Kim Cattrall Addresses 'And Just Like That' Absence

Kim Cattrall Addresses 'And Just Like That' Absence

by Hedy Phillips

Though viewers were understandably disappointed when Kim Cattrall made it clear that she’d be sitting out the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That, plenty weren’t too surprised. It’s a well-known "secret" that there was plenty of drama behind the scenes between Cattrall, who played Samantha on the series, and the other women — in particular Sarah Jessica Parker. There’s been so much hubbub surrounding Cattrall’s absence from AJLT, and now she’s finally sharing her side of the story.

In a new interview with Variety, Cattrall said the reboot was a total surprise to her. “I was never asked to be part of the reboot,” she said. “I made my feelings clear after the possible third movie, so I found out about it like everyone else did — on social media.”

After two Sex and the City movies, there was discussion of a third film, but Cattrall put her foot down. She told Piers Morgan in 2017 that she’d declined a third movie and ripped apart all the stories of the cast being friendly. She claimed she, Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis had “never been friends.” She also called out the rumors that her diva behavior was why a third film wasn’t happening. "This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker," she told Morgan. "I think she could've been nicer. I really think she could've been nicer. I don't know what her issue is."

Prior to this, rumors had been swirling almost since the show premiered in 1998 that the cast members weren't exactly best friends. But despite on-set reportsover the years, the women maintained their story that they all were tight with each other. Well, until they didn’t. Cattrall was the one to pull away from everyone else, even calling Parker “cruel” in 2018 and saying she exploited her brother’s death.

All of their ongoing drama certainly factored into Cattrall having no part in AJLT, but even without all that, it seems pretty clear that Cattrall wouldn’t have wanted to be a part of the reboot. She even told Variety that the show is essentially what was outlined for the third movie — though in the movie, Samantha was supposed to get unsolicited dick pics from Miranda’s (Nixon's) teenage son. A storyline Cattrall calls “heartbreaking.”

Don’t get it twisted, though — Cattrall loved Samantha. She just felt like her story was done, which is why she didn’t want to keep playing the character. But if her story did continue, Cattrall had some ideas for what she’d hoped for. “Why can’t Samantha, who owns her PR company — maybe she had to sell it because of financial woes? 2008 was tough. Some people are still recovering. She had to sell it to some guy who’s wearing a hoodie, and that’s the dilemma she has. I mean that’s a scenario that was kind of off the top of one of my reps’ heads, and I thought that’s a great idea. That’s a conflict,” she said.

After making the second movie, though, Cattrall said she felt totally done with Sex and the City as a whole. Returning later just didn’t make sense to her. “Can you imagine going back to a job you did 25 years ago?” she asked. “And the job didn’t get easier; it got more complicated in the sense of how are you going to progress with these characters? Everything has to grow, or it dies. I felt that when the series ended, I thought that’s smart. We’re not repeating ourselves. And then the movie to end all the loose ends. And then there’s another movie. And then there’s another movie?”

And as for any inkling of a possibility that Samantha may eventually turn up in AJLT, you can throw the idea out the window. Not only did Parker make it clear that she doesn’t really want Cattrall there on the HBO Max show, but Cattrall doesn’t want to be there either. “Well, it would never happen anyway. So nobody has to worry about that,” she said of her possible return, adding, “It’s powerful to say no.”

In the spirit of transparency, Cattrall admitted she hasn’t seen any of AJLT, though she’s heard bits and pieces about the story, particularly how her character is kept alive. In the reboot, Samantha has left New York to go to London, but she lives on in the form of text messages throughout the show. While it doesn’t feel very Samantha-esque, Cattrall likes that her character would be so missed that she absolutely had to be included in the show, even without her. “That feels powerful, that I’ve left something behind that I’m so proud of,” she said of Samantha. “I loved her. I loved her so, so, so much.”

Not even her love of the character, though, will bring her back to the franchise. She’s moved on from her SATC days — acknowledging that she and the rest of the women were colleagues, but not friends — and doesn’t want to look backward, only forward. Samantha’s story is done.

Photo via Getty/ Ron Galella, Ltd./ Ron Galella Collection