‘Sex and the City’ creator Darren Star explains why NYC isn’t dead

Darren Star has helped shape the modern image of New York City as a sexy, hopelessly stylish, Cosmo-soaked metropolis.

So don’t tell the “Sex and the City” creator that the luster is off the Big Apple for good.

“I feel like New York is just taking a nap now like the rest of the world,” Star, 59, told The Post. The writer splits his time between New York and Los Angeles and spent most of the summer in the Hamptons, dipping into the city for visits, including an “amazing” dinner with iconic stylist and frequent collaborator Pat Field at King in Soho. “It was great. I was just happy to see any restaurant open for business. New York is going to be just fine. It constantly reinvents itself. It’s about the people and the people have resiliency.”

While his new romantic comedy “Emily in Paris” premieres Friday on Netflix, he plans on returning to New York this month to begin filming the seventh season of the delightful “Younger,” starring Sutton Foster as a 40-something single mom pretending to be in her twenties to reinvent her career.

It films on location all over the city, including Williamsburg and Silvercup Studios in Long Island City.

‘I feel like New York is just taking a nap now like the rest of the world.’

 – Darren Star

“It’s important to bring back some life and work back to the city. That’s part of the reason I want to start filming in October if possible. I think everyone is looking to gear up in a very safe, cautious way,” said Star.

For the moment though, his eye is focused on an entirely different city and continent. “Emily in Paris” stars Lily Collins in the titular role, a Chicago executive whose company acquires a French marketing firm. She moves to the City of Lights to give the company a splash of that American je ne sais quoi. And, of course, she rubs the hipper-than-thou Gauls the wrong way with her headstrong, confident and thoroughly Midwestern ways.

William Abadie and Lily Collins
William Abadie and Lily CollinsCAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX

Emily never wanted to live in Paris, Star explained of the leading lady, rather it was the dream of her boss, played by Kate Walsh.

“She unexpectedly can’t go, and Emily goes instead. She doesn’t speak French. Her dream and passion are not in France, but she makes it a career opportunity…And her preconceived notions of the world are challenged.”

Star — who has long held a love affair with the French capital — had his own quasi expatriate experience while filming the series on location with a French crew.

“It was exciting. I fell in love with the city backpacking through Europe, and I would subsequently return many times and lived there and had always dreamed of what it was like to work there. That was sort of the genesis of the Emily character,” he said. “It’s not the easiest place for an American to live and work.”

Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Darren Star
Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Darren StarCAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX

But there was one creative element he brought from NYC: He still collaborated with stylist Pat Field, who gives Emily a glossy, high-fashion aspirational look, complete with sky-high heels and supershort skirts — a decidedly pre-COVID aesthetic.

“I love working with Pat. She adds so much visually. She adds character details to wardrobe and inspires me,” said Star. “Pat has a sense of wanting people to express joy though wardrobe. It’s part of the Pat Field energy. She wants to entertain the audience.”

But the world has changed so rapidly, and what we consume is increasingly aligned with social justice and activism rather than unadulterated whimsical diversion.

Star, however, still sees the value in escapism.

Darren Star
Darren StarCAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX

“The great thing about television is that there are so many options. It’s great to have those choices and the TV landscape has gotten so huge in terms of the stories being told,” he said. “This show is entertainment, but if there is a lesson, it’s to leave your comfort zone, travel, get a passport.”

Of course, the current pandemic has put a damper on that — a collective experience he will be delving into on the upcoming season of “Younger.”

“We are always looking to draw on what’s happening now. We want our characters to live in reality,” said Star, who is working to balance real life with levity on the show. “But believe it or not, there’s humor to be found in every situation. Our characters find the humor in this awful time.”

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