When asked if she still loves New York City, writer Candace Bushnell replied, "I do, I really do. Interesting things happen every day."
New York City has inspired Bushnell for decades. "Sex and the City," based on her bestselling 1997 book, catapulted Bushnell onto an international stage. Now, 25 years later at age 63, she finds herself under the spotlight again, this time in an Off-Broadway show.
"CBS Mornings: Saturday" co-host Michelle Miller asked Bushnell, "What's the most fun about being up here?"
"Honestly, the most fun is interacting with the audience. I have women here sometimes who they're like, 'Yes, you go, girl!'" she laughed. "And it's great.
"I think what I'm doing is, I'm looking back and I'm tracing the steps that it took to get here, to see, you know, what it adds up to, I guess."
The show is largely autobiographical, including Bushnell's take on life in her 60s and, of course, sex:
"Two types of post-menopausal woman: those who go sex-crazy, and those who never want to see another penis again in their lives!"
Bushnell said, "You know, some people, they get to a certain age and you know what? They're done with sex. And that's fine. You can take a break, you know? It's okay."
That might sound surprising coming from a woman who for decades has written about just that. Bushnell's career began when she was 19 and left college for New York City. In her 30s, she landed her own column based on her own life.
Within five years, that column morphed into the bestselling book and the hit HBO series, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw. "Carrie, of course, was my alter ego. So much of that character comes from my real life."
The series followed Carrie and her friends – Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha – as they navigated life and love in New York City. Bushnell said, "Here were women, we were all living unconventional lives. And it was always this idea that, you know, you don't have to feel bad if you haven't followed society's rules about how your life is supposed to be.
Miller asked, "Does it shock you at all that it's still so incredibly relevant?"
"No, because we're analyzing human beings and human behavior, and those things are universal, really," she replied.
Bushnell herself married ballet dancer Charles Askegard in 2002. They divorced a decade later.
"You know, times have really changed," she said. "You don't have to be partnered or live in a family structure to survive. At one time, you kind of did."
To date, Bushnell has written ten novels, three that were turned into television shows. "Sex and the City," however, turned into a global sensation, inspiring two films, and a new HBO series, "And Just Like That…," premiering this week.
Miller asked, "What is life after, not just success, but huge, monumental, incredible success?"
"Now, I don't feel like I've had huge, monumental success," Bushnell said.
"No. I really don't. Because there are just so many other things that I want to do. I still get up every day and work and just keep working. And I have things on the back burners. Some things work, some things don't work. There's, you know, happiness; there's disappointment that that didn't work out. But I accept where I am, and I'm happy about it."
But make no mistake: Candace Bushnell is still looking forward to the next chapter.
Miller asked, "This show is called 'Is There Still Sex in the City?' Why was that a question for you?"
"It's not necessarily about sex, just sex per se. It's about things that are sexy, [like] ambition, feeling like, 'Hey, I can still make things happen.'"
"Feeling the possibility?"
"Feeling the possibilities," Bushnell said. "That's what I think it really is about."
To watch a trailer for the new series "And Just like That…" click on the video player below:
For more info:
- "Is There Still Sex in the City?" starring Candace Bushnell, at the Daryl Roth Theatre, New York City | Ticket info
- "And Just Like That…" debuts on HBO December 9
Story produced by Sara Kugel. Editor: Carol Ross.
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