Kim Cattrall talks to JMU Journalism

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Kim Cattrall as Cleopatra © Trinity Mirror

Hollywood actress Kim Cattrall, best known for playing man-eater Samantha Jones in Sex and the City, has been back in her home town to take on an entirely different acting challenge.

Kim, who was born on Merseyside but moved to Canada as a baby, has been starring in the Shakespeare production Antony and Cleopatra at the Liverpool Playhouse, and she gave an exclusive interview to
JMU Journalism as the run came to an end this week.

The star, who currently resides in America, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by LJMU in the summer, which she describes as “a very proud day for me and my family”. Cattrall is an accomplished stage and screen actress, though it was a TV appearance that reconnected her with her Liverpool roots.

Searching for her grandfather in the BBC series ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ unearthed the painful truth that he was a bigamist, and Kim told JMU Journalism of that experience, along with her feelings about the city as she prepared to bid farewell.

JMU Journalism: How have you found your role in Antony and Cleopatra and what has the experience been like being back home in Liverpool?

Kim Cattrall: A great pleasure and a joy and a terrific challenge. Cleopatra is one of the toughest roles Shakespeare wrote. I was fortunate to have a great director in Janet Suzman, who played the role brilliantly with the RSC in the 1970s.

Where are your favourite places to go in Liverpool… what do you like best about here?

The Albert Dock. Liverpool is home to me. It’s where all my relatives are from on both sides. I have a great affection for this, my birth city, and its people.

What did you make of the atmosphere when you went to the Liverpool v Chelsea game?

I have never experienced such a charged atmosphere as at that match. I only wish I could have been in the Kop singing with the fans and passing the Liver Bird flag. It was a ‘Red’ letter day that I will never forget. I can’t wait to see Steven Gerrard play again.

How do you think your life might have turned out if you hadn’t moved to Canada?

I would have grown up with family all around me. Aunties, cousins, uncles, grandparents… it would
have been a constant for me and my siblings. That’s something I missed growing up and would have
liked to experience.

You are most well known as Samantha Jones in ‘Sex and in the City’. Has that offered more positives than negatives for you, and which role have you most enjoyed in your whole career?

My favourite role is the one I’m playing. Playing Samantha and being part of that series was nothing but a positive experience. I’ll continue to work and play different characters. I think people believe they know what you do, or sometimes think they know who you are, when playing one character over a long period of time. That perception is slowly changing as I continue to challenge myself and take on different roles.

What was the experience of appearing on the BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ like?

Doing that programme was one of the more difficult 10 days of my life but was so worth it. I discovered relatives and began friendships with some really lovely people. It was uncomfortable knowing such a painful truth but my family were strong and we became closer because of it.

Have your feelings towards Liverpool changed now that you have spent so much more time here?

So much has changed for the better in Liverpool since ’08. I miss some of the neighbourhoods I knew but the heart of this great city has remained intact.

About Helen Dodd, Managing Editor