Chris Noth has played some powerful and well-dressed characters on television - the wealthy and elusive Big on Sex and the City, Detective Mike Logan from the major case squad on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and now aspiring Illinois governor Peter Florrick on Ten's drama The Good Wife.

Yet the actor who won a legion of female fans as Carrie Bradshaw's on-again, off-again love and eventual husband in Sex and the City claims it was never part of any master plan, pointing out that Mike Logan was pretty scruffy when he initially played him in the original Law & Order back in 1990.

"My first role I ever really had was Mike Logan, he was kind of a down and dirty guy, a New York cop," says Noth by phone from his Los Angeles home.

"But I think the character in Sex and the City made such a big impression and was widely seen, so that sort of made people think I am always wearing nice clothes and going to fancy restaurants.

"It's just the luck of the draw. I don't really consciously look for them or seek a particular kind of character at all."

If Mr Big was something of a cad in the early years of Sex and the City, then Peter Florrick was an outright scoundrel in the first season of The Good Wife.

The former Cook County state's attorney was sent to jail after a corruption and sex scandal, resulting in his humiliated wife Alicia (Julianna Margulies) having to return to work as a lawyer to support herself and their two children.

Peter was eventually released, returned to his old job and this fourth season has been campaigning to become governor.

"That was the part that interested me, but I guess, they had to resolve that fast," says Noth of Peter's flawed side.

"I like the fact he was seedy and flawed, I don't know why they are trying to make him into the perfect man, so to speak.

"That's how it goes. It's all about the seediness of his past, not his present. He handles himself pretty well and has redeemed himself, I guess."

There has been talk that Peter will go all the way to the White House but Noth doesn't know what the producers have in store as the slick drama heads towards its finale in the US.

"I don't know, maybe that's one way of getting rid of me," he jokes of the role that landed him a Golden Globe nomination in 2011.

"He becomes the governor, then the president, then he has to leave the State. I don't know what their plans are, I just kind of roll with it."

Noth is also unsure about the future of Peter and Alicia, given she still seems to have feelings for her colleague Will (Josh Charles) despite sleeping with Peter.

"They keep trying to hold us together; I am not sure it works," he says.

"I don't know if the show works if we are this happy couple, then what's there to do? I feel like Peter's going to ruin it somehow, it's in his nature."

For many years Noth was described as the quintessential New York bachelor but last year the 58-year-old tied the knot with long-time partner Tara Wilson, mother of his son, Orion.

"He's sitting on my lap right now," says Noth, putting Orion on to say hello. "He's just turned five."

"I'm five-and-a-half," Orion disagrees.

"No you're not five-and-a-half, you just turned five," counters Noth, who, with his family, splits his time between the US east and west coasts.

"It's pretty much equal, I work in New York and we go back and forth, we have more of a home here," he says.

"It's more of a stable, quiet life here; it's a bit more private here in LA. I enjoy that."

Four seasons into The Good Wife and Noth is finally getting an equal number of people recognising him for that show as Sex and the City, although questions continue about whether or not there will be a third SATC movie.

"People keep asking me that and I have absolutely no idea, I really don't," he says.

"My instinct is that it's just over. Everyone has moved on except I guess a large part of the female audience," he laughs.

"I've got this movie Lovelace coming out with Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard, we have just been at Sundance with that and I have another movie, Elsa and Fred, with Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine I just finished."

A Democrat on and off screen, Noth is also an active supporter and fundraiser for the Rain Forest Action Network, which works to protect rainforests and the human rights of those living in and around those forests.

"The fingerprints of global warming are all over the place, I think it is the most devastating thing facing humanity," he says.

"It's hot as heck over there in Australia isn't it? That is just one part of it.

"If you have kids you feel you've got to somehow speak out about it."

The Good Wife airs today at 9.30pm on Ten.

The West Australian

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