"'Sex and the City' was the first time I get a script — I'd already been doing some episodes — here’s a script that says, 'Scene 1: Harry naked, Harry naked, Harry naked,'" Handler recalled
On the latest episode of Interval Presents' Yeah, I F---ed That Up podcast, the 62-year-old actor recalled feeling “terrified” about being naked after landing the role of divorce attorney Harry Goldenblatt.
"It is a weird thing that I started being called upon to do sex scenes, kiss women, and take off my clothes from 40 years on," he shared. "What's that about? My inner dynamo was finally recognized."
The And Just Like That… star also looked back on landing the role after the show’s writers created a storyline in which Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) “comes upon the kind of guy she's always thought she's wanted in a package that doesn't fit her preconceived idea of what her man should be.”
His character was initially described as “overbearing and unattractive” according to Handler, so he was surprised to be asked to strip down on screen.
"Sex and the City was the first time I get a script — I'd already been doing some episodes — here’s a script that says, 'Scene 1: Harry naked, Harry naked, Harry naked,'" he recalled. "So, I had never done that before."
"I don't even know the logistics of it. I don't know how it's done. I don't know how it's handled,” he added. “I don't know anything at that point about the little flesh-colored socks you tape on your crotch. You know, like privacy patches. The wardrobe department comes to you with a tray [and asks], 'Would you like to use this, this, this, or this?' There's literally one called the cock sock, which you put over your dick and tie in a knot.”
Handler noted that “now things have changed” with the introduction of intimacy coordinators but shared that "most of my sex stuff was before that." He added that his prior experiences were “completely uncomfortable.”
Despite his reservations about the sexy scenes, Handler said playing Harry "altered things tremendously" in his career.
During the season one episode, Charlotte was in the bathroom with him, trying to get Harry to wear a fitness ring to monitor his heart health. He then suggested the couple have sex, but just as Charlotte knelt down to undo his zipper, they were interrupted by daughter Lily (Cathy Ang) in what turned out to be a mortifying encounter for all involved.
King, who wrote on the original SATC, noted that they used a prosthetic penis for the scene. He also said the writers wanted to convey Charlotte and Harry's "healthy" and "spontaneous" sex life.
"It wasn't enough for us to have it happen [like] in other TV shows where you never see the d---," he said.
"Harry would have — I decided and people agreed with me — he would have a substantial penis," King continued. "Because one of the things that Charlotte says about Harry in Sex and the City is [their] great sex life: that she's repulsed by it, but she wants him."
"And not that your sex life is dependent on your penis size. But when you're going to show his penis, let's make it be something that's a nice size. Why not?" he said.
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Sex and the City and And Just Like That... are available to stream on Max.
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