When "The Carrie Diaries" premieres on The CW (Monday, January 14 at 8 p.m. EST), AnnaSophia Robb officially steps into Carrie Bradshaw's Manolo Blahniks.
While she certainly has the look for the "Sex and the City" prequel, the 19-year-old actress is the first to admit that taking on the role was a little nerve-wracking. "I don't think anyone can run in heels better than Sarah Jessica Parker," she laughed. "I'm nervous. I want the show to do well!"
So what's taking the edge off for Robb as she journeys into Carrie territory? A reassuring letter from Parker, practicing '80s dance moves and long talks with executive producer Candace Bushnell, who penned the "Sex and the City" and "Carrie Diaries" novels.
Robb spoke with HuffPost TV on Monday morning via phone about her relationship with Parker, what to expect from this season of "The Carrie Diaries" and working those shoulders.
I know you and Sarah Jessica Parker hadn't had much contact in the early stages of "The Carrie Diaries." Have you talked more since?
Not really. When I landed the role, she sent me a really lovely letter giving me her blessing and encouragement, and then I bumped into her at a fashion show very briefly. But Amy Harris, the creator of the show, is close with her. So I know they've talked.
Did you watch a lot of "Sex and the City" to prepare?
Well, first of all, I watch it a lot because I love the show. But I also want to bring a similar flavor to my character, and I don't want to emulate [Parker's] performance in any way. She did such a good job with a role. And this is the younger Carrie -- it's who she is before she's turned into a confident woman. But I do watch it just for little mannerisms, voices and stuff like that.
What else did you do to prepare?
I read the books and watched a bunch of '80s movies. I've actually been googling '80s dance moves, because they danced differently in the '80s -- more shoulder movements and finger snapping.
Do you think you have to be a "Sex and the City" fan to appreciate "The Carrie Diaries"?
No. I think it's great because we have the original "Sex and the City" audience, and hopefully they'll embrace the show. But we also have a new audience from my generation. We were too young to watch "Sex and the City." It's a younger Carrie Bradshaw who's just getting into Manhattan and fashion and she wants to become a writer. It's really a coming of age story and a story of firsts.
Did you have to practice walking in heels?
I wear so many heels in the show that I've gotten better at it. And a lot better at running in them!
These are huge, formative years for Carrie. Does the idea of stepping into her shoes make you nervous?
Well, it's a different show. Everyone has different expectations, and you can't please everyone. We're making the show that we feel really confident about and proud of, and I think people will really love the show. Yeah, of course, I'm nervous. But at the same time, we're not trying to emulate the original.
Will we get to meet Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda?
Hopefully in seasons to come. If the show continues on, we definitely want to introduce them.
In the pilot, Carrie's very innocent. By the time we meet her in "Sex and the City" she's gotten much more cynical. Will your character lose some of her innocence over the course of the season?
Yeah, and that's part of the growth of the character. We see that young, fresh naivete. As she gets older, we see her realizing what the world is about. We find out why her relationships are the way they are.
What's it been like working with Candace Bushnell?
Great! We talked for a long time about the show and how excited we both are. It's been really wonderful having Candace on board and talking to her, because she's the origin of the story. She is Carrie Bradshaw.
Has she coached you at all?
On certain things, yes. It's definitely a collaboration of the books and what Amy Harris, the creator of the show, wants.
"The Carrie Diaries" premieres on Monday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
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