Kim Cattrall reveals ‘unwanted d – – k pic’ storyline is why she quit ‘Sex’

And just like that, Kim Cattrall is opening up about the power of saying “no” — and why a “d – – k pic” storyline was the final straw when it came to passing on the third “Sex and the City” movie.

The “And Just Like That” series, Cattrall said, is “basically the third movie” of “SATC” that was never made. She felt like Samantha’s character wasn’t progressing, since reportedly in the third film she would have received unwanted “d – – k pics” from Brady, Miranda’s 14-year-old son.

“Why can’t Samantha, who owns her p.r. company — maybe she had to sell it because of financial woes? Two-thousand eight 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,” she said, critiquing the original storyline. “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.’ “

The now 65-year-old became a household name in 1998 playing publicist Samantha Jones, starring opposite Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis in the HBO hit series “Sex and the City.” But after six seasons in the career-defining role, fans of the actress were shocked when it was announced that she would be absent from the recent HBO Max series revival “And Just Like That.” And according to Cattrall, she learned of her absence from “AJLT” just like her fans did.

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

But even if she had been asked back — or would be in the future — the outcome would have been the same: “Everything in me went, ‘I’m done,’ ” she recalled of ending the second movie. “That’s a no. It’s powerful to say no. It’s a great wisdom to know when enough is enough,” Cattrall said. “I also didn’t want to compromise what the show was to me. The way forward seemed clear.”

In an exclusive interview with Variety, Kim Cattrall discusses her absence on “And Just Like That.”
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She played the iconic Samantha Jones in “SATC,” which aired for six seasons.
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The actress has no regrets over not returning to the show. “I’ve come to the conclusion that really the greatest compliment I could have as an actor is to be missed,” she continued, adding that she has yet to watch the series’ revival.

Airing from 1998 to 2004, “SATC” followed the tale of four best friends tackling the hustle and bustle of Manhattan — and everything that came with it. Dating, relationships, work, drama and, of course, sex, made the show resonate with many 20- and 30-somethings who dreamed of having the same glamorous life.

While the on-screen friendships seemed so real, Cattrall admitted their expert acting pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. When asked if she was ever friends with her “SATC” co-stars, she said it depends on “how you define ‘friends.’ “

“I think we were colleagues,” she said. “My colleagues aren’t my friends. It was professional.”

While she refuses to ever return as Samantha, Cattrall still thinks of her past character fondly.
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While it was “heartbreaking,” she said, it was also what she “wished for.” She wanted to play other roles and different characters, not just be Samantha Jones forever.

“And as difficult as it was, and as scary as it is to stand up and not be bullied by the press or the fans or whomever — to just say, ‘I’m good. I’m on this track. It was so great working with you. I so enjoyed it, but I’m over here,’ ” she said.

Yet the show goes on, even without Cattrall physically on set. In the revival, Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw exchanges texts with Samantha, who has supposedly moved to London.

Kristin Davis (from left), Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon on the set of “And Just Like That” in SoHo on July 20, 2021.
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“It’s odd, isn’t it? I don’t know how to feel about it. It’s so finite for me, so it doesn’t continue. I think I would ponder it more if I didn’t have something like ‘Queer as Folk’ or ‘How I Met Your Father,’ ” she said. “That’s kind of where I’m centered around. This feels like an echo of the past.”

While fans were desperate to see Samantha in the revival — and were subsequently disappointed when she wasn’t — Cattrall insists she was doing what’s best for her, and refused to be on a set that she didn’t want to be on.

“I haven’t deserted anybody. Can you imagine going back to a job you did 25 years ago? And the job didn’t get easier; it got more complicated in the sense of how are you going to progress with these characters?” she said. “Everything has to grow, or it dies. I felt that when the series ended, I thought that’s smart. We’re not repeating ourselves.”

But “SATC” almost didn’t even cast Cattrall, who turned down the role three times for the original series.

Kim Cattrall covered Variety’s Power of Women New York issue.
Jill Greenberg for Variety

“At 42, I really didn’t think I could pull it off. I finally said, ‘You’re making a mistake here,’ ” she confessed. Yet she appeared for all six season and two of the franchise’s movies as the sexually liberated, older friend of the iconic group.

Now, at 65, Cattrall is working on other series such as “How I Met Your Father” and “Queer Folk” — but not in the way you might remember her. While she once was comfortable on screen fully nude as Samantha — especially with sushi barely covering her body — she said she just “doesn’t want to” anymore.

“I’m in great shape. But I’m just not interested. I feel like I filled my quota on that one,” she said.

But as “And Just Like That” gears up for future seasons, no one can really fill the Samantha-sized hole. “SATC” creator Darren Star said he wasn’t expecting her to be as funny as she was on-screen, and now, the show will never be the same.

“She wasn’t interested in a TV series,” Star said. “Now it’s impossible to imagine the show without her.”