In the new CBS comedy “Bad Teacher,” bad girl Meredith Davis (played by Ari Graynor) uses a teaching job as a ploy to get with a rich, single man. Her scheme rubs the other teachers the wrong way.
Ginny is the sweet “Teacher of the Year” recipient who believes in doing the right thing, something Meredith has no handle on. Played by Kristin Davis, Ginny resembles another character that made Davis a star — though according to the actress, there are many differences from the spunky teacher and the lively Charlotte of “Sex and the City.”
“It’s funny because you go to do a new character and I always say like ‘OK, I don’t want to wear pink and I don’t want to wear, like, Charlotte colors.’ I want to make a huge effort. And then I just don’t know what happens,” Davis said. “But in the end everyone’s like, ‘Oh, it’s like Charlotte.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ But that’s what happens when you play a character for as long as I’ve played Charlotte.”
However, Davis does see some similarities between Ginny and Charlotte. “In some ways Ginny is like Charlotte if Charlotte didn’t have a happy life,” Davis said. “Ginny’s kind of stressed out, whereas Charlotte certainly has a controlling side, but she’s happy. She loves her friends. She loves her life. She ends up making a life that she’s very happy with. She has her children. You know she has a very complete life.”
As for a personal comparison, Davis says that she is way more of a slob than both Ginny and Charlotte. “I’m more bohemian,” she quipped.
In addition to her roles as Charlotte and Ginny, Davis has appeared on stage on Broadway in “Best Man” and more recently in “Fatal Attraction” on London’s West End. She says there are differences between stage acting and movie/TV acting, though it’s all acting just the same.
“You still have to build the character and build a relationship with your co-stars and all that, but in terms of the actual performance on stage, you never know what’s going to happen. You could fall down. You could trip. A bunny could escape. These are things that every night in ‘Fatal Attraction’ could potentially happen,” Davis said. “It’s a kind of excitement that comes from that and an excitement that comes from your relationship with the audience because the audience is there live.”
Building relationships is still important for Davis as she works on “Bad Teacher,” where she says her castmates make it hard for her keep a straight face on set. “You’re lost if you don’t have chemistry, and sometimes you think you’re going to have chemistry with people and then you don’t and it can be really disappointing,” Davis said.
That isn’t the case with her for “Bad Teacher.”
Davis has known David Alan Grier, who plays the principal, for nearly 20 years and Ryan Hansen, who plays the gym teacher, for more than five. She says her familiarity with her co-stars makes working a lot more fun.
Even with her new work, Davis still has a soft spot for Charlotte and the legion of “Sex and the City” fans who are still devoted to the show and subsequent movies. “It’s very flattering when they talk about (being) a Charlotte or a Samantha, it just means that people identify with the characters — and isn’t that what we want when we’re acting in something? You want people to identify with you and your other characters,” Davis said.
That doesn’t necessarily mean more “Sex and the City” movies are on the way as Davis said she hasn’t had any discussion on making a third film.
“I wish I knew (if there will be another movie). I really hope that we can get it all together,” Davis said. “But every time that we come together it’s like (things) would have to align perfectly. It’s never easy, so I’m still hopeful. ... I have not gotten an update lately, but I’m hopeful.”
For now, the feisty Ginny will have to do.