Last week, I got a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and by golly, I took it!
Billed A Conversation with Kim Cattrall, this was, in actuality, an hour-long Inside the Actor’s Studio-like interview of Kim with Jerry Wasserman, head of the Theatre Department at UBC.
Jerry started out by welcoming the Courtenay-born, BC native back home, they talked a little about her home life, growing up on Vancovuer Island. She then talked about her professional training at both RADA and AMDA, and her brief career (and first professional Equity gig) in lunch theatre, here in Vancouver. She said it never occurred to her to not work here–she was from here, why would she want to leave?
Finding work was challenging, however, so her path eventually took her to Toronto. While working in theatre in Toronto, she was offered a seven-year contract at one of the big film studios. Feeling like she needed to learn more about film acting, she saw this opportunity as an apprenticeship (and thought it would get her back to New York, where she had a close circle of friends). Instead, the studio sent her to LA, but Jaimie Lee Curtis was there to show her the ropes.
And when it came to Sex and the City, she turned down the role of Samantha Jones several times. She said the part scared her. But then she remembered a conversation she had once had with Jack Lemmon, who said he always took roles that scared him–that meant there was learning in that role. She said they all knew that the show was going to be magic from the first read-through.
She spoke about her three books and the documentary she has made, all on the topic of sexuality. She regaled us with ‘backstage stories’ of plays she’s been in, and encouraged us to “take care of yourselves and eat good food.” She also encouraged the audience, primarily made up of students from the UBC Theatre and Film departments, to “listen to your gut.”
For me, there was one thing she said that I took away and prized above all others. An audience member asked her if she thought that there were starting to be better roles for women, and especially women ‘of a certain age’ out there. And she simply replied: “that’s why I started my own production company.”
Oh–and it looks good for a sequel to the Sex and the City movie.
You can listen to the entire conversation with Kim Cattrall and Jerry Wasserman here.