pulled together and tried to fill the hole the loss of that character meant, but it’s very hard. Willie’s sparkle and magic are very rare and very particular to him, and when he’s not there, you really feel it.”

Kristin Davis recalled meeting the White Collar alum in 1995 and renewing their friendship when they both auditioned for SATC in ’97. Returning to their iconic characters decades later, she reflected:

“There was a moment when we were sitting together in our chairs between takes and he said, ‘That was fun,’ and something about the way he said it caught my attention. I look back now, and I feel like he was talking about our whole wild ride together. It is gut-wrenching to think of all that he was carrying at that point. There were other times on set for the new show that I reflect on now and see a deeper meaning. I don’t feel like I should share them all; I will just say that once his health took a turn for the worse and I knew what he was dealing with, I went to him at work and we just hugged and cried together.”

Meanwhile, Mario Cantone told the outlet that his onscreen husband would be “terribly, terribly missed.” He remembered:

“I got to set the day after he passed, and I just broke. Sarah Jessica grabbed me and she took me out because that’s how she is, she takes care of people. I’m sure she had her moment the day before when it happened when she was told. I mean, we all did. But I had mine a day later, and I felt very taken care of by her and everybody on the set. It was very hard that day. But we all huddled together and loved each other hard and kept going.”

Related: Willie’s Son Nathen Reveals ‘Amazing Time’ At And Just Like That Premiere

SJP also said:

“One of the things he said to me in our last conversation was that he got to do it all. He was like me; he was a curious, insatiable person. He wanted to taste it, smell it, live it, feel it, know it, understand it, and walk away with memories. And he did. He had no regrets. What a deservedly gorgeous place to be.”

What a beautiful tribute to a beloved actor and friend. We will miss Willie and his iconic character. Keeping him and his loved ones in our thoughts.

[Image via MEGA/WENN]

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Dec 20, 2021 07:48am PDT