May 28, 2011 05:00 PM

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson were BFFs on Sex and the City. And now, their kids are, too.

Garson, who played Stanford Blatch on the HBO series and feature films, tells PEOPLE that his son Nathen is great friends with James Wilkie — Parker and Matthew Broderick‘s 8½-year-old son.

Parker was “an inspiration to me when I was adopting,” the White Collar star, 47, told PEOPLE Wednesday at the FiFi fragrance awards in New York. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what happens when he says this? And what do I do?’ And she was really great.”

Nathen and James Wilkie are about eight months apart in age, “so they’re buddies,” Garson says. “We go out to the beach with them and have a great time.”

At the time of the adoption in 2009, Parker and Broderick explained to their son that Nathen had come from a rougher background. And James Wilkie “was just very welcoming,” Garson says.

Garson says he and Parker were friends for 20 years before Sex and the City, and are still as close as ever.

And how does Garson tell Parker’s 23-month-old twin daughters Tabitha and Loretta apart?

“When you walk in, you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m forgetting which one is which,'” he says. “It’s hairdo, temperament and facial expressions. One is more temperamental, one is calm, calm, calm. One always has hair like Tina Turner in Thunderdome.”

— Jeffrey Slonim

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