A prequel version of the iconic HBO series Sex and the City is bound to come with great expectations, and at an opening night screening and panel for CW’s The Carrie Diaries at the New York Television Festival on Monday evening, series star AnnaSophia Robb said it is still daunting to portray an iconic character like Carrie Bradshaw.
“I didn’t know if I was supposed to be the show or this show, or the book,” she said, adding that she’s approaching it as being an individual starting a new character with the flavors of the old show that viewers love. “It’s really wonderful to be able to have Sex and the City as a guiding light because we know the journey that Carrie goes through and that’s her ending and so for me I can work back from that.”
Carrie Diaries, which is based on the book by Candace Bushnell, has a completely different set of characters than Sex and the City and some changes were made to the back-story: Ardent SATC fans will remember that adult Carrie mentioned her dad leaving, while young Carrie has just lost her mom. But there will be plenty of hat tips to viewers of the HBO series in the prequel.
“From a ‘C’ necklace instead of a ‘Carrie’ necklace to why she doesn’t like to cook – all those things will come up along the way as little fun Easter eggs for our audience,” says Carrie Diaries executive producer Amy B. Harris, who was a writer on SATC.
Though Harris says she has thought about ways that the show could introduce characters from Sex and the City in future seasons, for the first season producers are focused primarily on Carrie Diaries’ core set of characters.
“It was very important to me that we create real characters and the type of people who will shape who Carrie becomes, so when she meets a Miranda or a Samantha or a Charlotte, why is she attracted to them?” Bushnell said.
Harris said she was scared to do the prequel series at first because fans have their own point of view about who they thought Carrie was as a young girl. But at least the show can rest easy knowing they have the support of the woman who originated the role, Sarah Jessica Parker.
“She sent me a real lovely note of encouragement,” Robb said, “congratulating me and giving me her approval. I feel very honored to take on this role.”