Kim Cattrall Talks Life Beyond 'Sex and the City' : 'I Don't Want to Be Nude Anymore'

The actress who played Samantha Jones says she was never asked to reprise her signature role in And Just Like That… but was happy not to take part: "Everything has to grow, or it dies"

English-Canadian actress Kim Cattrall attends the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival opening night World premiere of the HBO documentary film "The Apollo" on April 24, 2019 in New York
Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

Kim Cattrall says she was "ready" to walk away from Sex and the City years ago.

In an interview with Variety for the magazine's Power of Women issue, the actress who played sex-positive PR maven Samantha Jones said she "would never want to look back on that [character] with anything other than pride."

But after six seasons and two films, Cattrall said, "Everything in me went, 'I'm done.'"

In 2017, she turned down a script for a never-produced third Sex and the City movie — a decision that seems to have ultimately led to her not being invited to join HBO Max's reboot And Just Like That….

"I made my feelings clear after the possible third movie, so I found out about [the reboot] like everyone else did — on social media," she said.

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Not that she was entirely bothered not to revisit the iconic role.

"Can you imagine going back to a job you did 25 years ago?" she asked, adding, "And the job didn't get easier; it got more complicated in the sense of how are you going to progress with these characters?"

And Just Like That
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Cattrall confirmed that much of what was supposed to appear in the scrapped film — including the major plot points of Mr. Big's (Chris Noth) sudden death and Carrie's (Sarah Jessica Parker) mourning period — found their way into the reboot: "The series is basically the third movie. That's how creative it was."

She added that And Just Like That... "feels like an echo of the past."

And though she felt "ultimately protective" of Samantha, Cattrall said she knew it was time to step away when she realized her character was moving forward, telling Variety, "Everything has to grow, or it dies."

Even during the original series, which ran from 1998 to 2004, bringing originality to her storylines became "a b----," she said, "because I had to know my lines backwards and forwards. Because she had already been there and done all those things; she was always talking from the mount. ... I always wanted to make it as honest as possible, but also make it Samantha. I remember saying to a girlfriend of mine: 'Oh s---! I have to fall on the bed again. How am I going to do it this time? Am I going to sing opera? How am I going to make it unique?' That's how much fun I was having with it. And then when that was dampened, it was time to move on."

Put more simply: "I don't want to be nude anymore. I'm 65. I'm in great shape. But I'm just not interested. I feel like I filled my quota on that one."

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Actresses from "Sex & the City" hold Golden Globes Awards at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills 20 January, 2002. From L to R are: Kim Cattrell, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon. Parker won the Best Performance by an Actess in a Television Series-Musical/Comedy and the show for Best Television Series - Music or Comedy.

Cattrall further acknowledged she never felt intimately connected with costars Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon: "I think we were colleagues. My colleagues aren't my friends. It was professional."

She noted, "It's a great wisdom to know when enough is enough. I also didn't want to compromise what the show was to me. The way forward seemed clear."

This year, Cattrall appeared as Sophie on Hulu's How I Met Your Father, narrating the story of her younger self as played by Hilary Duff. She is also set to appear in Peacock's Queer as Folk reboot, premiere in June, and star with Robert De Niro in About My Father.

"This is exactly what I wished for: to be in different places playing different characters because I'm a character actress," she told Variety. "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."

She added, "I've come to the conclusion that really the greatest compliment I could have as an actor is to be missed."

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