PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Kim Cattrall

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Kim Cattrall
 
When theatregoers think of the cast members of TV's "Sex and the City" in terms of stage work, they probably don't consider Kim Cattrall first.
Kim Cattrall
Kim Cattrall Photo by Aubrey Reuben

After all, Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on the popular series — now made into a forthcoming movie — has deep theatre roots stretching back to the late '80s, and a Tony Award for her performance in Rabbit Hole. Sarah Jessica Parker, meanwhile, has similarly impressive bona fides, with credits as varied as The Substance of Fire, Sylvia, Annie and Once Upon a Mattress. But Cattrall, mainly known for her film and television work, has been making up for lost time lately. In the past few years, she starred in productions of Whose Life Is It Anyway? and The Cryptogram in London, and she is casting about for something to do in New York.

Playbill.com: You do a lot of stage work in London.
Kim Cattrall: I do. You know, I do a lot of work in England. The first professional play I saw was in the West End. I then went on to Stratford to see my first Shakespeare. All those years later, to come back to London as a theatregoer and be asked by Peter Hall to do a production in the West End — it was very exciting. It felt like, well, this is where it all began and it's come full circle.

Kim Cattrall in Whose Life Is It Anyway?
photo by Manuel Harlan

Playbill.com: You're talking about the production of Whose Life Is It Anyway? And soon after you did David Mamet's The Cryptogram at the Donmar Warehouse.
KC: Yes. I love that theatre. Playbill.com: What is your take on the Mamet play? A lot of people find it hard to make out.
KC: Well, I didn't understand it in the beginning. (Laughs) Thankfully, I found what the play, for me, was about. It's a very personal piece for Mamet. I did a lot of research. What he was writing about seems to be very close to his own real-life experience of his family. Not that he rose up the staircase at the end and killed himself as a young boy, but the fights and the turmoil that he grew up with as a young man is certainly in that play. I sort of found it to be an allegory for women in the 1950s, having to put up this perfect face — the perfect housewife with tea service and child and husband that comes home at a certain time. Of course, at the end of the scene, she reads the note that [the husband is] not coming home, he's run away. I felt like I started out as a Stepford wife and at the end of the play I finished as Medea. (Laughs.) The play was so brutal. It lasted only an hour, but it felt like it lasted much longer than that.

Playbill.com: There have been some teases over the years that you might perform on the New York stage, but nothing has come through. Will we ever see you here?
KC: I sure hope so. It's not for want of trying. As recently as this spring, I wanted to bring two one-acts of Harold Pinter to Manhattan Theatre Club. Unfortunately, it didn't work out at the last minute. They were The Lover and The Collection, which are now playing in the West End. Playbill.com: So it's a matter of scheduling?
KC: It seems to be. Since the series ended, I've done those two plays in London, and a film with John Boorman called "The Tiger's Tale." Then last year I did a film for British television called "My Boy Jack."

Playbill.com: Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon do quite a bit of stage work. When you were filming the movie of "Sex and the City" did you talk about theatre?
KC: Cynthia and I talk about theatre. I had not seen her since she won the Tony Award [for Rabbit Hole]. I so wish I had seen her. I had been working in London and so didn't have a chance to catch it.

Playbill.com: Was it hard or easy to get back into your role as Samatha?
KC: The first day I was actually very nervous. There were so many people on the street. We were shooting on Park Avenue. We were shooting on the east side of Park Avenue. There were people crowded on the west side of the street and in front of us and behind us, and people were screaming with excitement, and it was very thrilling, but actually a little scary.

Playbill.com: This may sound like a silly question, but you never know. Has anyone ever talked on making it into a musical? It seems they'll make anything into a musical these days.
KC: Yes, it does. You might start something there. (Laughs.)

Douglas Henshall and Kim Cattrall in <i>The Cryptogram</i>
Douglas Henshall and Kim Cattrall in The Cryptogram Photo by Tristram Kenton
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