Kim Cattrall stars in the romantic comedy Sex and the City, as Samantha, a sex-crazed woman approaching the age of 50, who can't commit to an truly intimate relationship with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, her friends, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), have problems of their own, none of which will be revealed in this synopsis. Kim Cattrall has previously acted in Ice Princess, Masquerade, Midnight Crossing Mannequin, Big Trouble in Little China, Turk 182!, Porky's and, of course, the HBO series "Sex and the City". I had a real privilege to interview the sexy and wise Kim Cattrall.
New Line Cinema releases Sex and the City on May 30th, 2008.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How did you first get into acting?
KC: When I was about 10 years old, I did a play. I played a cold germ infecting a whole classroom full of kids. [Laughs] It was called “Piffle is only a Sniffle.” I only had a big feather that I was tickling under their noise and I had wings on the back. I thought I was so hot. [Laughs] Then I did musical festivals and competitions. I did very well. In ’68, I went with my mom to England on a family visit and my great aunt was a teacher and I stayed and did these exams. My parents were kind of outstanded because I was a good student, I wasn't exceptional, I had a lot of friends, I was a bit of a geek, not really a popular girl or anything. I kind of hit upon acting and I just couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to go to the community theater, to watch movies, to read about actors, acting and plays. They got excited by the fact that I was channeled in one area or another, because my sister was in a more academic route where she didn't know what to do. They were incredibly supportive and one thing seemed to lead to another. For a period of time my family became my cheering section. They would drive all the way across the country to see a play I was doing in Toronto, where I did the Rocky Horror Picture Show and played Janet. They had never seen a show like that. It kind of opened up the family to a whole new experience--not just for me and what I was doing, but for the world and to travel and it's continued to be that way.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How has your looks affect your film career?
KC: I was trained as a theater actress, so for me when I was signed to a universal contract all I really wanted to do was get in front of a camera. It was a rep situation for me. So I was basically playing victim of the week: one week I was raped, the next week I was blind and one week I was shunned. It was always these women in peril. Then I did a film called Porky's and then I became the sex kitten and then that didn't work for a while. [Laughs] Then I started playing girlfriends, best friends, and then kooky aunts. Then this came along. I would always take projects to feed my theater habit. I was one of the few actors in Hollywood who would continue to do plays because I was on contract and couldn't leave. I thought of it as a right of passage. I couldn't make enough money to live off of theater. I did it, I survived. It's funny, as an actor, you say if I could just join equity, if I could just get an agent, if I could just get Screen Actors Guild, if I could just get a good part. It seems where ever your career is there, is always another tier that you're going for. This has been such a peak in everyway because the writers knew who they were writing for [and] the actors knew the characters so well. It's like anything in life; the more you do it, the better you get at it, the deeper the experience.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of feelings did you have while watching Sex and the City on the big screen for the first time?
KC: This has been ten years out of our lives and we've put so much into it. The bar was so freaking high when we left and I always thought, “Can we match it? Are there stories that still need to be told?” I'm so glad [writer/director] Michael [Patrick King] came up with the script. He took these four characters and brought them together in a seamless way. I sat there at the screening with five people, it was freezing cold in the room, and I was so nervous. You do the scenes that you’re in and you hope they’re good and then you see what was made of the rest of the movie. That's the most exciting part of it because you've just been concentrating in your own little world. That's the tough thing about movies: you don't get the whole flow of it, you just do your bit. When the music started [along with] the credits, it's just chilling.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you feel about Samantha turning 50?
KC: I think that's never been done before. I'm really proud to be part of something that allows that to happen. In the series Samantha always lied about her ago she never said what her age was and here you see her at the beginning of the film, she's given up her home city, she's given up her business, she's starting all over again, as a sign of faith to be monogamous to this man. I said at the end of the series, "I don't know if this is going to last." You can try to be somebody else but ultimately you can't do it, you just can't do it.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Do you, like Samantha, often think about your looks?
KC: I'm a real woman, [so] of course I do. That's what's great about doing a show where you feel so confident about the hands that you're in. John Thomas shot the television show for six and half years and he lit us all beautifully. I felt so safe; could I do what she does as Kim? No
NYC MOVIE GURU: How did you train for the physically revealing moments?
KC: I work out. I grew up in a generation where woman did work out. I mean Jane Fonda was one of my heroes. It's always been a part of my life, so I can withstand a nineteen hour day and look good to work in my profession. I was doing a program for PBS, “My Boy Jack”, where I was playing a woman from 1914 to 1918. So, I went from these really high collars to high heels within a two week break. I didn't have a lot of time to work out, for me it's about dieting; it's more about what I eat then exercising.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Where does Samantha find her sexual openness?
KC: I think she has a tremendous amount of confidence. She is a little bit older then the others so she comes from little more experience. I think she has lived a very full life. The fearlessness about her is what makes her so attractive. She doesn't care if it's the wrong color [or] if it's taboo. It's a waste of her time. She doesn't sweat the small stuff; she just lets it go. Her vulnerability shows when it's intimacy. She can't really deal with that. She can't get down in that way. I think she has, what comes with age, is that knowledge of self.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What is it about these four friends that the audience can connect to so well?
KC: I remember Jenny Bicks, one of the terrific writers of the TV show, said that she felt the four women really represented a complete woman. Four aspects that are strong drives in any woman [are]: contemplativeness, sexuality, fear, and aggression. We are supposed to be such good girls all time and we are just as vital and alive as any man is in all of those areas. We just have to go about it in a different way. All four of them are archetypes. I think that's why they resound with an audience.