No matter if he’s Mr. Big from “Sex in the City” or Peter Florrick in “The Good Wife,” Chris Noth has made a career out of playing lovable cheaters.
“There’s a misconception about all my characters. They’re imperfect people, and they’re conflicted, and they’re complicated like everybody,” Noth said, defending his on-screen personas. “And so I find the generalization that they’re bad to be a little ridiculous.”
“If you really looked at the relationship of Mr. Big and Carrie, you would see that he was married before he met her, then he was with her and he got married again after they broke up. And that marriage didn’t work because he was still in love with Carrie. So can you even count on your hand how many relationships Carrie had in between? Lots,” he added laughing.
Joking aside, Noth admits that he’s attracted to portraying bad boys. They’re much more appealing than playing a clean cut, Disney character. Like the protagonists in “Breaking Bad” and “Man Men,” Noth explained the path of not-so-righteous characters are always much more appealing. That’s what makes viewers stick with them.
“I find that to be interesting and brave that a show like “Mad Men” would grab the attention of people, because you have to stay with it,” he explained. “It’s not action-oriented, and it’s not the bad behavior of a villain. It’s of a guy in the advertising business who’s obviously very complicated and at ease with himself, and so therefore interesting.”
And, Peter Florrick is the baddest of the bad. On the “Good Wife,” the former state attorney used the State budget to hire prostitutes and had a sex tape leaked of him. His “good” wife, Alicia Florrick, is forced to testify on his behalf. The debauchery, lies and deceit gets even worse as the series progresses, even though Alicia seems to trust her disgraced husband more and more — which is exactly what she shouldn’t be doing, Noth explained.
“It’s possible he could get into trouble again, I just don’t know where they want to take it,” Noth continued. “Do they want to make it about a marriage that has pulled itself out of the depths of misery and gotten it back together? Is that interesting? I don’t know; it’s up to them. I think it’s more fun too — as we used to say in speech classes and exercise, ‘I’m glad to be bad.’”
Despite the intricacies of Peter, Noth says he’s not the character he likes to portray the most. In fact, he refuses to pick favorites.
“I can think of roles in the theater that I love, but once I put them to bed there are no favorites,” he admitted. “They are all great characters and I hope that somehow they give some semblance of satisfaction to people who watch it. But I don’t think about them or compare them. It’s much more simplistic than that.”