During our interview with Lindsey, she dished about the casting process for Samantha Jones, getting into such a beloved character, the advice she received from Kim Cattrall, and her real-life Sex and the City cast connection!
In case you missed them, be sure to check out our previous interviews all about season two with The Carrie Diaries cast.
Don’t forget – a brand new episode of The Carrie Diaries airs TONIGHT @ 8PM on The CW!
Click inside to read our interview with Lindsey Gort…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Lindsey Gort
Just Jared Jr.: We heard that you learned you got the role just eighteen hours before filming your first scenes. What was the casting process like for you?
Lindsey Gort: I definitely auditioned for it. The casting director for the show had seen me do a singing show in Los Angeles like a year prior – I played Roller Girl in Boogie Nights. My manager submitted me for something, and they were like, ‘No she’s more of a Kim Cattrall type.’ So a year later when the part came up for Samantha, [my manager] as like ‘Hey! Remember that girl you said was a young Kim Cattrall?’ So I went in and auditioned for what I now know was the first day they saw people. Nation-wide search! I had a call back and then I went to test, which is the final step. It’s a big deal for actors. I was against two other girls. I felt really good about it, but I was nervous. I met AnnaSophia Robb for the first time and she knew one of the other girls in the room. I felt like it went well, and then a few days later they were still up for debate, it’s between me and one other girl. And a few days later I found out it was a no. They said they were waiting for a big name – or a name, because I hadn’t done anything at the time. I said okay that’s Hollywood, it’s fine. And then a week later the casting director, who I owe everything to, called me and said, ‘I’m gonna bring you back in. I’m gonna re-submit you because I feel like you’re everyone’s favorite and we want to show that you’re the right one.’ So I went back in, did it again, and the next day she called me and said, ‘I’m so sorry, they’re still gonna wait for a bigger name.’ So I moved on with my life, I started eating again, and I put my spandex leotard away that I had been wearing for my auditions. A week after the last no they called, it was 9:30 in the morning, and they were like: ‘Okay, some time today, you’re going to go in and it’s between you and one other girl.’ And I was like, ‘Wait, today?!’ It was all new stuff to say, new material, and I was like, oh my God! So I called my girlfriends over and we worked on it all day. Then they called that night, six o’clock, and they were like: ‘Okay, you’re not going in today. But you’re going in tomorrow.’ I went in the next day and I had a good time and I found out that night that I booked it. I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody, and Friday morning I was gone. It was the strangest thing that ever happened to me!
JJJ: After the first episode we see that Samantha is going to stay with Carrie and Walt for a little bit. What can you tell us about that and what we can look forward to?
Lindsey: Well, they are going to be friends for a LONG time! Spoiler alert! [laughs] Samantha’s in a place where she’s not ready to settle down with anyone be it be male or female. Right now she’s just sort of bouncing around and whatever suits her that night works fine. She’s a very liberal, if you can imagine a more liberal Samantha, she’s not tied down by a job or responsibilities. There’s no big drama, she’s just sort of floating around.
JJJ: You said that Samantha’s not ready to settle down, and we know that she’s a bit more promiscuous than the other girls, but will we see any repeated love interests on the show at all?
Lindsey: Not that I’ve seen yet! [laughs] We’re exploring a lot with like the, obviously when you get older in life and you become more, sort of settled in who you are, good or bad. And when you’re in your early twenties you’re still sort of figuring that out. You’re still a little more guarded, a little more vulnerable. So you see some of those walls come down. It’s not necessarily because of a love interest. Just anything that makes her uncomfortable, you’ll start to see chiseled away at.
JJJ: Samantha Jones is one of the more risque characters from the original Sex and the City. What has been the biggest challenge as far as toning that down for a much younger audience and the CW?
Lindsey: That’s what’s so funny is that it doesn’t feel toned down to me, because I’m still in pasties and underwear in front of other people. So to me, I still feel nude. I don’t know what you guys are going to see! They are like, ‘Oh, but you’ll be strategically blocked.’ And I’m okay, but I’m still behind this fan or whatever it is, nude. I don’t know how Kim Cattrall [did it]. That’s the only thing for me is that when I show up to the make-up trailer and a guy is like, ‘Hi I’m going to be your ninja’ or whatever it is today. It’s like oh hi, yeah, so we’ll be laying in bed later, you know? That’s always strange. That I guess would be the strangest thing for me. My fittings are all bras and underwear!
JJJ: Let’s discuss the wardrobe! How fun is it to dress up and wear clothes from a different era? Is it hard to adjust to?
Lindsey: Some of the scenes are like, okay you’re in your bra and underwear but you’re going to be getting dressed. And like, the zipper is a foot long! It’s not quick things to quickly put on. Really, American Apparel sells anything you could want from The Carrie Diaries. Clothes now are very 80′s. Whether it’s like leather jackets or biker jackets. The crop top I wear in that episode, the tiger thing, I bought one for myself at Urban Outfitters! So, TopShop is where we get a lot of stuff from. Guess, Bebe. Nothing crazy. Wearing heels a lot is like an Olympic sport. You definitely start eating more salads. There’s a lot of spandex. There’s one episode where I wear a sweater and I was like, ‘Oh my God this is the most dressed I’ve ever been!’ I could put my sleeves down if I wanted to. I ate a big lunch! [laughs]
JJJ: Now you’re wearing Manolo Blahnik‘s as we speak. Was it hard to adjust to wearing heels all the time?
Lindsey: My boyfriend is 6’4″ so I’m used to wearing heels. I challenge anyone to say they’re used to wearing heels for sixteen to eighteen hours a day. So I don’t wear them often. I don’t wear them much any more. I used to be like, oh I’m going to get coffee I’ll put on some heels on. Now it’s like, no, no, no! I’m not putting make-up on.
JJJ: AnnaSophia has said that while she doesn’t study the original show, but that sometimes she’ll watch a few episodes to pick up references or different character and personality traits. Is that something you do as well?
Lindsey: What’s interesting is that the show I was doing in L.A., we would take directors bodies of work and songs from their soundtracks and we would re-create scenes. So right now they are doing a Baz Luhrmann show. So you re-create scenes from the movies and sing the songs and it’s all one story. So I had been doing that for about a year. I had done Jenny from Forest Gump, I had done Roller Girl from Boogie Nights. I realized I had seen Sex and the City enough times that when I started auditioning for it I had developed this ability to sort of absorb a performance, and find the things that audiences are like, ‘Oh yeah, she does that!’ So I just, I don’t know, I call them my Samantha-isms, and I just sort of knew them. I don’t watch it though right now. I don’t want to overdo it, I don’t want to be like, ‘Oh well she says that word like this.’ And the crew worked on Sex and the City that we have, a lot of them. And they’ve come up to me individually and said, ‘It’s so crazy the way you move your head at certain points or say certain things how much it’s like her!’
JJJ: Watching the scene where Samantha introduces herself to Carrie felt like an echo of the original character.
Lindsey: That’s all I want. It’s like when you watch baby videos of yourself and you’re like, I still make that face! We all change, but there are certain things you travel with. I wanted hints of it. Everyone knows Christina Aguilera‘s Samantha Jones from Saturday Night Live, but I didn’t want her to be a caricature. It’s so easy to fall into with someone who has a style of talking. So I walk a fine line with that. I usually have two Samantha’s: there’s Samantha One and Samantha Two. So every director that comes in I’m like, okay these are my two Samantha’s, you tell me which one you want more of. Because there is more of the Kim Cattrall Samantha, and the more vulnerable, unsure Samantha. That’s the only way to navigate that without worrying about them wanting a characterization.
JJJ: Have you met any of the original Sex and the City cast members?
Lindsey: No. John Corbett is actually a friend of mine. He was one of my first friends in L.A. I don’t say that often, but he is. But, no. Kim Cattrall famously tweeted me her blessing. I had never been on Twitter before. My friend was like, ‘She tweeted about you! She said your name!’ So I signed up and I tweeted back to her and I didn’t know the way Twitter worked. I didn’t know it was a big, public thing. I thought I was just tweeting her! And then everyone saw it and she tweeted back to me, ‘So happy you’re playing fearless Sam. The key to her is her heart, she never judges those she loves.’ I say I want to get that tattooed on me. It was like the second day of shooting and I was so overwhelmed and to have like my mama, my Samantha mama, tell me that thing. It was like, that’s right, this is a person, and this is my job. Since then I sent her a message privately and was like, ‘I just want to say thank you for being so supportive.’ And she said, ‘You know, the personality can feel like a persona, it can feel like a responsibility, but just remember that she’s just a girl.’ It’s true, because people think it’s such a character, but it’s really just a person. So it’s been very helpful for me.
JJJ: So you jumped right into Twitter! You didn’t go from having a personal Twitter to a celebrity Twitter. What has the fan reception been like?
Lindsey: I’ve only had one crazy person. One major hater. [laughs]
JJJ: That’s what the block function is for!
Lindsey: What’s interesting, because I started reading about that, is that there’s no IP address block [on Twitter]. Which would be smart because then they created another one and then they came after me again. If you could just have the IP address then you could just block that computer for life and then it would be fine. But no, I mean, it’s very strange that these people say, ‘Kiss from Brazil!’ It’s like, I’m not even on TV yet, you don’t even know me yet! It’s very strange. I lived in Hollywood, I saw a lot of famous people, it’s very strange to be an observer and then be observed. It’s a weird thing. Someone just tweeted to me, ‘Are you ready for fifteen thousand more followers?!’ And I was like, ‘What?! No, I’m not! At all!’
JJJ: It’s definitely going to start to grow – a lot!
Lindsey: AnnaSophia and I did this funny video on set where we punched each other in the boobs. It’s Punch for the Cure, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And she was like, ‘Did it post yet?’ A few minutes later I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, it posted.’ In six minutes it was like, you have seventy five new followers! And more followers!’ [laughs] And in six minutes she has like, thirty thousand likes, or something crazy. It’s bizarre!
JJJ: Are you living in New York full-time now? How do you like it?
Lindsey: No, I basically fly back every weekend. I lived in New York a while ago. Maybe about six years ago? When I was a teen. It’s so much different. I lived with three other girls in a two bedroom apartment when that was acceptable in your life. We shared bedrooms. It was fun! Living in L.A., I have a house, and a dog, and a boyfriend, and I’m very happy there. But it’s a dream come true. I drive home from set and I get to shoot on the streets of New York. That’s a dream for an actor. Sometimes I just stop and I’m like, this is a dream come true. This is awesome! So I’m enjoying it, but it’s a lot of flying.
JJJ: What’s your relationship with AnnaSophia like off set?
Lindsey: It’s funny because, we actually do have a pretty Samantha-Carrie relationship. We joke about how we went out one night to a magic show and I was like, I’m gonna go to the bar, I know you’re not old enough, but I’m gonna get a drink. So I’m sitting there with my drink, so corruptive Samantha! [laughs] My thing with Carrie and Samantha is that they support each others strengths and they flatter each other as far as weaknesses. [AnnaSophia] has been a Godsend for me because she’s been in this world for a long time. Paparazzi, this whole thing. She’s the oldest nineteen year old I’ve ever met. For me, she’s never been a waiter before. So I’m like, let me tell you what it’s like! [laughs] We do have a very learned relationship and it’s been a blast.