If you go to see Chris Noth’s new romantic comedy, After the Ball, take a look around the audience – just in case! The actor, 60, couldn’t attend the film’s première because of his shooting schedule for The Good Wife (he plays reformed husband and politician Peter Florrick in the Emmy-winning series), and admits to Hello! Canada that he “might slip into a theatre to see how the audience reacts.”
The Sex and the City star is also looking forward to hearing the opinion of one very important fan, Orion, his seven-year-old son with Canadian wife Tara Wilson. Tara and Chris have been inseparable since meeting at his New York City bar The Cutting Room in 2002; they married in Hawaii in 2012.
After the Ball is one of the few movies starring Chris that Orion is allowed to watch. In the family-friendly Cinderella story, the actor plays the head of a fashion empire whose aspiring designer daughter, Kate (Portia Doubleday), must try to save the company from her sneaky stepmother and stepsisters.
Chris called Hello! Canada to talk about family, film and the real answer to the rumours about a third Sex and the City movie.
What appealed to you about After the Ball?
Most of my movies I don’t want Orion to see, and that includes some of the television stuff. This is just a great teenage and kids movie that has elements of a fairytale in a modern setting and also a modern sensibility.
We almost didn’t recognize you because of the glasses you wear for the role. It’s a different look from Peter Florrick and Mr. Big.
That happened by accident and I was, “OK, I like it.” People always want to associate me with the character of Mr. Big, so you have to sometimes go out of your way to do something different physically.
Did you enjoy filming in Montreal?
It was really rainy and cold but it’s a beautiful city. I took my family and we were near the old town. I really did enjoy it. I usually do stuff in Toronto but I think the sightlines in Montreal are much more interesting.
Does Orion understand what you do for a living?
He’s getting a little bit of an inkling. I don’t go into it too much just because I don’t want him to be an actor. [ Laughs] Anything but. The world doesn’t need any more actors. I would love him to be focused on other things.
You play a designer in this movie. Do you consider yourself a fashion fan?
I love getting dressed up and I find it’s a great thing to do to give an evening a different kind of energy. I love fashion. I’ve had it sort of handed to me on a plate. Sex and the City – a big part of its fabric was fashion, so I just let the designers do their thing and I benefit from it. I always manage to keep a costume [from a project] that I’m in so I can have it and wear it in real life.
What about another Sex and the City movie? We’re all crossing our fingers that there will be another one!
Sex and the City is over, man! Those are all rumours. None of us have heard anything to the contrary. I get that question a lot. That’s going nowhere. [Laughs]
You’ve chosen some very successful projects over the years. Are the things you look for in roles different now from in the early days of your career?
I think every project has its own rationale. Law & Order was a no-brainer and it was the first job I ever got on TV. Sex and the City was a happy accident. Law & Order: Criminal Intent was a financial decision, frankly. The Good Wife was a really fascinating pilot that I chose to do based on that.
Has the success of The Good Wife surprised you?
It was put together so well at the very beginning and the subject matter was new and fresh. The cast was so great, headed by Julianna Margulies, and I felt that this was a really solid show and that it had legs.
You’re a Broadway veteran and you mentioned a few years ago that you’d love to perform onstage at Stratford, close to where your wife is from in Windsor, Ont. Is that still on your bucket list?
I’m actually doing a stage production in New York instead. [He stars in Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus in May.] I don’t think they know who I am over at Stratford! [Laughs] The only problem with Stratford, I think, is that you have to sign up for like eight months, and I can’t be away from my family for that long. I’ve heard tremendous things about it, so if I could do one play there I’d love to do it – but I’m pretty sure that it’s much more of a commitment.