Today: February 24, 2024

Actress Kim Cattrall Part One

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.

Part One

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.

“When I read the script, my agent said ’You’re not going to want to do this because it’s about sex again,’ Well, I don’t think it’s really about sex, I think this is a feminist film…This is about sexualisation and marginalisation. But it’s not about sex.”

A feminist film? Hmmm… I’m not sure I agree with Kim Cattrall that her new movie, Meet Monica Velour, is a feminist film but, this being my first A-List celeb interview, I’m not in a hurry to antagonise the subject. I’m one of a dozen or so jaded hacks who’ve gathered in an anonymous London hotel room to shower the star of Sex and the City with questions like some sort of journalistic bukkake.

This is apt given the plot of Meet Monica Velour; a heart-warming tale of a porn-obsessed 17-year old mouth-breathing geek who travels halfway across America to see his favourite star of ‘80s grumble flicks, strip in a dingy club in the Midwest. It’s as if Napolean Dynamite woke up one day and became a horny stalker. The film is slight, a gently funny character comedy, but Cattrall’s enthusiasm for the film is seductive.

“I rehearsed this like I did a play. I met with Keith (Barker, writer/director of Meet Monica Velour) who used to write for a film magazine, I went online, listened to some of his interviews and I thought he was really smart because he’s written this amazing script, first time off. And it’s a great part for a woman. Who writes a great part for a woman in her 50s? Nobody. Especially a first-time director. I met with him and we talked about a lot of different things and I said: ‘I want to get a rehearsal room.’ And he said: ‘There’s no money,’ I said: ‘I’ll pay for it, I don’t care. We need to rehearse this because this is not a job I can just show up and do.’”

As the titular Monica, Cattrall dominates the film, delivering her best performance in years, obviously relishing lines like “You screw a few hundred guys, and the whole world turns against you,” and “You wouldn’t be the first guy to drive me out to the woods and try to kill me.”

“This was such a departure. I kind of had to go away and rehearse it, like, bit by bit. The voice. What does the voice sound like? No, that’s not right. It’s lower. My voice goes up, her voice goes down. It’s huskier. Let’s put her in the mid-West. She smokes, she drinks, she does a lot of drugs. ‘Who do you know that’s got that kind of voice?’ Keith says: ‘There’s this woman. She used to work with me at this production company.’ I spend time with her. This woman is now a masseuse! So she massaged me for weeks on end. And it was not a good massage. But I was just paying her $250 just to listen to her speak, just to hear her cadence. And to get to these kind of details on film, it’s truly a privilege.

“I was never out of character, I was Monica, I was saying things and doing things I never would do as Kim. Having a couple of drinks after work, I would never do that, never, I don’t even like to drink that much but it was kinda like I needed to come down from it. It was so effortless…I didn’t feel like, oh, here comes that big emotional scene I have to do, I didn’t feel that…It was just another day way with Monica.

“There’s a jazz metaphor called ‘scatting’ (very different from the sexual practice of ‘scatting’ beloved by German pornographers)…I felt like I was scatting…I couldn’t do any wrong, it was all fitting into place so beautifully. And the thing that I love about this work that I’ve been able to do in the film is that it unfolds in such a subtle way…There’s no heart of gold, she’s not completely likable…Which is very unusual for an American film, to have an antihero, a female antihero, it’s just, basically, unheard of…And to get away with it…To make it work, it’s really exciting. It’s breaking boundaries for women as well. And this whole marginalisation thing which I’m fighting, most of us are fighting as we get older…whatever profession we are in, also comes into play.”

Cattrall bulked up for her role as faded porn star Monica Velour. Not a lot, maybe 20 pounds. Hardly a transformation of Charlize Theron or De Niro-esque proportions. 20 pounds is just enough to make the taut, toned, glamorous Cattrall look heavier. Older. Normal. Like a trailer-trash single mom. And that’s somehow braver. Monica Velour isn’t a showy “Look at me, look at me,” Oscar-friendly role but, for Cattrall, it was a liberating experience to let it all hang out.

“It was fantastic! I have a huge appetite, so to be that 20 pounds extra was heaven. I loved eating and putting it on. I savoured every bit of it! Wonderful meals…crap meals…McDonalds…chips…just whatever I wanted. Gaining the weight,…just how that made me feel physically

“Keith said: ‘I see her as, like, this Catholic schoolgirl who’s protecting herself ‘cause she’s got a lot of wounds, inside and out.’ So this whole character…and working with the costume designer and then working with this wonderful woman, Julie Atlas Muz, who is a burlesque performer in underground New York, she did the strip for us, she choreographed the strip for us…just spending time with her and looking at her body and how she works with it. And doing the strip itself, all of these things…grabbing my stomach…and feeling fat and human and dirty…Without that kind of prep, I couldn’t have done this role.

“There’s actors who show up and do the same role over and over again and I consider those movie stars but, I think, this is an acting job, this is a real acting job.”

Meet Monica Velour Trailer

To Buy On DVD, Click Here.

Part Two of the interview.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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