Kim Cattrall graces the cover of Variety for its Power of Women issue. (Photography by Jill Greenberg for Variety)
In true Samantha Jones form, Kim Cattrall is holding nothing back about her post-Sex and the City life.
As part of Variety’s Power of Women cover story, Cattrall, 65, spoke at length about what really happened behind the scenes of her hit HBO show, if she’ll ever return to the role and where she sees the franchise going.
“I turned it down three times,” she said of her role as Samantha Jones in the original HBO series. “I didn’t think I could do it. At 42, I really didn’t think I could pull it off. I finally said, ‘You’re making a mistake here.’ We did the pilot — it was good but it wasn’t there. And then it started to find its way.”
She continued, “I realized, because I’d never done a series before, the more you play the character, like in theater, the more you add to it and change. I remember one day, a laugh came out, and I thought, ‘Holy s***, that’s great. Sam just got a new laugh.'”
The actress, who made it abundantly clear in interviews that she was done playing Samantha after famously turning down a script for the third Sex and the City film, explained in more detail why she walked away from the franchise.
“It’s a great wisdom to know when enough is enough,” said Cattrall, who has yet to watch the show’s revival, And Just Like That…. “I also didn’t want to compromise what the show was to me. The way forward seemed clear.”
“I haven’t deserted anybody,” she explained. “Can you imagine going back to a job you did 25 years ago? And the job didn’t get easier; it got more complicated in the sense of how are you going to progress with these characters? Everything has to grow, or it dies. I felt that when the series ended, I thought that’s smart. We’re not repeating ourselves. And then the movie to end all the loose ends. And then there’s another movie. And then there’s another movie?”
Now starring in two TV reboots: Queer as Folk and How I Met Your Father, Cattrall said another reason why she didn’t want to do a third SATC film was that she felt Samantha’s storyline wasn’t progressing.
“I would have preferred for all of us to have some kind of event to warrant a third film,” she explained. “That didn’t happen. But also, I was ready. And this is exactly what I wished for: to be in different places playing different characters because I’m a character actress. And as difficult as it was, and as scary as it is to stand up and not be bullied by the press or the fans or whomever — to just say, I’m good. I’m on this track. It was so great working with you. I so enjoyed it, but I’m over here.”
Of course, Cattrall and SATC co-star Sarah Jessica Parker made headlines following the film’s sequel, when reports surfaced that Parker said she wouldn’t be OK with Cattrall joining And Just Like That…
“Well, it would never happen anyway,” Cattrall told Variety. “So nobody has to worry about that.” Still, the actress said it’s “odd” that the show would continue without her — especially since her character was so integral to the success of the show.
“I don’t know how to feel about it,” she said. “It’s so finite for me, so it doesn’t continue. I think I would ponder it more if I didn’t have something like Queer as Folk or How I Met Your Father. That’s kind of where I’m centered around. This feels like an echo of the past. Other than the really wonderful feeling of — it’s rare in my business — people wanting more, especially at 65. That feels powerful, that I’ve left something behind that I’m so proud of. I loved her. I loved her so, so, so much. It’s tough competition. The original show is in all of our imaginations. But for me, it feels clean.”
Now, Cattrall is looking ahead.
“I’d like to do my own sitcom,” she said. “I think that would be a lot of fun with an audience — playing a woman my own age. I have a very specific idea of what I want to do.”
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