‘Sex and the City’ turns 20: See the stars at the 1998 premiere! (Exclusive)

As Sex and the City turns 20, ET is taking a look back at the iconic series through the eyes of its stars -- way back at the show’s 1998 premiere!

In old footage from the series' New York City launch, lead stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis filled ET in on the landmark comedy before it became religious viewing to millions around the globe.

“It's very candid, it's forthright, it's a little ribald, a little saucy,” said the now-53-year-old Parker, who played Carrie Bradshaw and is now a married mom of three. “But I think, in many instances, it's conversations that women have, and I think it's very courageous and fresh.”

“I think it'll find its audience, I really do,” added Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones. “People who have heard about the scripts and heard about the premise really are embracing it, and I think it'll find an audience. It's not for everybody, but I think that's what makes it special and controversial. It's on HBO!”

Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes, shared that what excited her about the show’s premise was that was it was “so frank” and addressed topics rarely talked about it on television, while Davis, who portrayed Charlotte York, chimed in that it was nice to have a “smart comedy” coming out.

“A comedy that doesn't offend anyone, that doesn't play to the lowest common denominator, that has some basis in reality, but is also funny,” she explained. “We don't want people to be depressed. It's depressing enough, the dating life. Don't want people to go, 'Oh, God! That's depressing.'”

Chris Noth, who played fan favorite “Mr Big,” predicted the show, which ran for six seasons and spawned two movies, would “knock sitcoms on their ass.”

Parker, who wore Christian Dior and Prada to the premiere, shared how she was familiar with Candace Bushnell, who wrote the 1997 book that inspired the show, and became intrigued by her “really provocative subject matter.”

While Parker noted she hadn’t spent much time dating in New York City herself, Cattrall joked that just like her alter ego, she had experienced “countless” conquests and that “there’s a little bit of Samantha Jones in all of us.”

Cattrall, now 61, also said she believed the show was a good reflection of the Big Apple’s dating scene.

“I think that's what makes Sex and the City a little bit different,” said Cattrall. “It really speaks to women who are in the dating game now, in the '90s, in New York or any major city in the United States, any small town in the United States. The episodes are truthful, the dialogue is truthful. All the situations that [you] come across being single in your thirties in America.”

“It’s pretty risqué,” added Davis, noting that she saw the series more as a “heightened” reality. “I don't know people who do all these things. I know people who do some of them, but it's like we got all the stuff we could think of and packed it in. So, it's a little heightened. A little bigger than life, but still real, which is a little scary.”

Much of the inspiration for plotlines came from show creator Darren Star’s own life. Star, who had previously worked on Melrose Place, admitted his single female friends constantly gave him story ideas.

“I hear a lot of stories from them, and this is some of their stories,” he dished. “It's exaggerated, it's a comedy. Some people might think it's a tragedy, but it's a comedy. It's a dark comedy, and I think there's a certain amount of truth to it, but I think it's fun to see a certain situation that might appear tragic on one end, but you can laugh at it on the other.”

While some of the lead actresses would eventually find themselves caught up in rumored feuds and fights over the years, at the time of the premiere, the ladies were having a blast in each other’s company.

“It's fabulous! It's like 'the ladies who lunch,'” enthused Cattrall about working with her co-stars. “All the scenes we had where we were eating, chocolate chip cookies at 3:00 in the morning -- we were really shooting at 3:00 in the morning and eating chocolate chip cookies and dishing. It was a blast.”

“It's great!” added Nixon, who married Christine Marinoni in 2012, has three children and is now running for governor of New York. . “Particularly when all four of us are in the hair and makeup trailer, getting ourselves done and running lines. It's a blast.”

Then, of course, there was the fun the ladies had with all the hunky men on the show…

“What's nice about it for us as actresses is it's kind of a reversal,” said Davis, who reportedly adopted her second child in May. “All the guest stars are guys and they're all really good looking. So, when we do the readthroughs, the four of us sit together and we just watch. They come through and they leave and they come back, and it's a lot of fun! Some of them are nice guys and then they do stupid things, just like we do. We're not perfect. And then some of them are kind of jerky guys, but there's a lot of them, too.”

Davis, now 53, hilariously added that she was hoping Sex and the City would help her shed some of the haters she had attracted after playing evil Brooke on Melrose Place. Luckily for the actress, 20 years later she’s undeniably known best for her role as Charlotte!

“I'm thrilled about the differences between the two characters, and I hope that it will affect the way people respond to me on the street, because people are still mad at me about Melrose,” she said. “They just can't quite get over it. Brooke, you know, she was bad. She was a bad girl. But Charlotte's a nice girl, so [I'll] hopefully get a little balance.”

See more on Sex and the City below.

37 PHOTOS
'Sex and the City' through the years
See Gallery
'Sex and the City' through the years
UNITED STATES - JUNE 03: Actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrell, Cynthia Nixon and Kristen Davis (l. to r.) arrive at the Sony Theatre for the screening of the HBO series 'Sex and the City.' (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick. (Photo by Steve Azzara/Corbis via Getty Images)
(L-R) Cast of Sex and the City Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattral and Cynthia Nixon on the set of the HBO series. (Photo by Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
382260 05: (L-R) Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon star in the comedy series 'Sex And The City' now in its third season. (Photo by HBO/Newsmakers)
382260 11: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker stars in the comedy series 'Sex And The City' now in its third season. (Photo by HBO/Newsmakers)
382260 12: Actress Kristin Davis stars in the comedy series 'Sex And The City' now in its third season. (Photo by HBO/Newsmakers)
382260 13: Actress Cynthia Nixon stars in the comedy series 'Sex And The City' now in its third season. (Photo by HBO/Newsmakers)
370364 06: Cast members Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon attend the west coast premiere of the third season of 'Sex and the City' June 1, 2000 at the Directors Guild on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Callister/Liaison)
382260 14: Actress Kim Cattrall stars in the comedy series 'Sex And The City' now in its third season. (Photo by HBO/Newsmakers)
370275 03: Actress Kim Cattrall attends the Home Box Office Premiere of 'Sex And the City,' May 30, 2000 at the UA Theatre in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Liaison)
370275 04: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker attends the Home Box Office Premiere of 'Sex And the City,' May 30, 2000 at the UA Theatre in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Liaison)
370275 12: Actress Kristin Davis attends the Home Box Office Premiere of 'Sex And the City,' May 30, 2000 at the UA Theatre in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Liaison)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Kristin Davis arrives with a smile for a screening of the first two episodes of the new season of the HBO series 'Sex and the City' at the Sony Lincoln Square Theaters. She stars in the show. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
392326 28: Left to right, actresses Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis pose for a portrait in an undated photo on the set of the HBO series 'Sex and the City.' (Photo Courtesy of HBO/Getty Images)
Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, HBO's Jeff Bewkes, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall at the New York premiere of HBO's 'Sex and the City' at Lincoln Square Theatres in New York City. 05/30/2001. Photo: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
Sarah Jessica Parker during HBO's Sex and the City - Fifth Season World Premiere at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Cynthia Nixon during HBO's Sex and the City - Fifth Season World Premiere at American Museum of Natural History in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall (Photo by D. Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 3: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov film a scene from the hit HBO series 'Sex and the City' in Central Park December 3, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 1: (L-R) Actress Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon films a scene for the hit HBO series 'Sex and the City' outside St. Marks Church in the East Village December 1, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 8: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall rehearses a scene on the set of the hit HBO series 'Sex and the City' October 8, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
'Sex and the City' actress Kim Cattrall arrives at the HBO party celebrating the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Pacific Design Center. (Photo by Paul Mounce/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 25: (ITALY OUT, NY DAILY NEWS OUT, NY NEWSDAY OUT) Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick leave their home for the Plaza Hotel for her 40th birthday party March 25, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
SEPTEMBER 18: Sarah Jessica Parker attends SEX and the CITY: The Movie-Extended Cut DVD Launch at New York Public Library N.Y.C. on September 18, 2008. (Photo by CHANCE YEH /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: (L-R) Actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon attend the 'Sex and the City: The Movie' DVD launch at the New York Public Library on September 18, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker attends the premiere of Sex and the City: The Movie at Radio City Music Hall on May 27, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - MAY 27: Cynthia Nixon , Kristin Davis , Sarah Jessica Parker , and Kim Cattrall at the 'Sex And The City' New York Premiere held at Radio City Music Hall (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
BERLIN - MAY 15: Actresses Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Catrall attend the German premiere of 'Sex And The City' at the Cinestar movie theatre on May 15, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage)
BERLIN - MAY 15: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker attends the German premiere of 'Sex And The City' at the cinestar on May 15, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
(left to right) Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker arrive for the world premiere of Sex and the City: The Movie at the Odeon West End, Leicester Square, London. (Photo by Tim Ireland - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
(L-R) Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker arriving for the UK premiere of Sex and the City 2 at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sarah Jessica Parker arriving for the UK premiere of Sex and the City 2 at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
(L-R) Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall arriving for the UK premiere of Sex and the City 2 at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kristin Davis at the aftershow party for the new film Sex And The City 2 at the Orangery in London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kristin Davis arriving for the UK premiere of Sex and the City 2 at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MARCH 18: (L-R) Actresses Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis arrive at the Warner Bros. Pictures presentation to promote their upcoming film 'Sex and the City 2' at Paris Las Vegas during ShoWest, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners on March 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steven Lawton/FilmMagic)
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