‘And Just Like That …’ Michael Patrick King Likely Knew Willie Garson Was Sick Early in Shooting, Background Actor Believes

Even though Willie Garson’s death seemingly came as a total shock to many Sex and the City fans, And Just Like That … showrunner Michael Patrick King probably knew about the grave nature of his illness.

A background actor who worked on the series recently reflected on his experience shooting the series. He shared that the Sex and the City spinoff was shot out of sequence. While shooting out of sequence isn’t that uncommon, the actor, who asked to remain anonymous said Garson’s scenes were front-loaded to the schedule because he thinks King knew Garson didn’t have much time left.

Garson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during the filming process. Garson died in his home in Los Angeles on September 21. He was 57. 

‘And Just Like That …’ was shot out of sequence for Willie Garson

“So I venture to say that Willie Garson informed Michael Patrick King that he was dying. And that’s why they front-loaded the scenes that he needed to record,” the actor said on the Hot Takes and Deep Dives with Jess Rothschild podcast.

Willie Garson gives Sarah Jessica Parker a kiss on the cheek during filming of 'And Just Like That...'
Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson | James Devaney/GC Images

“I assume that’s why they were shooting so massively out of sequence right away is they needed to get as much Willie Garson as possible,” he continued. “And so they front-loaded a bunch of his scenes. Because I’m assuming all of the scenes that you see with Carrie and Anthony were meant to be with Carrie and Stanford. It has to be.”

Actors said they didn’t know he was sick

While Garson’s death took fans by surprise, many of the actors working on the series claim they also didn’t know Garson was ill. “For a long time not knowing he was sick, and then things got bad enough that we were informed,” Kristin Davis said during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 

Cynthia Nixon, who appeared alongside Davis clarified that they learned about Garson’s illness before he left the set. “We’re also very grateful that we had a few days with him knowing that he was sick. And we could talk to him about it and he could talk to us about it,” she said. “And that was a really important thing for all of us. It’s hard. I wish he was here. You know?”  

RELATED: ‘Sex and the City’ Star Willie Garson Says ‘And Just Like That…’ Is ‘Nothing’ Like the Original

King told The Hollywood Reporter, “We lost Willie [Garson], which was a shock, too.” Adding, “We had a whole journey that we weren’t able to do, but what he did is fantastic.”

Willie Garson’s character wasn’t honored in a proper way

The background actor also believes that the final scene where Stanford leaves Anthony to move to Japan was rewritten. “Like I bet you they just rewrote that one scene where Stanford goes off to Japan to manage the TikTok [star],” he said. “They probably just threw that in when he died. Because they probably had thought, oh we don’t know how long we’re going to have him with us. So let’s attempt to shoot all of this.”

He and host Jess Rothschild agreed with many fans, agreeing they did not like how Garson’s character departed the series. “I feel like they didn’t honor the character in the proper way. Like, yeah, I just felt like there could have been a better way,” he said.

But he added that other aspects were problematic too. “It was an uphill climb from Kim Cattrall not coming back, which, you know, put a dent in storytelling for them,” he reflected. “I think Chris Noth not wanting to be a part of it and then deciding, OK, let’s kill off him. But then having to have to remove part of his character because of the allegations. And then obviously, as we have, we’ve been texting back and forth. I mean, people are up in arms over Miranda this season.”