Big. The man who puts the “sex” in “Sex and the City” and reminded us all over why we love men in uniform during his five years on “Law & Order.” The man who — if I really do have a little bit of Carrie in me, as I would like to think — should be one of my “great loves,” the one who got away, the irresistible man in an irresistible suit who steals my heart only to break it time and time again.
Well, I heard Big was coming to Yale, so Liz had to come to Big. As I had to be reminded more than once, the man I sat down with Thursday afternoon was not actually Mr. Big but Mr. Chris Noth DRA ’85, the thespian counterpart to “Sex and the City’s” eligible multi-millionaire.
Lizzie Gunnison: I have obnoxious questions and serious questions, which do you want?
Chris Noth: Serious ones.
What’s the best and worst thing about being Big?
See that’s the thing — I’m not Big. The part has done great things for my career, that’s the best thing. But, you hate to have a role stick to you like Big has. I hate having people feel like that’s me, trying to make Big a persona and not a part.
Wow, who does that?
You’d be surprised. People will run up to me on the street and scream “Big!” It’s very bizarre. Like, the time 30 18-year-old girls started chasing me down the street. We live in such a TV culture, people feel like they know me because they see Mr. Big in their living room every Sunday night.
Are you a lot like Big, though?
No. He’s better dressed. My friends and family all think it’s pretty ironic for me to play this millionaire businessman.
If you had it to do over again, would you still be Big?
Yes. It’s frustrating at times but it was ultimately very good for my career so I would do it again. Let’s not talk about Big.
Ok. You went to Drama School here. What were your favorite bars in New Haven?
Gypsy. It was cool when we went there, I went back recently and it looks like Friendly’s or something. It’s changed. Kavanaugh’s, Heidelberg’s, The Brass Rail. Some of those aren’t here anymore.
Did you read the YDN?
No. Well, sometimes. We had no time to read, I didn’t even read The Times.
How about books? Do you read those?
I love Shakespeare. Right now I am reading “Lost Over Laos” by Richard Pyle, a book about photojournalists killed in an airplane crash while covering Vietnam. I actually would like to put a project together addressing that. I read “A Moveable Feast” and “The Sun Also Rises” every time I’m in Paris. I love “The Killer Angels.” When I was at Yale I read a lot of Romantic poets.
If you could be anything besides an actor what would you be?
Travel writer, like Theroux.
Actually, rumor has it you’re doing some writing. What are you writing?
Who told you that? I was trying to write a script for a while but I’ve stopped with that. Now all the writing I do is very personal.
What are roles you would love to play but haven’t?
Hotspur in “Henry IV,” Coriolanus, Dr. Astrov in “Uncle Vanya.”
Can we talk about Big now?
Who is your favorite cast member on “Sex and the City”?
I really only work with Sarah Jessica, so I know her best. But I love all the girls. I am very good friends with John Corbett too.
What is your favorite S.A.T.C. episode?
I would say the one where Carrie farts in bed. Or the mud fight with Corbett. Gosh, there are like 10, not just one. What’s yours?
I would say the one where you fall in the water with Carrie and dive after her Christian Dior bag. Very gallant.
When do we get to the obnoxious questions?
I can be obnoxious. Can I sit on your lap?
If you’d like.
That’s ok. I have some friends who want me to ask if you like much younger women.
I like all women.
So what’s it like being every 20-year-old girl’s ideal man?
Yes, I’ve asked around. Why do you think that is?
Honestly, it has to do with the fact that “Sex and the City” has such a cult status. People want in on the lifestyle, they create me in their minds as someone I’m not. Honestly I think people meet me and are disappointed.
I think girls just love how you do stuff like send her red roses for her birthday.
What? Send who?
That’s Big who sends the roses.
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