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At 53, Noth, Mr. Big's real-life alter ego, finds himself more grounded in his romanticism.

(Courtesy of San Francisco Examiner)

Carrie Bradshaw enjoyed a series of torrid flings and committed romances during six seasons of Sex and the City, but none proved more lasting (or frustratingly complicated) than her on-again, off-again relationship with John James Preston, better known as Mr. Big.

As mysterious as he is emotionally unattainable, Big is everything that his larger-than-life moniker implies – cool, supremely self-confident and wildly successful, with an insatiable appetite for expensive cigars, Armani suits and, ultimately, Ms. Bradshaw, whom he wins back for the umpteenth time during a fortuitous rendezvous in Paris. 

So how would a man with such sophisticated tastes (and a seemingly unlimited budget to match) envision the perfect date? Just ask the man who knows him best: actor Chris Noth, the ruggedly handsome Wisconsin native who scored his career-defining role on Sex after a celebrated five-year stint on NBC’s Law & Order.

“It would certainly be different than mine,” he says. “His romantic sensibilities are kind of corny. For him, a carriage ride through Central Park on a spring night would be incredibly romantic. To me, that’s tourist crap. But Big would say, ‘Pack your bags, we’re going to Rome for the weekend,’ and he’d take Carrie to some amazing restaurant she’s never heard of for a candlelit dinner. He likes grand, expensive gestures. He likes to sweep a woman off her feet.”

For Noth, who met longtime girlfriend Tara Wilson at his New York bar, The Cutting Room, date nights are a much less elaborate affair. At 53, he welcomed a son, Orion Christopher, in January, and between juggling his paternal duties with Wilson, who lives in Los Angeles, and his hectic filming schedule – his latest Dick Wolf-produced crime drama, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, is currently shooting in Manhattan – there’s not much time for romantic getaways to the Eternal City. 

Still, Noth doesn’t exactly rule out the possibility.

“Going to Rome? That’s something I would enjoy too, just as soon as I get paid,” he says with a gruff chuckle. “I’m a little more grounded in my romanticism these days, to be honest. But the idea of an unexpected trip to a beautiful city, that certainly appeals to me, and to Big.”

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