How ‘Sex and the City’ Helped Kim Cattrall Overcome Ageism

Kim Cattrall is fabulous in her role as Samantha Jones on Sex and the City. But before she agreed to play the sex-loving PR woman, she turned down the offer for the part. Several times. In fact, it took multiple attempts for the producers of the HBO series to convince Cattrall to take on the role. But eventually, she gave in, and it was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall attend the 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall attend the 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Kim Cattrall turned down the role of Samantha Jones on ‘Sex and the City’

Cattrall admits that she turned down the role of Samantha Jones several times, despite the producers begging her to reconsider. From her perspective, she felt as though she was too old to play such a promiscuous role. According to the book Sex and the City and Us, Cattrall felt like she was “over the hill.”

But the series’ producers convinced her otherwise, promising Cattrall that she was practically destined to play Samantha.

Fortunately, she agreed to the part that would end up turning her life around.

“When I was first sent the script, I thought I was too old for Samantha,” she said in an interview with Marie Claire. “Then I picked up the book, by Candace Bushnell,” says Cattrall, referring to the book on which the series is based. “I read about half of it, and I literally threw it across the room. It was such a distressing scenario. Most of the girls were hard to connect to, and the guys were all jerks. I was dating at the time, so it was the last thing I wanted to hear or read.”

But after receiving a final call from the producer, she was finally persuaded into taking on the role.

It ended up changing her entire worldview on aging for the better.

How ‘Sex and the City’ helped Kim Cattrall deal with her own sense of ageism in Hollywood

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According to Cattrall, she dealt with her own issues regarding ageism while working in the entertainment industry. But fortunately, playing Samantha helped Cattrall be more accepting of her age.

“(Samantha Jones) helped me get through my 40s because when I started the show, I was 41,” Cattrall tells the Boston Herald.

“You know they always accuse Hollywood of ageism, but I found that I was doing that to myself. Because I was really questioning if I could indeed play a woman who was that sexual. I’m not kidding you.”

Cattrall continued, adding, “People started to look differently because of shows like Sex and the City about 40. Now to have one of your main characters at the end of a big Hollywood movie say, ‘I’m 50, and I’m fabulous,’ it really gives me a lot of hope for the next decade.”

The HBO actor is done playing Samantha Jones

Despite how much Samantha helped Cattrall overcome her issues with ageism, she feels as though she has already crossed the finish line with her beloved character. Now, she believes that someone else should be offered the role of Samantha.

“I played it past the finish line and then some, and I loved it, and another actress should play it,” she tells BBC. “Maybe they could make it an African-American Samantha Jones or a Hispanic Samantha Jones, or bring in another character.”