Kim Cattrall: Moving beyond Samantha Jones
Published Saturday, February 26, 2011 6:17PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 13, 2012 8:51PM EST
There is one thing Kim Cattrall wants to make very clear. She is no Samantha Jones.
"I think when you play a character as strong, as iconic as (Samantha) people do feel that they know you," she said. "But I think within a very short period of time the clear delineation of who I am as Kim and who I am as Samantha is very clear and apparent."
W5 met up with Cattrall at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Toronto. The actress showed up decked out in a purple cocktail dress accessorized with a pair of white fuzzy slippers, compliments of the hotel. Samantha Jones wouldn't be caught dead wearing fuzzy slippers to meet the press. Kim Cattrall, on the other hand, waited until we were ready to roll to slip on her Manolo Blahniks.
Cattrall has been trying to move beyond her most famous character since "Sex and the City 2" hit the big screen in May, 2010.
She's been appearing on stage, transforming into many different characters, including Cleopatra in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" and Amanda in Noel Coward's "Private Lives." She will bring her portrayal of Amanda to Toronto in Fall 2011, in the Mirvish Production of "Private Lives.".
While her most famous character is legendary for her lavish spending, Cattrall herself comes from humble roots. She was born in Liverpool, England, but she and her family moved to Courtenay, B.C, when she was three months old.
"We grew up modestly, very modestly. And that was terrific for me in the sense of I think it's always kept my feet on the ground. And you know, I consider myself a blue-collar kid. I like to work hard."
That work ethic served her well from an early age. Cattrall attended the London School of Music and Drama when she was only 11-years-old. By the time she was 16 she made her way to New York where she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Cattrall thought she made it big when she returned to Canada to appear in a production at the Toronto Free Theatre and made $250 a week. Soon after, she signed a five-year contract with Universal and made three times that amount appearing in various television programs and feature films. A few years later, Cattrall landed bigger roles in hit movies like "Porky's" and "Police Academy."
In an industry where ageism is prevalent, Cattrall is an exception to the rule. In her mid-50s, she is still widely regarded as a sex symbol. But her good looks aren't all genetics, she insists she works hard at it. "I literally work my butt off" she said.
Cattrall is still trying to break down the barriers in her industry for women in their 50s and beyond. "Ageism is just infiltrating every part of our society. We're not slowing down. I mean, I'm just one example".
In her next film, "Meet Monica Velour," she plays an over-the-hill porn star. Cattrall said that the new film may prevent her from reprising her role as Samantha in a future Sex and the City 3. But, even if she never plays Samantha Jones again, Cattrall admits she still carries a bit of that character with her wherever she goes.
"I hope there's a bit of Samantha Jones in all women because I think what she stands for is a very positive way of living your life. It's very empowered."