Turns out, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) wasn’t always going to be swathed in a tulle tutu in the opening credits of HBO’s Sex and the City. And she wasn’t going to be splashed by a bus bearing an ad for her own newspaper column, either. EW has an exclusive look at the series’ opening credits that were left on the cutting room floor. (No need to mess with your volume — the footage above has no sound, so you’ll have to hum the theme song to yourself as you watch.)
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“There were two wardrobes. One was the tutu, and we did one pass where Sarah Jessica was wearing a blue dress and didn’t get splashed; instead, she trips when she sees the ad,” creator Darren Star recalls to EW of filming in March 1998 on Fifth Avenue near Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel. “In my mind, it was a nod to The Dick Van Dyke show, but we didn’t use it. It’s in the archives.” Nearly 20 years since SATC debuted, Parker, Star, and costume designer Patricia Field recall the opening that could have been.
Field found the now iconic tutu, featured in the title sequence as we know it, in a $5 bin on a showroom floor and re-created four versions of it. “It was very difficult for the producers to understand the tutu,” says Field. “Sarah Jessica and I were fighting for it, and Darren said, ‘Okay, but I want other outfits as possibilities.'” Looking back, Star can’t imagine a tutu-less Carrie — and frankly, neither can we. “It was such a brilliant choice because, in a way, Carrie’s dancing through her life in New York,” he says.
Though viewers came to associate Carrie with the tutu — it was the first outfit we ever saw on our fashion-plate heroine, after all — she didn’t wear it again until the 2008 film in a scene in which Carrie cleans out her closet. When asked if there was a sense of comfort or homecoming in stepping into the tutu all those years later, Parker laughs. “I felt like I was pushing doing something I shouldn’t be doing,” she says. “Like, don’t put that on, you know? It was on very quick, and then it was off.”
For the full oral history of the Sex and the City opening credit and more untold stories, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday or right here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
And as if you needed a reminder, watch the opening that carried us through the series’ six seasons above.