After four years, one reluctant costar, countless pairs of Manolos and enough cosmos to toast all of Manhattan, Sex and the City, the movie, is finally set to arrive in style. Since the trendsetting HBO series wrapped in 2004, its stars—and the women they portray—have been busy walking the runway of life with wardrobes, zip codes, bank accounts and boy troubles that have both evolved and endured. Does Carrie marry Big? Can Samantha stop playing the field? Will Miranda abandon Brooklyn? Does Charlotte get pregnant? Over cupcakes and city views, PEOPLE dished with everyone’s favorite girlfriends about on-set scandals, off-set milestones and anticipating their risky—and risqué—big-screen reunion on May 30. “I never thought it would happen,” admits Sarah Jessica Parker. Well, channel your inner Chanel and pour something pink, because … it’s oh-so-happening.
SAY IT AIN’T SO
Don’t freak out, fashionistas, but Sarah Jessica Parker, 43, has a shocking confession: “I don’t pay attention to what I’m wearing … I really don’t shop!” She acknowledges that women often dress to impress her: “Women apologize to me about their outfits all the time, and I’m like, ‘Don’t you know how good you look?'” Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, 46, recently insisted she splurge on a Balenciaga coat. “He said, ‘You never buy things for yourself,'” she recalls. It’s not for lack of label loving, “it’s just that as a working mother, shopping doesn’t fit in,” says the mom of James Wilkie, 5.
HER MAIN MAN
Parker admits that returning to work on the film brought its share of mommy guilt. At the end of 16-hour days on-set, “I’d rouse him without telling my husband!” she says of her sleeping son. “He loves his home, and it’s such a point of pride for me. There’s milk, there’s food, there’s a really cozy, warm bed.”
“She invites you to cookouts in the summer, and James Wilkie is running around the beach, and Matthew barbecues corn,” says SATC writer-director Michael Patrick King. “She’s the coolest friend ever.”
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Parker, who coproduced the film (King calls her his “muse”), is candid when asked about reports that Kim Cattrall nearly derailed the film over paycheck squabbles. “Did Kim want more money at the time? Absolutely. Were we disappointed? Yes,” says Parker. Business aside, “she’s a sister. She’s my family.”
IN A CINCH
What was her favorite accessory from her 81—yes, 81!—costume changes? A studded vintage belt she sports in several scenes: “I named him Roger. I love him.”
Is Davis as family focused as her alter ego Charlotte? “I’m hopeful like her, but I’m not marriage obsessed,” says the single Davis, 43, who travels the world with the antipoverty group Oxfam International. “I would like to have a baby, but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do that. I definitely think about it. And playing [Charlotte] made me think about it more.”
“I think I’d date a menschy type,” says Davis, whose character finds true love with nice guy Harry (Evan Handler). Too bad many of the couple’s scenes were cut: “You just feel bad for the guys in our world.”
When SATC wrapped in 2004, Cattrall, 51, says she had “one of the worst years of my life”: a divorce from third husband Mark Levinson, her father’s diagnosis of dementia and the days of Samantha Jones coming to a close. “I needed a time out,” says the actress, whose reluctance delayed the film for a time. Upon finally rolling, “it felt like a fairy tale,” she says.
In late 2004 she began dating Alan Wyse, 28, a Canadian chef. “Lots of butter!” she says of his cooking. “Two weeks was the only time I had to diet [before the film].” She’s proud to bare all onscreen: “I think it’s about time we had a Hollywood movie that celebrates a woman turning 50.”
AN UNEXPECTED LOVE
“When I first started dating my girlfriend and people got wind of it, I said, ‘Yes, that’s true,'” Nixon, 42, says of her romance with education activist Christine Marinoni, 41, whom she began dating in 2004. They share their life with Nixon’s children (their dad is her ex Danny Mozes) Samantha, 11, and Charles, 5.
HER HEALTH BATTLE
After she was diagnosed with breast cancer following a mammogram a year and a half ago, “I didn’t want to go to the rooftop and be like, ‘I’ll be having radiation!’?” she says. But when the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization approached her to be a spokeswoman, Nixon was ready. “The only thing you really have to be afraid of is being too scared to get a mammogram and waiting until it’s too late,” she says.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
“Don’t be afraid to take risks,” says Nixon, whose alter ego Miranda continues life as a working mom in the film. “Maybe get your heart broken on a Tuesday, but on a Thursday you’ll get something much more wonderful.”
Look for PEOPLE’s SATC fashion exclusive in two weeks!