Jason Lewis steamed up TV sets across the nation when he came aboard Sex and the City as Smith Jerrod, Samantha’s most recent boy toy. And he’s back doing more of the same in the SATC movie. But is the former fashion model more than just a pretty…uh, everything? Read on about how the actor has braved the paparazzi, the rumor mill, and tummy-rubbing fans ever since he got his big break.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What it was like to go back into the world of Sex and the City after four years?
JASON LEWIS: It was nice. It was really — it was actually kind of phenomenal, because it was nice to get to work with those people again, first off. They used most of the same crew from the top to the bottom of pretty much everyone that was on the TV show. So it was like a little reunion. And in terms of doing the work, I think they did a — that’s kind of a hard road to hoe. They’ve got a lot of audience expectations, time’s moved forward, and I think they did a good job of delivering what that reality would be. So it was fun to work on.
Did it feel different this time around?
Yes and no. Again, so many of the same players were there. And as far as when it was a TV show, there was certainly no lack of bells and whistles. It was such a carefully and well-run production then, so not really.
What is happening with your character and Samantha in the movie?
I don’t really know what I’m allowed to say there.
Have your characters moved to L.A.?
Well, I don’t really know what I’m allowed to say there.
Has Smith’s career taken off?
Definitely. I’ll say that. The two of us have moved forward in our relationship. And she continues to work with me. And I’m doing much better in terms of my success.
Were there a lot of crazy crowds while you were shooting?
It depended where you were and how accessible the locations were. In New York City, there was a few where you’re like, ”It’s 30 degrees out right now. Go home! It’s 2 in the morning. You’re suffering. I’m suffering for you. I’m suffering for me.”
Did the crew have to put up decoys for outdoor shoots?
The paparazzi’s probably the more infiltrating thing. They were there running around during a lovemaking scene we were shooting; they’re trying to sneak through the windows of the house that you’re shooting in.
NEXT PAGE: ”Her husband was like, ‘Honey, what are you doing?’ And she said, ‘It’s okay. I’ve seen him naked on TV.”’
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was it like that when you were shooting the show or did it get more intense for the movie?
JASON LEWIS: Yeah, there would always be guys around then too. One point, we were working out on the beach for some stuff and the guys were literally getting in the way of the shot. I think at one point the set photographer had to push a guy out of the way to get his work done. He was like, ”Excuse me! We need to come through here! Move!”
What was the dynamic among the four ladies, etc.? There’s been so many rumors and gossip about them not getting along.
I think that’s what it is — rumors and gossip. People love rumors and gossip. Honestly, most of my stuff was with Kim alone. But the few scenes when we were all together, everyone was completely fine with each other, as they always were. I never really experienced the animosity you guys seem to experience solely in the press.
What is it like being a part of this phenomenon?
I feel pretty lucky. It definitely helps you in terms of getting other work and whatnot, but this is some of the really special TV that’s been in the world and I got to be on it and I certainly had not much more to do than say the wonderful lines that were written for me. So I feel blessed.
What has been your weirdest fan encounter?
Weirdest fan encounter from the show? I once had a woman lift my shirt up and rub my belly while her husband was taking a picture of us. But then everyone asked me about that after I mentioned it and I felt terrible for the woman, so I stopped saying it.
Did she just run up to you, lift up your shirt, and rub your stomach?
No, I was doing a charity thing. I was en route. I was in Kentucky and I hadn’t eaten all day, so I stopped by a bar to get a burger and a beer and they were there. And she asked if she could take a picture and I said sure. We were standing next to each other and she just lifted up my shirt and started rubbing my belly and her husband was like, ”Honey, what are you doing?” And she said, ”It’s OK. I’ve seen him naked on TV.” And he says, ”No! No, honey. I don’t think it is.” I didn’t have to say anything. I’m sitting there just going, What are you doing, lady?
Why do you think you landed the role in the first place? Did anyone ever tell you what you did to nail the audition?
Something about me being able to read. [Laughs]
How dare you?!
You know, I don’t know, to tell you the truth. I know they saw a lot of people. I think I just understood the material and where they wanted it to be.