John Corbett is back in New York. He’s here to talk “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” but being here means reminiscing about another undying phenomenon in which he played a romantic lead: his stint as Aidan, Carrie Bradshaw’s on-off boyfriend on “Sex and the City” from 2000 to 2001.
“I lived in a little apartment on 66th and Broadway,” Corbett wistfully recalls. “I had a nice little balcony that overlooked Juilliard. I was single and I walked the city and I got drunk at night.” Because he was just playing a boyfriend, he would often have four or five days off a week, all while the four leads worked constantly. “It was a great time. I’ll be 55 soon. I remember turning 40 here.” (He also remembers leaving the city after his last day the day before September 11, so there’s that, too.)
Corbett is a fixture of films and shows revolving around female characters: not just the “Greek Wedding” films and “Sex and the City,” but also “United States of Tara,” even the Kate Hudson vehicle “Raising Helen.” Right now he’s a co-lead on the FX show “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” opposite Denis Leary, which is super-macho.
“When I show up on set, Denis says, ‘Look who it is: It’s America’s a—hole and American’s boyfriend!’” Corbett says.
He’s fine with being called that, and he points out that he hasn’t been called on to play many villains. He’s fine with that, too.
“I’m not an actor who’s dying to show his range,” Corbett admits. “I could care less on lots of levels. I didn’t always feel that way. I remember reading that Marlon Brando didn’t see things he had done. I found that so hard to believe when I was starting out. I’d see f—ing anything I did, three times. But I totally get it now. There’s some things I never bothered to go see. It just happens as you get older.”
Part of the reason is he’s accepting his age, even as he still looks youthful, despite his hair now being lightly (though not entirely) gray. “It’s a young person’s business, show business,” he says. “The phone sits there doesn’t ring most of the year. You get used to it; that’s the way it is. It’s better for men than women. At 30 it stops.”
Corbett is easy to talk to — so easy we almost forget to talk directly about “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” In the sequel, his character, Ian, is still married to Nia Vardalos’ Toula. They have a teenage daughter, played by Elena Kampouros, who feels even more smothered by their overbearing family than her mother once did. They also have slight marital problems, worried that a spark has fizzled in middle age.
And yet the sequel has more screentime for the other, crazy family members, from Toula’s parents, played by Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan, and even more scene-stealing work from “SCTV” legend Andrea Martin. For Corbett, it was just fun to hang with them again.
“They could come and say, ‘Dude, we’re doing number three right now.’ We could put this s— on and we could start doing it,” Corbett says. For one thing it’s not hard. “It’s not ‘My Left Foot 2.’ But I also have such great chemistry with everybody on set. It’s not just that it’s easy; it’s a spark of joy.”