Is there life after Sex And The City? Actress Kim Cattrall is certainly giving it a go, breaking away from her infamous role as sex-obsessed Samantha Jones… to, uh, play a sex-for-tricks character in Meet Monica Velour. FilmJuice Cinema Editor David Watson interviewed the seductive star about her new film.
FilmJuice Cinema Editor David Watson interviewed Kim Cattrall (pictured here in her youth) about her new film Meet Monica Velour, out on DVD now. Here is Part Two of the interview.
Monica may just have been
one of the toughest roles Cattrall’s ever played and some scenes, particularly
the aging Monica’s strip show (when she’s heckled for her age by a group of
young jocks) have a raw honesty that’s difficult to watch.
“It was the last scene
that we shot. And I’m really glad
it was the last scene because it was the heaviest that I was. I gained 15 pounds before we started
shooting and then another 5/6 in the course of shooting…and I made a very clear
choice that she wasn’t in her body…which protected me, quite a while, through
the many different angles we had to do.
But after a while, it did seep through. And it did affect me.
And I think that, also being the last night we shot until 5 in the
moring in this place, we called it The Petting Zoo but it was an equally
horrific name…and all of the people you see there were actually dancers, you
know, no budget to get anybody, to get anybody else to come in, so there was
a…taste…a bitter taste of reality there.
And I went into my dressing room at the end of it and had a good
cry. And I think a lot of it was
just coming down from the high of what we were doing…But having that…age
rage. Hearing it…because it’s
everywhere. It’s on the
Internet…if you google someone over 50…It’s pretty horrific the things that
people say. But they say it
facelessly. Even though those kids
were acting, you know, I’m not made of stone…And it does have an effect on
you…but that’s what the film is about.
That’s why it’s a brave film.’
Like many films made by a
generation of men (Boogie Nights, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, The Amateurs) who
grew up before the Internet exploded and became the masturbator’s best friend, Meet
Monica Velour has a wistful
affection for the mythical golden era of porn and, in particular, the porn
“There’s one on Sex and
the City someone sent me. It’s
unwatchable…but you have to watch a little bit, right? I think pornography is
getting scarier. Pornography was,
you know, one size when Monica Velour was doing it and look at it now, I mean,
it’s just huge, it’s bigger than we could ever imagine. And what it does to young people like
the Toby character…the expectation of what a woman is sexually it’s just…it’s
so damaging, just so damaging! I
mean, where do you go? What are
your expectations? They’re just
For Cattrall though, there’s
definite parallels between being an actress in mainstream Hollywood and its
“I don’t see them, in
some ways as far off some young women who come to Hollywood to be
actresses. They have a dream. Maybe it’s to be a model. And they show up at an open call and
someone says: ‘Well, it’s this kind of modelling.’ And they’ve gotta pay their rent so they do it once. And then they do it twice. And then suddenly they’re getting known
for it and they’re getting paid and they have recognition…they have
respect. They have an
industry. I think some women,
Boogie Nights, you’ve seen Boogie Nights…I don’t see those women as victimised. They create a family within the
industry they have. And some women
have come out and created their own industry, making porn films for
specifically women. But this
character is a victim. She has no
education and she has no choices.
To be a porn star, you’re outside of society. I’ve been at the opening of Monica Velour, there was a
couple of porn stars there and my publicist was, like, ‘Well. That’s interesting,’ And a little
nervous about it. And I was, like,
you know, well, they’re here because they’re part of something that I
played. We gotta relax a bit about
this. And these are sophisticated
people. So you take that to sort
of rule America and what does that mean?
It means she’s like a pariah.
She can’t get a 6 buck an hour shampoo job in this town, in any
town. Because she’s labelled. Out of date. And used.
Abused, used, done. It’s
After decades of playing
dolly-birds and eye candy, Cattrall is obviously enjoying this stage of her
career and is finally getting the roles, and the respect, she deserves.
“It was not just the
deprivation of having to play these two-dimensional characters, on film in
particular, for most of my career because when I was younger, the choices I
made whether it was Porky’s Police Academy, Big Trouble in Little China, those
were all supplementing my theatre career whether I was in Los Angeles, New
York, Toronto, wherever I was.
Because I didn’t come from any kind of financial stability so my work in
television and film was supporting my (theatrically slaps arm like a smackhead
trying to find a good vein) theatre habit. And I was glad to do it and never really took it that
seriously and thought ‘Well, yes, I’m being sexualised but that’s ok, I’m
making a living at it, that’s fine, and these films are fun and I’m learning a
little bit in front of the camera.’
I was one of the last contract players at Universal Studios. I got to work with some interesting
people. But it’s not where I lived
but I just couldn’t financially get to do just do theatre ever. So now, I thought, this is the time,
this is the time to say yes to things that scare you. Which is something that Jack Lemmon said to me very early on
in my career. I said: ‘How do you
have longevity in this business?’ And he said: ‘You take risks.’
“I think that initially,
when the series (Sex and the City) ended, I was really tired and exhausted and
I really wanted to go home. And
home to me has been two places; it’s been Canada and it’s been England. Sir Peter Hall asked me to do a play in
the West End, he’d asked me to do many plays but I was never available because
of the series, so I thought I’m going to go back to what I know, which is the
theatre, I’m going to go back home where I have family and support and I’m just
going to get away from what has been my life for the last 8 years.
“And I’m so glad I did it
because it gave me a tremendous amount of support and courage and some kind
of…objectivity, of how that, how I wanted the rest of my life to be and the
kind of choices and the kind of actress I wanted to be. And where the next block of 20/30 years
my career could go. And the
feeling of if not now, when? I was
fortunate enough to do the series and financially be secure enough to make
those kind of choices as well and I’m very grateful for that. But it wasn’t easy. And I didn’t know if a lot of people
would get it or understand it or criticise it. I didn’t know if I’d succeed. But it was better than staying where I was and fortunately
it has been a terrific dive and I’ve landed on my feet, like a cat each time
but this role in particular because its on film and not just stage or
television meant a tremendous amount simply because to play a
character…different than myself but also to reinvent that character physically,
emotionally and have the role to do it.”
For now, Kim Cattrall just
seems happy to be here.
“The industry is getting
better. That a part for a woman in
her 50s like this exists…Mamma Mia exists….Sex and the City exists…It’s
better. It’s job by job. Me saying yes to this got it made. Which made me extremely happy. And if I can continue to do that, for
as long as possible, you just fan the flames.’
Meet Monica Velour Trailer
To Buy On DVD, Click Here.