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Why Jeffrey Dean Morgan Doesn’t Read The Walking Dead Comics Anymore

A lot of times, when something is adapted into a movie or TV show, the stars are good about learning the source material inside and out as a way of informing the performances. The Walking Dead‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan had different ideas about setting up his Negan portrayal, in that he apparently stopped reading the comic’s issues once Negan showed up for the first time. In his words:

Taking the flip side of the traditional philosophy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has chosen not to unwittingly pepper his performance with foreknowledge about what happens in the comic books. Instead, he prefers to take on TV Negan as if there are no reference points, so that he can make the performance his own, as opposed to merely being a puppet barking out Robert Kirkman’s comic dialogue verbatim. (Well maybe not strictly verbatim, what with all the F-bombs.)

That’s fully understandable, but Morgan’s other reason for not reading is even more justifiable, as the TV series continues to divert its narratives away from how Robert Kirkman planned them all out in the source material. Basically, the star hasn’t wanted to hit upon a brilliantly crafted Negan storyline on the page, only to be majorly disappointed if the showrunners and writers would take things in a different direction. What Morgan doesn’t know can’t hurt him or Negan, though The Whisperers can.

For what it’s worth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan definitely doesn’t plan on avoiding The Walking Dead comics forever, since he does have the entire collection for his avidly reading son. Here’s what else the actor said in his Twitter post.

Given where Negan is in the comics — i.e. not dead — the TV show would probably have to bring about another drastic change in order to take the former big bad out of the picture. With Rick and Carl already gone, the precedent has been set for any and all decisions to be largely feasible, so Negan may not be as immortal as he’d like to sometimes believe.

Even the decision to slot the solitude-embracing Daryl as Negan’s pseudo-buddy, a role that the gone-from-TV Rick held in the comics? We obviously don’t know if that would ever happen, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan is into that idea.

Spoilers below for The Walking Dead’s midseason finale, so be warned!

Fans who do read the comics are definitely wondering what’s going to happen next with Negan, since “Evolution” ended with him presumably leaving his cell behind after it was left unlocked. Will he make a legitimate escape attempt, or has he got something else in mind? Showrunner Angela Kang told me Negan’s escape will play out in a way that’s “unique to the show.” She also said:

So while Jeffrey Dean Morgan might not have the biggest clue where Negan’s story is heading, readers have an inkling. As the trailer for the back half of Season 9 showed us, Negan is back to his whistling as he arrives at his “home sweet home.” It looked like he was holding another weapon that wasn’t Lucille, though, so it’ll be interesting to watch him try to track his beloved bat down.

Are you guys ready to see Negan kick some ass again for Season 9? Do you think Jeffrey Dean Morgan should just hurry up and read all his comics now? How fun would a car ride be with Daryl driving and Negan in the backseat?

Find out what happens with the potentially redeemed villain when The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the rest of Season 9 on Sunday, February 10, 2019, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what else will be popping up before that time, head to our fall TV rundown and our midseason premiere schedule

Amanda Bynes Fought For Channing Tatum’s She’s The Man Role

Channing Tatum is one of the most versatile actors making movies today, jumping from the dance competition franchise Step Up to starring a buddy comedy with Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street to lending his voice in animated films like The LEGO Movie and Smallfoot. All this started with the 2006 rom-com She’s the Man opposite Amanda Bynes, who recently said she helped get the actor his breakout role. Here’s what she said:

The trust certainly paid off! Since Channing Tatum starred in She’s the Man, he’s been busy on movie set after movie set. In the teen movie based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Tatum was a 26-year-old next to a 20-year-old Amanda Bynes, but let’s face it, most teen roles are given to actors well into their twenties anyway. Considering the star power of Tatum, Bynes wasn’t likely the only one eyeing him for a lead role, but who knows, maybe it was his big break?

Due to her time out of the spotlight due to her past struggles with substance abuse and mental health, it’s been a while since Amanda Bynes has spoken out about her past acting career. In a recent buzz-worthy interview with Paper Magazine, Bynes talked about her time on She’s the Man along with detailing her past struggles. In the 2006 rom-com, her character dresses as a boy to live out her dream to play soccer. Her roommate is Channing Tatum’s character, who she falls for after quite the complicated web of identity mix-ups.

In her unfiltered interview, Amanda Bynes opened up about how she went into a depression after starring in She’s the Man because she didn’t like how she looked like as a boy in the film. The film came at a time when Bynes was a popular up-and-coming actress — she had just starred in What a Girl Wants and was still famous for her Nickelodeon television series The Amanda Show.

After She’s the Man, Amanda Bynes starred in some big hits such as 2007’s Hairspray and 2010’s Easy A, but her personal struggles and very public downfall in 2013 led her in a different direction. Bynes has picked herself up; she said she’s been sober for almost four years and is currently studying fashion in Los Angeles.

So while She’s the Man was a breakout moment for Channing Tatum, it was one of Amanda Bynes few acting projects. Tatum will return as the voice of Superman in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and is said to be playing Marvel’s Gambit, coming in 2020. Bynes said she hopes to one day return to the business. so maybe her honest interview signals a potential comeback.

Please Stop Calling It The Live-Action Lion King Remake

On Thanksgiving Day, the first trailer for Disney’s upcoming remake of The Lion King arrived. It gave us a really good look at the visuals of the new film, and it has to be said that the characters look remarkably life-like. You’d be forgiven for thinking there were actual animals being used in the movie. However, as far as we know, literally everything in the new Lion King has been generated by a computer, i.e. done artificially. Yet people, including my co-workers here at CinemaBlend, keep calling it a live-action movie. So can we all please stop calling it the “live-action” remake of The Lion King?

It’s understandable that we’re all defaulting to referring to it in that way. Disney has found incredible success turning many animated classics into actual live-action films. From Maleficent to Beauty and the Beast we’ve seen many of our favorite Disney characters come to life thanks to actual actors and live performances. There’s certainly no shortage of digital effects in these films, but ultimately what separates these new versions from their animated predecessors are the real performances from the likes of Angelina Jolie or Emma Watson.

Disney itself refers to them as “untitled live-action fairy tale” movies when setting them on the release schedule. Then later, these slots are filled with movies that we’ve been already been referring to as “the live-action Aladdin” or “the live-action Mulan,” so it just becomes automatic to refer to the new Lion King as the “live-action Lion King.” It’s automatic, but it’s wrong.

Even in the case of The Jungle Book, the film that is most similar to the forthcoming Lion King, the live-action label was technically accurate. The movie may have only had three credited human performances (Mowgli, infant Mowgli and infant Mowgli’s father), but there were still actual actors on a set that interacted with digital animals. The same is also the case with Dumbo. The title character is created digitally, but the cast surrounding him is mostly human.

If this were something like Andy Serkis’ forthcoming take The Jungle Book in Mowgli, which uses motion capture rather than strictly digital effects, and thus includes actual people to create all the animal characters, or James Cameron’s Avatar, that would be one thing, but that’s not the case either.

Unless something has drastically changed in the forthcoming remake, then the new The Lion King movie has no human roles in it. Every role is being portrayed by a computer-generated animal which is only voiced by an actual person. If there aren’t any people on the screen, then we can’t really call the movie live-action.

To be fair, even Disney isn’t helping on this issue. The trailer posted to YouTube specifies that the film is “From Disney Live Action” which is probably there to specify that the film isn’t being made by Walt Disney Animation Studios. But that’s only because it might otherwise confuse people into thinking that it is, because of the lack of actual people in the film.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the fact that The Lion King isn’t a “live-action” movie. The Jungle Book showed us that the computer-generated animals look quite amazing and can be perfectly solid characters in their own right. That movie won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for a reason. If it weren’t for the fact that the animals are talking, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were real at first glance.

While the animals might not have been the lead characters of The Jungle Book, their success showed that such a thing was possible. I’ve always wondered if The Jungle Book was meant to be a proof of concept from the start. I suspect the idea of remaking one of Disney’s biggest hits was always the goal, but the plan was to test the technology on a less popular title so as not to tarnish The Lion King if the idea didn’t work. Whether or not that that was the case, clearly once it was clear that it did work, applying the concept to The Lion King was the obvious next step.

Maybe we need to come up with a new term for whatever The Lion King remake is. It certainly doesn’t look like animation as we would traditionally define it. It looks far more realistic than anything we’ve seen from Walt Disney Animation or Pixar in recent years. Even if both are recreated by artists in a computer, the skill sets and the design elements are quite different.

Back when animation was still done by drawing image after image to create the illusion of movement, it was clear what it was, but now it’s done by drawing inside a computer. What exactly is the difference between that and creating an alien in a live-action movie entirely digitally during post-production?

It does make one wonder just how to classify the movie. Will the new Lion King qualify for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award or not? It likely depends on just how the rules of the award are written, though if it doesn’t qualify, then one has to wonder if it should. Does The Lion King expand the concept of animation, or is it some sort new category?

If this technique becomes a widespread way to make film, then it probably deserves its own classification, if for no other reason than traditional animators and post-production digital effects artists probably shouldn’t be lumped together, but until then, it’s hard to call it anything else. The entire movie is created inside a computer, just like every modern animated movie.

There are a lot of questions about The Lion King remake, not the least of which is just how closely the film will adhere to the original story. However, one thing that is clear is that what the film is not is live-action. We need to just start calling it The Lion King remake because that’s all it is. It’s based off a movie that was made once before, just like so many of the film remakes that we’ve seen, especially in recent years. The method of bringing the story to life might not be technically identical to the first time, but unless the movie filmed actual lions the entire time, it’s not a live-action movie.

You can see the new Lion King for yourself when it comes out on July 19, 2019.

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Jersey Shore’s Ronnie And Jen Are Expecting Another Baby

Oh boy (or perhaps, Oh girl?). It’s time to introduce baby number two for Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley. The Jersey Shore personality and his partner announced on social media that they are expecting another child together. What’s more, it appears that Harley is pretty far along too in her newest pregnancy. Catch a glimpse at her pregnant belly below, courtesy of Instagram.

This exciting baby information was revealed through a pregnant photo of Jen Harley from Ronnie Ortiz-Magro’s Instagram. Not only is the television personality pregnant, but it seems like she’s at least a few months along at this point in time. It’s unclear when she became pregnant, or when she is expected to have her second child, but we’ll hopefully be privy to more information about the forthcoming baby in the next couple of months.

It has been a hectic time for both Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley. As it was revealed a few months earlier, Ronnie was not involved with the final episodes of Jersey Shore Family Vacation Season 2. It wasn’t clear at the time why he wasn’t around to say goodbye to his fellow castmates for this latest season of the follow-up series, but it was believed that Harley was the reason behind his absence. His separation from the show came around the same time Harley was released on bond for charges of domestic battery. It’s not clear if the decision was Ronnie’s own, or if it was made by MTV.

Drama is never hard to find between these two MTV television personalities, and they have shared a tumultuous relationship together since Ronnie returned to TV. Nevertheless, they are going to remain in each other’s lives, especially as they prepare to welcome a new baby.

In addition to the new child that is coming into his life, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro is also the dad of Ariana Sky Magro. That child was born on April 3rd, and since his partner has been dealing with some legal hassles these past few months, it is definitely understandable that Ronnie would want to take some time back and be the parent to the very young child at the moment. In fact, Ortiz-Magro admitted as much in a social media post where he explained why he wasn’t on the show as much anymore.

In any case, it’s apparent that these next few months are going to remain eventful for Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley. We’re certain that we’re going to continue hearing about a great deal of drama and developments between them as they continue moving forward with their next pregnancy.Ror the latest news breaks about these Jersey Shore castmates (or former castmates) and more, you can check back with CinemaBlend.

Amanda Bynes Looks Amazing In Comeback Profile

Since her retirement from acting in 2010, Amanda Bynes has lead a hectic life. While she has tried to keep herself out of the limelight, there were several incidents (and a weird Twitter thing with Drake) that caused several fans of the former The Amanda Show namesake to raise great concern. But it appears that she is turning a new leaf, and Bynes is apparently looking to make a comeback. She was the feature of a new profile piece. In the cover for the new store, there were many fans who found themselves capturing their first glimpse of the star in ages, and she looks healthy and in control.

The Paper Magazine cover photo is the first time Amanda Bynes has found herself (intentionally) in front of a magazine cover in ages. And it hopefully showcases a new time for the former child actor, one that is hopefully a lot less intense and worrisome than the last few years were for the celebrity.

Amanda Bynes admitted that she was clean and sober last year, and the one-time major TV personality also claimed that she was looking to get back on television somewhere in the near future. Now, in a recent profile piece, Bynes showcases that renewed sense of self in her return to the media spotlight.

Amanda Bynes admitted that she was clean and sober last year, and the one-time major TV personality also claimed that she was looking to get back on television somewhere in the near future. Now, in a recent profile piece, Bynes showcases that renewed sense of self in her return to the media spotlight.

For years, it wasn’t clear if Amanda Bynes was planning to make any return to the spotlight — or if Hollywood would be willing to welcome her back with open arms. Her seemingly fragile mental state was also raising concern. She also did a few stints in rehabs and mental facilities. There were reportedly medical professionals who believed Bynes showcased schizophrenic tendencies along with signs of a severe mental illness.

But Ms. Bynes seems to be regaining control of her life. And the public can hopefully look forward to finally hearing more good news from Amanda Bynes instead of more colorful updates.

In addition to the aforementioned The Amanda Show, Amanda Bynes is well-known for a variety of popular appearances in film and television in the early ’00s. On the big screen, Bynes notably appeared in Hairspray, She’s the Man, What a Girl Wants and Big Fat Liar, to name a few. On television, Bynes is best known for her roles in All That, What I Like About You and The Drew Carey Show. She also provided her voice to Rugrats and Family Guy. At a young age, Bynes proved to be extremely accomplished in a variety of different mediums, but she wanted to take some time away from the media.

The last movie on Amanda Bynes’ resume was the 2010 comedy Easy A, where she played the villainous supporting role opposite future Oscar winner Emma Stone. She claimed at the time that she was going to quit making movies, and Bynes has kept that promise in the eight years since that film was released. But it looks like we might be seeing her again soon, and if that’s true, we’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the details here at CinemaBlend.

Luke Skywalker’s Character Arc Was Planned Years Before The Last Jedi

One of the major criticisms that has been leveled at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and its writer Rian Johnson specifically, is that it handled Luke Skywalker wrong somehow. That Luke’s portrayal as a man who abandoned civilization to die alone was improper for the character. Whether or not that’s true, it seems that Rian Johnson may not be the one to blame, as it appears Luke’s decision was made back in 2013, before even Star Wars: The Force Awakens was made. At least, that’s according to Christian Alzmann, who drew one of the earliest pieces of concept art of Luke for the new trilogy.

Christian Alzmann says that as far back as January 2013, before production on Star Wars: The Force Awakens had even begun, Luke was being described as “hiding from the world in a cave” like Col Kurtz, Marlon Brando’s character in Apocalypse Now. This would seem to indicate that the version of Luke that we saw in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was always the one that was intended and this wasn’t a case of Rian Johnson randomly going rogue.

It certainly makes some sense. At the end of the day, the fact that Luke Skywalker had removed himself to live alone on an island was a decision made in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and there are only so many reasons why Luke would have done that. Rian Johnson had to explain that decision and whether or not he was given the same description as Christian Alzmann or not, it’s an explanation that makes sense.

Of course, the comparison to Apocalypse Now‘s Col. Kurtz only goes so far. Kurtz hasn’t just removed himself from the rest of the world but he’s gone crazy and built a cult to himself deep in the jungle. Luckily that’s not what happened to Luke. That would have really upset some people.

The art itself isn’t that different from the version of Luke Skywalker that we got in the film. Luke’s a little better kept here, with his hair in a top knot like a samurai. He’s a bit more monk-like, but he still looks like somebody who probably hasn’t had much human contact recently.

Regardless of where the idea for Luke Skywalker’s character arc came from, there will certainly still be those unhappy with it. The fact that Luke went away to die following making a terrible mistake with his nephew is still viewed by many as antithetical to his character, something which Rian Johnson continues to argue against.

Where the story goes from here is anybody’s guess. Mark Hamill is confirmed to appear in the forthcoming Star Wars Episode IX. Whether that means we’ll see Luke Skywalker again in flashbacks or as a Force Ghost is anybody’s guess at this point.

Chicago Fire Alum Monica Raymund’s Next TV Show Just Got Great News

After spending six seasons as part of NBC’s Chicago Fire ensemble, actress Monica Raymund exited the popular drama to move onto other roles beyond paramedic Gabby Dawson. Just six months later, her next major TV role has been acquired and solidified, with Starz announcing a series order for Raymund’s new opioid-driven crime drama, now titled Hightown, along with an order for the strip club drama P-Valley.

Monica Raymund will get to show off more of her acting talents as Hightown‘s irreverent and currently unnamed National Marine Fisheries Service officer in Cape Cod. Her life gets thrown for a loop when she discovers a corpse that washed up ashore, and she makes it her goal to figure out the murder, which has ties to the drug trade crimes in the area.

Of course, it won’t be easy for her, since the state cops are not impressed with the efforts of Monica Raymund’s officer, and they would prefer for her to stay out of it. But do they want her gone because of her personality and behavior? Or is it because the state cops all have their hands dirty in the drug trade and beyond? Given that this show is on Starz, I’m betting on it being a bit more intense than Raymund’s broadcast fare.

Of course, Hightown hails from Jerry Bruckheimer TV, which was the studio behind other crime procedurals like the CSI franchise’s hits, Without a Trace, and Cold Case. So it might not be too far away from the primetime drama she’s used to.

Hightown was created by Rebecca Cutter, a former writer and producer on Gotham, which could be a semi-inspiration for the irreverent nature of Monica Raymund’s character. Cutter has also written for The Mentalist and Code Black, and wrote and directed the 2012 feature thriller Besties. Cutter will be executive producing along with Power and Justified‘s Gary Lennon, and JBTV’s blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed.

Starz also ordered to series the new project P-Valley, based on playwright Katori Hall’s play Pussy Valley. That show will place its censor-lite focus on the lives of strip club dancers sweating it out at the Dirty Delta. Interestingly, Hightown was originally called P-Town whenever it went into development, but its name was changed at some point along the way, presumably because P-Valley also existed and had a better excuse for using the “P.”

It’s unclear when we’ll get to see Monica Raymund appearing on Hightown, but expect its Starz debut at some point in 2019. (Starz own all TV and SVOD rights to the show, too, so don’t expect it to pop up anywhere else.) Meanwhile, Chicago Fire, which wrapped up Gabby Dawson’s storyline in the early days of Season 7, airs Wednesdays on NBC.

Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’ Teaser Reveals She Might Actually Be Regina George

Ariana Grande‘s “Thank U, Next” is one of the most satisfying pieces of pop culture in recent memory. For those who’ve followed Grande’s year of personal tumult (and the professional successes that made everything that much, well, sweeter), it felt like the perfect statement at the perfect time, one that found Grande both reclaiming her own voice and achieving hard-won peace.

All this in a three-and-a-half-minute pop tune about moving on — a song that landed Grande her first No. 1 on the Hot 100. Naturally, the forthcoming video for such an Event has sparked a torrent of interest from fans, so much so that they correctly guessed its theme(s) well before the clip was even completed. But it’s nearly here, and based on a teaser Grande dropped early Tuesday (November 27), it’s quite the nostalgia trip we knew it’d be.

The teaser amplifies how “Thank U, Next” has become larger than just a song: Troye Sivan pops up to misread Grande’s “Aubrey” lyric; Mean Girls‘s Jonathan Bennett resurfaces to attribute a Mean Girls quote to her; and even Ari lookalike/vlogger Gabi DeMartino makes an appearance.

Remember: This is just the teaser. The full video is “coming soon,” according to the clip, and we know it’ll take inspiration from Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30, Legally Blonde, and Bring It On. Who knows what other surprises await?

Check out the teaser above, and keep your fingers crossed for another First Wives Club nod in the final version.

Jason Momoa Described Using The Bathroom In His Aquaman Suit, And It’s Amazing

For the first time in three years, there will be no Star Wars movie in theaters this holiday season. But there’s still plenty of big releases hitting theaters, with Disney still eyeing box office supremacy with Mary Poppins Returns. But those moviegoers searching for another big blockbuster can look no further than James Wan’s Aquaman, starring Game of Thrones fan favorite Jason Momoa as the title character.

Jason Momoa made his bonafide DC debut in Justice League, and Aquaman will allow Arthur Curry to be more fleshed out. Fans are eager to see the character in his iconic comic book suit, but Momoa recently described one serious downside: going to the bathroom. As he tells it,

Yes, Khal Drogo uses the word “poopsies”. While Jason Momoa looks like a certified badass in the first trailers for Aquaman, it appears the reality is a bit less glamorous. Because while the suit looks awesome, it makes bodily functions and life on set a bit more difficult.

Jason Momoa’s comments to EW shows what a personality the actor has– something that has already translated to his performance as DC’s Aquaman. Arthur Curry was brash and funny in Justice League, and the actor seems about the same IRL. Because not enough superhero actors talk about their bathroom woes.

While it might have made Jason Momoa’s life on set difficult, there’s no question that the fandom is already responding to Aquaman’s comic book-inspired costume. Zack Snyder’s take on the DC universe had his signature muted style, taking the bright colors out of most costumes. This included Aquaman’s armor, which was bulky and darker in tone than the yellow and green suit from the source material.

Aquaman will definitely be wearing a similar look, but his solo movie will bring new armor and a new trident to the character. The latter seems of particular significance, as the trailers teased that Arthur Curry and his brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) may be battling to gain control of the weapon– and the immense power that it wields.

It should be interesting to see when Aquaman gets his iconic colorful suit. It’s in the final moments of the trailer, so smart money says it happens sometime in Act 3. Hopefully it’s early enough that we see plenty of action in the highly anticipated costume.

Aquaman will arrive in theaters on December 21st, 2018. In the meantime check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

This Weird Samantha Plotline Might Be Why Kim Cattrall Passed on Sex and the City 3

We all cried into our cosmos a little when Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed there won’t be a Sex and the City 3 movie, despite rumors of a working screenplay. Things got even sadder after people started pointing fingers at Kim Cattrall, accusing the actress, who plays Samantha, of derailing the reboot because she chose to pass on the project.

Cattrall pushed back at the time, saying she simply wanted to move on from the role. Reports of a cast feud became so loud, though, that Cattrall’s costar Sarah Jessica Parker had to clarify that there’s no fight between the two.

And now, an E News source says tension between the cast really wasn’t the reason why Cattrall wasn’t on board with another Sex and the City reunion. Turns out, she reportedly wasn’t down with the screenplay. “Kim never wanted to really do the movie to begin with,” the source claims, according to E News. “It was a combination of not great money and a bad storyline for Samantha.”

Of course, this comes from an unnamed source—so take it with a grain of salt—but this insider claims the writers gave Samantha a weird story arc that involved sexts from Miranda’s teen son, Brady. As E News puts it, “Early in the film, Brady gets caught masturbating. He is also caught sending ‘dick pics’ of his erect penis to Samantha.” Yikes.

It seems that this plot would have happened in the midst of some massive, emotional developments with Carrie and Big. According to reports, the film called called for Carrie’s husband Mr. Big to die of a heart attack. This twist would have been incredibly intense and sad—and, if the source’s report is true, a strange juxtaposition to Samantha’s storyline.

Plus, remember that Cattrall has always maintained that she’s been ready to move on from the role for a while. Last year, she tweeted at a fan to check out her series Sensitive Skin on Netflix instead of watching SATC. She also shared with the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record that she felt the times had shifted since she portrayed the public relations powerhouse and self-proclaimed “try-sexual.”

“To have four women talking about shopping trips and spending $400 on shoes when people are having trouble putting food on the table? It doesn’t mean we don’t need that, but I think the pendulum swung in a different direction,” she said.

Related: Sarah Jessica Parker Says She Can’t Imagine Sex and the City 3 Without Kim Cattrall