Chris Noth Talks Honoring Kelsey Grammer & If He'd Return to 'Law & Order' Universe

Scott Fishman
Q&A Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

The North Fork TV Festival has grown exponentially heading into its fourth year, presenting a unique platform for independent creators to showcase their projects. And this year is no exception, with two days of panels, screenings and other events planned Oct. 4-5 at the Greenport Theatre in Greenport, NY.

Highlights include Constance Wu receiving the Ambassador to the Arts Award and Chris Noth presenting Kelsey Grammer with the 2019 Canopy Award. Noth, a former recipient, is looking forward to returning to the festival and supporting its efforts.

“I think they are doing is extremely important. North Fork does a great job celebrating what television has evolved into,” he said. “You saw at the Emmys; TV is doing some of the most exciting work right now. TV is tackling important subject matters and reaching bigger audiences in different ways compared to how they’ve done so in the past. That’s where something like North Fork can be tremendously useful to bring this kind of material to the public.”

Before heading to the festival, the veteran actor known for everything from Law & Order to Sex and the City to The Good Wife sat down for some TV Q&A.

First off, congratulations on the upcoming second child. What’s going through your mind right now with that news?

Chris Noth: You don’t want to know [Laughs]. Let’s just say I’m doing pushups. It’s a blessing. I’m also well aware that at my age it may not be easy, but we’ve had a beloved nanny who has been with us for years. I know it’s a boy. I’m happy about that.

You’re going back to the North Fork TV Festival. What do you think makes this event stand out?

First of all, North Fork is such a gorgeous town. It’s great, because you get to meet people in the industry you may not have ever met before and see new works. To go to readings and some screenings. It’s an exciting time for TV. I think North Fork is part of that landscape. It’s bringing the kind of work that is reflects with what is happening today. It’s a very rich time. During the Emmys I was so happy Fleabag won so many awards. I think it’s such a brilliant show.

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You’re presenting Kelsey Grammer with the Canopy Award, which you were presented with in 2017. What does it mean for you to help honor him at the festival?

We’ve crossed paths before and are relatively the same age. We’ve been working different kinds of TV. What’s impressive about Kelsey when looking at his bio was, he has this tremendous amount of work that he has done that maybe nobody has even heard of. I’m interested in his early years at Juilliard and when he was starting out and what his ideas were about the business. He was a masterful comedian on both his shows [Cheers and Frasier], which were both hugely popular. This was a time when we’re going from just four channels to the cable world that was just in its infancy. He is also prolific as a producer and in his movie career and as a theater actor. He has an all-around impressive resume.

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You mention comedy. I know you had a guest spot on Catastrophe. Are you looking to do more comedy roles?

I had an extraordinary and amazing time doing Catastrophe. Yeah, I do love comedy. I even tried my best to bring a little comedy to Law & Order. But I did do Sex and the City, which is a funny show by the way. I have done comedy. I’ve done levels of comedy. I think Sex and the City has one of the funniest takes between men and women out there.

When you get writing like you do on Catastrophe, it’s like a sailboat having the winds blowing in your sail. You just ride it and don’t get in its way. I enjoyed my experience. I love doing it. I’m actually off to do another episode of Doctor Who, which I did also over there. I seem to be getting work more in Great Britain. That show has some really funny elements also.

You also did Gone. Will that series be returning?

No. Gone is gone.

SEX AND THE CITY - Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth

HBO

When it comes Law & Order, would you ever return to that universe? Maybe before SVU’s record-setting run ends?  

Not really. I think I’ve done it. Unless they did a miniseries with the old crew. I doubt that. I remember a few years ago [Dick] Wolf called me up about doing a special episode of the original tying into some kind of anniversary. It never happened, and I never thought about it after. I have no desire to do a procedural show at all. Having done Law & Order, I can’t really watch any Law & Order. I got my fill. I can’t watch any of those procedural shows.

I find procedurals and how they tie things end up is kind of facile. I’ve done it. I know how hard it is for the actors. I admire anyone that stays with it that long. I only lasted five years. It’s a tough acting job because it’s much more dependent on plot-oriented stories and characters. It’s hard work actually, and I applaud all those actors who do it.

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A couple of days ago, Sarah Jessica Parker mentioned in an interview she would still be open to doing more episodes based around Sex and the City. What are your thoughts on this continuing if it ever happened?

If she did it, I would do it. I would only do it if I were not going to die. I think that’s what the other movie was going to be. I’m not interested in dying on that show.

The 2019 North Fork TV Festival takes place October 4 and 5.