The actor, 62, marveled at being tapped for nude roles in middle age during Tuesday's episode of Interval Presents' Yeah, I F---ed That Up podcast, but revealed that the risque scenes ultimately helped him become better at his craft.
"It is weird that I started being called upon to do sex scenes, kiss women, and take off my clothes from 40 years on," he said. "What's that about? My inner dynamo was finally recognized."
According to Handler, playing Harry, a divorce attorney and husband of Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) on the HBO dramedy, "altered things tremendously."
"They did a really clever thing in making a storyline for Kristin Davis that she comes upon the kind of guy she's always thought she's wanted in a package that doesn't fit her preconceived idea of what her man should be," he said.
Given the character description he initially read ("I think the character description was, 'Harry Goldenblatt is overbearing and unattractive'"), Handler was surprised to later receive scripts where his character is naked.
"Sex and the City was the first time I get a script — I'd already been doing some episodes — that [says], 'Scene 1: Harry naked, Harry naked, Harry naked,'" he recalled. "I had never done that before."
Max Evan Handler and Kristin Davis on 'And Just Like That'
Naturally, he was nervous.
"I don't even know the logistics of it," Handler explained. "I don't know how it's done. I don't know how it's handled. I don't know anything at that point about the little flesh-colored socks you tape on your crotch. You know, like privacy patches. The wardrobe department comes to you with a tray [and asks], 'Would you like to use this, this, this, or this?' There's literally one called the cock sock, which you put over your dick and tie in a knot.
"Now things have changed," he continued, citing the introduction of intimacy coordinators on set. "Most of my sex stuff was before that," Handler said, calling his previous experiences "completely uncomfortable."
Then came his role as Charlie Runkle, a Hollywood agent with a penchant for masturbating at work, on Californication.
"I gotta say, the work on Californication made me so much of a better actor than I ever was before because I had to push through inhibitions," Handler shared. "It went from me being absolutely terrified of that night of [filming] the masturbation montage to, 'Okay, I need to come up with three fictional orgasms today. What would make it funny? How can I do this, how can I do that?'"
Handler reprised his role as Harry in the SATC revival And Just Like That, which recently received a season 3 renewal ahead of the season 2 finale on Thursday. Kim Cattrall, who did not return as Samantha Jones, is set to make her highly-anticipated cameo in the finale.
Listen to Handler's podcast interview above.