Kristin Davis worked in the soap opera circuit, appearing on Melrose Place and General Hospital, before catching her big break as the ever-optimistic Charlotte York on Sex and the City in 1998. The iconic role made her a household name and cemented her place in pop culture history. It even led to a few accolades, including Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations, as well as two Screen Actors Guild Award wins for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, which she shared with co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kim Cattrall.
When the hit show went off the air in 2004, Davis was in perfect position to kick off her high heels and take over Hollywood. While she reprised her role as everyone’s favorite hopeless romantic in both SATC films — and would once again play Charlotte in the revival series, And Just Like That… (more on this below) — her on-screen career hasn’t flourished as much as we might have expected.
From personal woes to taking on roles behind the scenes, there’s a lot about Davis’ life and career that people may have missed since she strutted around New York City with HBO’s famously fierce foursome. So, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: Why won’t Hollywood cast Kristin Davis anymore?
Kristin Davis’ dating life became tabloid fodder
Kristin Davis may have gained popularity as a talented actress, but, as is often the case in showbiz, it wasn’t long until her personal life began to overshadow her professional endeavors. With a string of high-profile relationships, including rumored romances with Steve Martin, Liev Schreiber, Russell James, and Alec Baldwin, she was last romantically linked with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin in 2012. "They’re very different people," a source told In Touch magazine at the time of their split. "She’s focused on raising her daughter, Gemma, and he’s working on his show. They’ll definitely remain friends."
Despite the unwanted tabloid attention, it sounds like Davis couldn’t be happier with the single life. "Little girls who say, ‘I want to get married’ — I was never one of those little girls," she told CBS News in 2008. "It is not that I wouldn’t, but I don’t see that I must do it or be unhappy. I don’t know if I’ll ever get married. I’m perfectly happy [with] my single self."
That said, the actress does still believe in finding The One. "Absolutely," Davis told The Guardian in 2002. "But it’s hard to find, just like it is for everyone else."
Kristin Davis was heard but not seen
Surprisingly, one of Kristin Davis’ longest-running roles was one that didn’t even require her to appear on screen. Between 2004 and 2009, she voiced the title character on Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids, Nick Jr.’s animated adaptation of David Kirk’s best-selling children’s book series of the same name.
Fresh off of SATC‘s six-season run, the part was certainly a departure from what audiences expected from Davis. But as series producer Pam Lehn attested, she was a perfect fit. "We are pleased to have drawn a high-calibre talent such as Kristin Davis to our production. We look forward to watching Kristin’s innate sweetness shine through as she helps us bring David Kirk’s memorable book character to life," she said in a press release (via Corus Entertainment). Meanwhile, Kirk added, "I’ve been a big fan of Ms. Davis’ for years. With a voice so gentle and so kind, she’s the perfect person to occupy Miss Spider’s lovely yellow exoskeleton."
Kristin Davis is a recovering alcoholic
In 2008, Kristin Davis shocked fans when she revealed that she’s a recovering alcoholic. "I’ve never hid it, but I’ve been sober the whole time I’ve been famous, so it wasn’t like I had to go to rehab publicly," she told Health magazine at the time. "I believe [alcoholism] is a disease. I don’t think you can mess with it. There was a time when people who didn’t know me well would say, ‘Couldn’t you just have one glass of champagne?’ And I would say, ‘No.’ I’m doing well. I still have occasional bad days. Why risk it?"
Around that time, Davis explained that she began to drink heavily during her teens. "I was really shy and I didn’t know how to come out of my shell," she told Parade. "I drank for the same reason I loved acting. I wanted to feel things and express myself and be free. And I’m not naturally that way."
At 22, the actress realized alcohol was holding her back in her career, and went to rehab to treat her secret addiction. Since then, Davis has remained focused on maintaining her sobriety, telling the Today show, "I miss it. You don’t go to rehab and then suddenly it goes away."
Kristin Davis became a Southern belle fashionista
Kristin Davis tried on a new hat when she partnered with the South Carolina-based retailer Belk to launch her own women’s clothing line in 2008. Inspired by the style of her most famous character, Charlotte, items from her own closet, and "Belk’s Southern sensibilities," the actress remained deeply involved in the designing process.
"High fashion is almost a disservice," she released in a statement at the time, explaining that the inclusive line aimed to cater to most women (via The Fashion Spot). "We wanted the clothes to fit a variety of body types, and we tried to make everything simple and wearable and flattering."
Unfortunately, due to the financial crisis of 2008, Davis’ line was canceled the following year, as the company attempted to navigate the difficult economic conditions. However, the actress remained hopeful she could continue her line elsewhere, saying (via The Cut), "I’m looking forward to taking my brand in a new direction and I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead." However, at the time of this writing, this goal has not come into fruition.
Critics panned Kristin Davis’ non-SATC films
Unfortunately, Kristin Davis’ film career never really took off. Apart from reprising her role of Charlotte in the commercially successful SATC movies, her big-screen ventures were mostly flops.
Shaggy Dog, a 2006 kids’ flick in which she starred opposite Tim Allen and Robert Downey Jr., did well at the box office, but received negative reviews. With a score of 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the site’s critical consensus read, "This Disney retread has neither inspiration nor originality, but may please moviegoers under the age of ten." That same year, the actress appeared in the Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito film Deck the Halls, which was a box office flop, earning a dismal 6 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. In 2009, Couples Retreat, in which Davis played John Favreau’s high school sweetheart wife Lucy, fared slightly better. Despite the film’s negative reception, the romantic comedy was a box office success.
At the time of this writing, Davis’ last appearance on the big screen was technically one of her most successful. While 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was a smash hit at the box office, raking in millions worldwide, the movie received mixed reviews. Roger Ebert perhaps said it best in his 2-and-a-half star review, writing, "It isn’t a ‘good’ movie in the usual sense (or most senses), but it is jolly and goodnatured."
Kristin Davis is busy being a single mom
Kristin Davis adopted her daughter, Gemma Rose, in 2011. "This is something I have wanted for a very long time," she said in a statement to People. "Having this wish come true is even more gratifying than I ever had imagined. I feel so blessed." As a proud single mom, the actress has made sure her daughter always comes first. "Once she came I was like, ‘Hey I can do this, this is OK,’" Davis told Anderson Cooper the following year. "So I mull [having more kids] over, but because I’m a single mom, I want to focus on her and make sure I’m doing a good job first."
Just after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Davis spoke openly about parenting a Black child as a white mom in America’s divisive sociopolitical climate. "I thought I knew before adopting my daughter that I was in white privilege, that I understood what that meant," she explained (via People). "But until you actually have a child, which is like your heart being outside you, and that heart happens to be in a brown body, and you have people who are actively working against your child, it’s hard. It fills me with terror. I’m on the intense learning curve because I have to protect my child … at all costs."
Kristin Davis suffered from hair loss
After the second SATC movie wrapped, Kristin Davis found herself suffering from hair loss. "My hair just was not what it used to be. It was very fine, like it had gone away, there just was hardly any hair there," she told WWD in 2017 (via Harper’s Bazaar). "I hadn’t been worrying about it — I have my daughter — but when I tried to do something or had to go somewhere I was like, ‘Where is my hair?’"
At her hair stylist’s suggestion, she tried Volaire’s hair volumizing system. Luckily, it did the trick, and even scored Davis a new gig, as she went on to become a global ambassador for the line.
"I am so excited to share with you guys that I have found a new product that I LOVE for my hair," the actress wrote on Instagram, captioning a selfie showing off her renewed voluminous hair. "Remember a while back I said I was in hair rehab? My hair kind of disappeared — it got thin + super damaged, seemingly overnight. That’s when I found @volairehair Its a super simple shampoo + conditioner (plus 2 styling products for even more volume). And the best part is that your hair is soft AND full!"
Kristin Davis is an outspoken activist
Kristin Davis is a longtime activist devoted to using her celebrity to foster real change — rather than using her fame to snag new roles in Hollywood. While she’s a supporter of a number of charities, the causes closest to her heart include women’s rights, animal rights, and advocacy for refugees around the world.
Since 2004, she has worked as a global ambassador for Oxfam to fight extreme poverty and injustice globally, and she became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2017. "I have been involved for years and I have focused on women’s livelihood work, where you go around the world and work with women from extremely poor situations," Davis told Forbes, explaining, "I wanted to go to the source and help." Over the years, Davis has traveled to Haiti, Mozambique, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda for this work. In 2011, she received the Wyler Award for raising awareness about illegal poaching for ivory after helping to rescue an abandoned baby elephant in Africa.
"This is what I think," the activist told HUFFPOST UK. "You don’t get to pick where you’re born. I’ve worked hard all my life, and I’ve had a lot of luck too. We love what we do, and then we get paid a ridiculous amount for it. I can’t speak for others — lots of people in my industry do charity work privately, so it takes different forms. I personally feel it is my responsibility."
Kristin Davis became a producer
In an effort to marry her animal rights advocacy with her career in Hollywood, Kristin Davis began pursuing off-camera roles in filmmaking. Most notably, she served as an executive producer on Gardeners of Eden in 2014. The documentary raised awareness about the illegal killing of elephants for ivory in Kenya, while tracking the daily efforts of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to save the endangered species.
While the actress-turned-producer had worked with the trust since 2009, she admittedly had zero experience in filmmaking. "Post-production is very, very hard for an actress who never does post-production," Davis told Deadline. "So it was definitely a learning curve." But Davis felt compelled to tell this story, as her love of elephants won out. "I’ve loved elephants forever … The fact that elephants are now in danger of being poached into extinction, it’s just something I feel is really beyond comprehension," she explained, adding, "You just have to step forward and try stuff, that’s what I think the world is about right now. If you see something that you want to fight for, you have to fight for it, and for me, I would do anything for the elephants."
The documentary was a success, with The New York Times calling it "short but bluntly powerful." Davis went on to nab executive producer credits for Netflix’s Holiday in the Wild in 2019 and HBO Max’s SATC revival, And Just Like That…, in 2021.
Kristin Davis returned to the stage
Kristin Davis further distanced herself from Hollywood by getting back to her roots and pursuing work in the theater. In 2012, she made her Broadway debut in the star-studded political drama, The Best Man, earning positive reviews for her performance. Apart from realizing one of her lifelong dreams, returning in the theater allowed Davis to strike the perfect balance between work and motherhood.
"The show is at night most of the days, so I spend all morning and all day with her then I go do the show at night," the actress told People. "It’s actually a really great schedule for a mom. I’m able to be with her and have a job, which is rare and wonderful."
Two years later, Davis made her West End debut in London, starring as Beth Gallagher in an adaptation of Fatal Attraction. "I definitely grew up thinking what I would do was theater," she told the Evening Standard. "And for anyone who has dreamed of doing theater, the West End is right up there. From a historical point of view, it’s more important than Broadway — Broadway is exciting and I’ve done that. It’s the culmination of any theater geek’s dream."
Kristin Davis’ starring turn in Bad Teacher totally tanked
Kristin Davis made her highly-anticipated return to the small screen in Bad Teacher, a short-lived CBS comedy on which she starred opposite Ari Graynor as an overly enthusiastic, by-the-book teacher.
While the show’s premiere ratings exceeded expectations, viewership dropped dramatically in the following weeks. And with a score of 51 percent on Metacritic, it received mixed reviews. While The New York Times wrote, "As is so often the case, the premiere episode tries too hard and isn’t as funny as it could be. The writing loosens up later on, and has some charm," IndieWire gave the pilot a D.
Perhaps the most brutal review of all came from The Washington Post, which wrote, "Class, raise your hand if you saw the Bad Teacher movie a few years ago … and left wishing someone would make a half-hour TV show sort of like it, only much worse. Nobody? Yeah, I thought so. … Bad Teacher is a comedy — barely — that reinforces an unfortunate message that teaching is a career wasteland." Ouch.
Between low ratings and mixed reception, Bad Teacher was unceremoniously canceled after only three episodes had aired in 2014.
SATC 3 was canceled — but Kristin Davis’ Charlotte will return in the reboot
Sex and the City fans received sad news in 2017, when Sarah Jessica Parker confirmed that plans for the series’ third movie had been scrapped. "I wish that we could have made the final chapter, on our own terms, to complete the stories of our characters," Davis wrote on Instagram at the time. "It is deeply frustrating not to [be] able to share that chapter (beautifully written by [Michael Patrick King]) with all of you." However, as the actress later told E!, she remained hopeful for the future of the franchise, saying, "We still … maybe we’ll figure out something to do, I don’t know, it would be great. I just feel like it’s a positive thing all the way around."
Unfortunately, with former co-stars SJP and Kim Cattrall’s infamous feud heating up the following year, any chance of an onscreen reunion seemed unlikely — that is, unless you ask HBO Max. In January 2021, the streaming service announced a 10-episode reboot series called And Just Like That…, which would follow SJP’s Carrie, Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda, and Davis’ Charlotte "as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s," per a press release (via E!). Noticeably absent, of course, is Cattrall’s Samantha.
How else is Kristin Davis turning it around?
Kristin Davis may have spent much of her post-SATC career out of the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t pursuing on-screen roles before her return as Charlotte in the reboot was announced. After signing with APA, she starred opposite Shirley MacLaine and Eric McCormack in Hallmark’s A Heavenly Christmas in 2016. Continuing on with this holiday theme, Davis teamed up with Rob Lowe in Netflix’s 2019 flick, Holiday in the Wild, which happened to pop up with a spoiler-filled cameo in the streaming service’s The Knight Before Christmas that same year.
Sure, Davis hasn’t quite snatched the crown from "Netflix’s Christmas Queen," Vanessa Hudgens, but she did take on a new role as reality TV host with Fox’s dating game show, Labor of Love, in 2020. Unfortunately, the show’s low ratings meant that a second season seemed unlikely.
With her slow but steady return to landing Hollywood gigs, fans might find solace in the fact that Davis, for one, isn’t too concerned about maintaining her A-lister fame. "It’s very easy to get sucked into the intense, tabloid world and be stressed out by it, and then I get to see the reality of how so many people live, which puts it all in perspective," she told HUFFPOST UK. "I try very, very hard to keep my life private, and not get sucked in."
Indeed, flying (mostly) under the radar as she raises her children and works hard to better the world seems to be suiting Kristin Davis just fine.