How Instagram breakout star Leslie Jordan was almost cast in 'Sex and the City'

Don't talk to character actor Leslie Jordan about Sex and the City. It's a sensitive subject.

"Never seen it," the American Horror Story actor tells Yahoo Entertainment before explaining why. "I was up for Willie Garson's part. I thought, 'They gave that part to Willie, and not me! And he's playing a gay man, and he's straight.' And la, la, la. 'I'm not gonna watch that show.'"

Jordan laughs when he tells that story. Nevertheless, he seemed amused that a social media fan suggested him as one of the actors to replace Kim Cattrall in the upcoming sequel series, And Just Like That.

Since that audition, he's played roles on Will and Grace, Raising Hope and Desperate Housewives, but he's also become a social media star — with 5.6 million followers on Instagram — at the unlikely age of 65.

"I was in a TV show called The Cool Kids, and every time I would say something funny, all the publicity girls that were around — 'cause it was a brand new show — would say, ‘Post it, post it.’ I thought they meant those little yellow things," Jordan says. "I had no idea what they were talking about. 'Post it, post it.' And then finally, one of them said, 'Do you not have an Instagram?'"

Jordan did not, so they signed him up, but he didn't really embrace it until last year when he was bored while quarantining with family in Tennessee.

"During the pandemic, I posted twice a day for 80 days," Jordan says. "And my friend called from Tennessee and said, 'You've gone viral!' And I said, 'No, honey, I'm fine. I'm in Tennessee with my mother. I don't have the virus.'"

Leslie Jordan was excited to be a part of
Leslie Jordan was excited to be a part of "Call Me Kat." (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

In all seriousness, Jordan says that no one has ever helped him with his content: "I figured it out all myself."

Most of his videos are simply him, talking to the camera about what he's doing or thinking about at the moment. In his most popular one, he wonders aloud how many days there are in April, then was interrupted by his mother from somewhere else in the house. He hilariously yells back at her, "I'm talking to my friends, momma!"

In May, he also used his high-profile presence to talk about racial strife by temporarily handing off his account to Deesha Dyer, a Black friend who worked as a social secretary in the Obama White House.

"I said, ‘Can I give you my platform for the day? I turn it over to you, and let me just listen. Because what do I have to say that anyone would really want to hear? And it went crazy," he says. "Other celebrities started doing it, and I thought, 'Wow. That was a great idea.' I don't know how I had that idea."

On TV, Jordan is now starring alongside Mayim Bialik on the new sitcom Call Me Kat. He plays an employee at the cat cafe owned by Bialik's character, Kat.

Leslie Jordan and Mayim Bialik star in
Leslie Jordan and Mayim Bialik star in "Call Me Kat." (Photo: Lisa Rose/©Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

While it's not Sex and the City, he's truly enjoying it.

"I hope that it comes through how much fun we're having," Jordan says. "You know, I've got 30 or 40 years in the business, and I really think this is my favorite job."

Call Me Kat airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by John Santo.

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