‘Sex and the City’s’ Candace Bushnell brings back the character of her dreams with ‘Carrie Diaries’
Long-running series’ creator is back with CW prequel show starring AnnaSophia Robb
By Gina Salamone / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, January 10, 2013, 6:00 AM
Candace Bushnell, right, with ‘Carrie’ star AnnaSophia Robb, center, and executive producer Amy B. Harris
There’d be no Carrie Bradshaw without Candace Bushnell.
The brains behind one of TV’s most beloved characters is back, serving as an executive producer on “The Carrie Diaries.” It’s based on Bushnell’s book of the same name, published in 2010.
While the new CW show follows a teen Carrie as she morphs into a writer, Carrie’s creator was always sure she’d be one.
“For me, I knew I wanted to be,” Bushnell tells The News. “I actually wanted to be a novelist since the age of 8, and that’s something that I really tried to put into the books, that Carrie absolutely knows that she wants to be a writer.
The TV series became a film franchise: The iconic NYC foursome is shown here in ‘Sex and the City 2’.
“But in the show, she’s discovering that she wants to be one. It sounds so cliché, but it is about having a dream of what you want to do, and the journey is really figuring out how to do it.”
Much like Carrie, the author and columnist who penned “Sex and the City” and “The Carrie Diaries” grew up in suburban Connecticut before moving to New York City to pursue her dreams.
But her fictional character is not just a copy of Bushnell, now 54.
“There’s nothing in the books or the series that I know of that actually happened to me, but they’re the kinds of things that happened,” she says.
Carrie’s friends in the new series are based on Bushnell’s pals growing up. And Carrie was made a swimmer because of Bushnell’s passion for sports.
“There was one aspect that I really wanted to bring to her life that I think is important,” says Bushnell. “That’s the idea of having a sport, and a competition — when you’re young, having something that you love to do that you work at, and that requires a certain amount of discipline.
Author Candace Bushnell: “There’s nothing in the books or the series that I know of that actually happened to me, but they’re the kinds of things that happened,”
“For me, that was horseback riding. But the horseback riding’s always tricky, because it’s not something that people always want to read about. I was on the diving team as a kid, so I made her a swimmer and a diver.”
Bushnell thinks AnnaSophia Robb, the young actress who brings teen Carrie to life, is ideal for the part.
“I do feel like she’s the perfect Carry,” Bushnell explains. “She’s very bubbly and outgoing, but she also has a maturity about her that I think really makes sense for the character.
“One of the other things I love about her is that even though she’s a child star, in a sense that she was in ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ she’s had a real high school life in Colorado, and real high school experiences. A lot of times, people who are child actresses never end up actually going to high school. They get a GED while they’re on set.”
As with “Sex and the City,” New York is an essential setting for “The Carrie Diaries.”
“There’s a scene at Indochine,” Bushnell says. “There are some scenes on Wall Street. They’ll shoot a lot around Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, but Carrie’s definitely going to clubs. Outrageous things are happening. It’s Carrie’s dream to make it in New York.”
And the reason Carrie gets a ride to and from her first day of work in the show’s premiere may be more than just to provide a stunning skyscraper backdrop.
“You’ll never see a character riding on a real New York City subway, because the cost is absolutely prohibitive,” Bushnell dishes.