The Shady Side Of Kim Cattrall

The world fell in love with Kim Cattrall’s portrayal of the sassy and sexually liberated Samantha Jones on HBO’s Sex and the City and the two subsequent feature films. Born in Liverpool, England and raised in Canada before moving to the U.S. as a teen, Cattrall really hit the movie scene in the 1980s with roles in such classic films as Mannequin and Porky’s. But it really wasn’t until Cattrall’s part as the savvy and always on New York publicist Samantha that she really became a household name in the entertainment world.

At times, it’s even been hard for fans to separate the iconic character from the actor herself. During an interview at the Whistler Film Festival in 2014, where she was honored as a Tribute Honoree, Cattrall spoke about how she was once on a beach in Australia, when a woman ran up to her while yelling, “Samantha!” That’s some major worldwide star recognition right there. Not to mention, she also took home multiple awards for her best-known performance, such as the Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in 2003.

Even though Cattrall gained a sense of star power from the beloved character, things weren’t always shiny Christian Louboutins and quaint lunches on New York City sidewalks — especially with her SATC co-stars. Let’s discover the shady side of Kim Cattrall by uncovering what really went on behind the scenes and beyond.

Kim Cattrall 'wasn't into' playing the iconic Samantha Jones at first

For those who are super fans of the popular HBO show, the role of Samantha Jones might just seem like the most fun any actor could have. But according to Cosmopolitan, who sat down with the casting directors of Sex and the City, Russell Gray and Ellie Kanner, to dish on some casting secrets, Kim Cattrall actually said no to the role fives times. It took some convincing along the way because, per Kanner, “She wasn’t into it.” Pretty baffling stuff. 

It turns out that Lou Thornton, per Glamour, was initially cast as Samantha prior to Cattrall finally committing to the part. As Gray recounted to Cosmopolitan, “It was funny, it was kind of ironically humorous. She was the first person on our list for Samantha and she’s the last person cast in the role. It was a long period of time.”

Of course, Cattrall ended up loving playing Samantha and is proud of the impact she’s had on other TV roles for women, even telling The Guardian that she “went past the finish line” in the series because of this. That said, she did appear to have some very slight criticism for the SATC lead characters while speaking with CinemaBlend in 2011. While Cattrall didn’t believe these ladies were all sparkle and no substance, she did claim that “people blow [those characters] up,” in part because they could “hide behind” their “great fashion statement[s]” and the appeal of “bright lights” and the “big city.”

She's clearly not a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker

Let’s just say that even though Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones were about as close as they come on Sex and the City, that doesn’t necessarily translate to real-life friendships. During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Kim Cattrall spoke of her co-stars on the HBO series and told Morgan that they’d “never been friends,” but merely “colleagues.” When speaking about how those involved with SATC, “specifically Sarah Jessica Parker,” treated her when there was talk of a possible third film on the horizon, she claimed that they “could have been nicer.” 

On the other side of things, Sarah Jessica Parker told People that there was “no fight” between the two former co-stars, as they shared an “amazing” experience together. When Cattrall’s brother died in 2018, and she shared the news on Instagram, SJP commented with her condolences: “Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xx.” However, Cattrall made headlines when she posted an Instagram response, in which she tagged Parker, stated that she didn’t “need [her] love and support at this tragic time,” and even called her “cruel” and a “hypocrite,” hoping to make it “VERY clear” that she does not consider her “family” or even a “friend.” Well, then.

After something like that is made public, there is really no room left for wondering how Cattrall feels about her former Sex and the City co-star.

Kim Cattrall's demands for more money affected the SATC franchise

Speaking of co-stars who couldn’t stand each other, even if the fuel for that fire is one-sided, sometimes that can translate to disputes concerning money and paychecks, as well.

According to E!, during a visit to Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Kim Cattrall spoke about how, back when HBO’s Sex and the City was coming to an end, she demanded a pay raise from $350,000 to $1 million an episode, should the series continue on. “I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City,” she explained. “When they didn’t seem keen on that, I thought it was time to move on.” 

While no one can blame Cattrall for wanting to get paid the big bucks, E! noted that Sarah Jessica Parker, who played main character Carrie Bradshaw, received the much larger paycheck Cattrall was after because she was also an executive producer of the show. Funnily enough, when The Telegraph asked Parker about Cattrall’s continued quest for more pay during contract negotiations for the first movie, she stated that Cattrall “mentioned money and no one should vilify her for it” as she “respect[ed]” and “support[ed] her choice” to exit the show and delay the movie. 

It seems as though SJP took the high road once again, even when Cattrall had a list of demands for the show that skyrocketed her career. 

She reportedly didn't celebrate alongside her SATC co-stars at the Emmys

For those who find themselves starring on hit television shows, particularly the series that do well during awards season, those sorts of swanky affairs tend to be great cause for lots of celebration among the cast and crew. 

But according to the New York Post (via the Evening Standard), Kim Cattrall was reportedly not on speaking terms with any of her Sex and the City co-stars during 2004 Emmy Awards ceremony. Sarah Jessica Parker did give her a kiss when the former took home the award for lead actress in a comedy, but it was supposedly all “staged.” The outlet also notes that Cattrall made only a “brief appearance” at HBO’s after party, but apparently exited the ceremony nearly “in tears” after being allegedly “snubbed” by her co-stars. This was all amid reports that tensions could have been high between the women, as Cattrall was the only one not to sign on for the first SATC film yet due to the abovementioned contract negotiations.

In 2018, Cattrall’s SATC co-star, Kristin Davis (a.k.a. Charlotte York), posted an “Emmy flashback” pic to her Instagram page, which featured herself, SJP, and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes) — and with no Kim Cattrall in sight. Part of the caption cited that this night was filled with “super happy memories,” as Davis noted that the stars were all “so incredibly lucky to get to do what [they] do.” Hmm… perhaps Davis was making a statement with this apparent snub?

The third SATC film didn't happen, and Kim Cattrall may be to blame

Even though some people thought that Sex and the City 2 was a bit of a flop, it was still super successful at the box office, as it grossed over $290 million worldwide (per Box Office Mojo). So, it kind of went without saying that a lot of people thought the women would return for a third film, as well. 

But in September 2017, the Daily Mail exclusively reported that “just weeks before [the] movie was set to start filming,” it was allegedly “torpedoed by Kim [Cattrall]” and her “demands” — one of them being that Cattrall wanted Warner Bros. “to produce [other] movies she had in development or she wouldn’t sign on.” The outlet also claimed that “everyone was looking forward to making [the] movie,” but Cattrall “kept stalling” and was “unavailable.” 

Cattrall responded to the claims on Twitter: “The only ‘DEMAND’ I ever made was that I didn’t want to do a 3rd film….& that was back in 2016.” Revealing to Piers Morgan (via Elle) that this was “a clear decision, an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another,” Cattrall later told The Guardian that “it was a blessing in so many ways but after the second movie I’d had enough.”

When Extra caught up with Sarah Jessica Parker in 2017, she confirmed that she was “disappointed” to say that SATC 3 was officially “over,” especially since fans had been “so vocal in wanting another movie.” 

Kim Cattrall will not reprise her role as Samantha on the HBO reboot series

In January 2021, Sarah Jessica Parker took to Instagram to announce that HBO Max would premiere a reboot series of Sex and the City, entitled And Just Like That. However, followers quickly noticed that SJP had only tagged co-stars Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon in her post, leaving a glaring gap in the shape of one Kim Cattrall. When fans tried to turn up the heat and leave comments that suggested the duo don’t like one another, Parker was quick to dismiss those rumors by commenting back (via Us Weekly), “No. I don’t dislike her. I’ve never said that. Never would. Samantha isn’t a part of this story, but she will always be a part of us.”

Shortly before the official announcement of the reboot series was made, Cattrall had made an appearance on the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast in December 2020. On it, she explained (via ET) that “it was a lot of fun” to do SATC and that “being in new territory is always exciting,” but that she felt “lucky enough to have the choice” to “walk away” and say no to doing any more movies in the franchise and, seemingly, its reboot.

Upon speaking with HBO Max chief content officer, Casey Bloys, TV Line confirmed that certain absences in the upcoming limited series would establish that sometimes “people leave” and “friendships fade,” but fans of the original series were understandably still upset that Cattrall decided not to return.

She reportedly 'infuriated' Leonard Nimoy by taking nude photos on a Star Trek set

In addition to being well known as Samantha Jones on Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall has been acting in some capacity since the 1970s, appearing in everything from hit television series and popular films to theatre productions on both sides of the pond.

However, one role that majorly differed from her six-season stint on SATC was that of Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris in the 1991 film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Complete with the pointed Vulcan ears, the classic red costume, and a communicator badge, Cattrall even had some scenes alongside Star Trek heavyweight Leonard Nimoy, who actually penned the script for the film. No big deal.

But according to The Herald, there was an alleged on-set incident, which was said to have just “infuriat[ed]” Nimoy. Yikes. Rumor has it that, as her time of filming Star Trek VI neared its end, Cattrall “had a photographer shoot a roll of film on the Enterprise bridge set, in which she wore nothing but her Vulcan ears.” That certainly wouldn’t leave much to the imagination! It’s perhaps not the best of impressions to leave when making a guest appearance in a long-running and successful franchise — though it almost sounds like something Samantha Jones would do, doesn’t it? 

Kim Cattrall attributed her divorce to her successful SATC days

Perhaps one of the reasons why fans of Sex and the City have so fondly mistaken Kim Cattrall for her on-screen character, Samantha Jones, is due to the fact that similarly to her onscreen counterpart, Cattrall never had children. In a piece written for Oprah.com, the actor opened up about her “Aha! moment” and discussed how she thought about having children for a long time and even took some steps toward trying — but in the end, she decided she “wasn’t ready to take that step into motherhood.”  

Of course, there’s nothing shady about that decision at all. But during her headline-making interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories in 2017, she had a bit of a different outlook on why she never became a parent. Looking back on her “19 hour days” while shooting SATC, which often started at “4:45 a.m. and would go to one or two in the morning,” Cattrall realized that having such a hectic work schedule in television ultimately made her realize, “I don’t think this is going to happen.”

Cattrall later appeared to blame her time on SATC as a big reason for why her third marriage to Mark Levinson came to an end. “It cost me my marriage, because I was never home,” she claimed to News.com.au. Noting that she was “spending more time with my Sex and the City family than I did with my real family,” she added, “My husband got lonely and upset and competitive, and it was really difficult.”

She's spoken fondly of working with controversial director Roman Polanski

Amid the ever-prevalent #MeToo movement, especially within the entertainment industry, it doesn’t go unnoticed when stars show their support for controversial figures who’ve allegedly abused women, or even experienced legal troubles from such claims.

Take famed director Roman Polanski, for instance, who’s been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, including some who were underage at the time of the alleged incidents (via The New York Times). After Kim Cattrall starred in Polanski’s 2010 film, The Ghost Writer, she told The Guardian that she had zero reservations about the two collaborating, as she wasn’t “working with him in any other capacity than as a film-maker.” 

During an interview with Reuters around this time, Cattrall spoke about meeting Polanski for the first time, revealing she “liked him immediately” as she found him to have a “quirky sense of humor” — meaning they “got along really well.” When she was asked about his 2009 arrest related to “an old child sex charge” that occurred prior to the film’s theatrical release, Cattrall stated, “I thought it would be a shame if his movie didn’t get finished. We all put so much into it.” 

That’s certainly an interesting perspective on everything that unfolded there — and it hasn’t exactly aged well. In 2018, when The Guardian name-checked and reached out to multiple actors who’ve worked with Polanski since his first arrest in 1977, Cattrall appeared to be among the majority who refused the outlet’s request to speak on record.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN.org for additional resources.

Could Jason Lewis be Team SJP rather than Team Cattrall?

In case you need some reminding, Kim Cattrall’s character on Sex and the City, Samantha Jones, rarely had the same man in her life for more than a handful of episodes — that is, until Jerry “Smith” Jerrod (played by actor Jason Lewis) came onto the scene early on in Season 6. He was one of Samantha’s few long-term relationships — besides Richard Wright, but who liked him? — and he even appeared in both of the series’ subsequent films. 

You’d think that after sharing most of his screen time with Cattrall, Lewis would take her side rather than Sarah Jessica Parker’s, right? But in 2018, when the alleged ongoing feud between SJP and Cattrall came up while Lewis appeared on KTLA, he responded by simply saying with a laugh, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Still, going on to state that Parker “was always just so lovely and such a consummate professional,” Lewis noted that, “People should remember their graciousness and the things that have been given to them, and I’m gonna stop there.” However, he then (somewhat reluctantly) agreed that he was on Team SJP. Well, then. 

Those are some pointed words — making it seem as though Cattrall may have burnt some bridges with her male SATC co-stars, as well.

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