By Caroline Kepnes
Updated August 03, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Q Last year, Sex and the City’s John Corbett, who plays Sarah Jessica Parker’s beau, was pudgier, with longer, tousled hair. Is his newfound hunkiness just coincidence or show-mandated?

A He did it for Sex. An HBO spokeswoman says the show’s writers requested the makeover. ”It was most certainly their idea,” she says, noting that Parker split with Corbett last season. ”It helped define his new outlook post-breakup. They thought, when you get dumped, isn’t looking great the best revenge?” The rep adds that Corbett — adored by female viewers with or without his love handles — was on his own in getting fit. ”There was no regimen. We didn’t worry about that at all.” For the record, the Sex writers have no plans to shrink Mr. Big.