Mario Cantone, who plays Anthony Marentino on Sex and the City and HBO’s revival, And Just Like That … shared that Michael Patrick King had written a storyline for Willie Garson before Garson’s untimely death.
Garson died of pancreatic cancer while filming And Just Like That … and Cantone recalled how King had to scramble and suddenly rewrite the trajectory of his relationship with Stanford. Garson’s character, Stanford Blatch and Anthony were nemeses on Sex and the City series. But they later married in the Sex and the City 2 film. They returned to And Just Like That … as a married couple, but like many of the couples in the revival, they were experiencing some difficulties.
Anthony was supposed to take care of Stanford in ‘And Just Like That …’
Cantone recalled how Anthony was going to be in more of a caretaking role with Stanford on the new series.
“I think it was just about our relationship and how crazy and nutty he still was and how obsessive he still was and the mistakes he would make,” Cantone said on the Hot Takes and Deep Dives with Jess Rothschild podcast.
“And I was the one that was going to be taking care of him more,” he continued. “And so I would say to Michael, when I had the bakery and I had these hot guys, I’m obviously going to be having sex with these dudes in the kitchen because that’s how Anthony was. And he said, ‘No, no, no, no, because you don’t s*** where you eat.’ You’ve evolved.”
Mario Cantone didn’t know the specifics of his relationhip with Stanford on ‘And Just Like That …’
“The thing is, you’ve evolved as a person. You’re still blunt. You’re still Anthony, but you’ve grown up,” Cantone recalled. “And Willie, his character, Stanford, was still in his kind of nutty, hyper, kind of not knowing where he’s going sometimes and wanting to do things that were crazy. And I had to stop him.”
While Cantone had an idea of where King planned to take the characters, he didn’t know the specifics. “I never saw the script,” he admitted. “But Carrie would come to me and be like, ‘You got to fix this.’ And so that was I was handling his s***. That’s what it was. But I don’t know what the plot was. But I know that I was the one taking care of him emotionally, and fixing things.”
Sarah Jessica Parker took care of Mario Cantone
Cantone recalled how sad everyone was on set when they knew Garson would not return. “It was a sad time,” he said. “Some turbulent times. Losing Willie was horrible. Sarah [Jessica Parker] really took care of everybody. You know, she was grieving herself.”
“I remember the day I came in, she really took care of me,” Cantone shared. “So I came in like the day after. But we just kept going. And you do what you can do. And he had to write on the fly. And, you know, there was a scene I got in the morning when one morning we knew he wasn’t going to make it in. And it was changed from the scene for me and Willie to me and Sarah. And I was being such a clown on the set that day party, you know, trying to keep everybody up. It’s what you try to do.”