KIM CATTRALL: THE ALLURE OF VELOUR


FROM EW

Chances are, you probably haven’t seen KIM CATTRALL’S turn on a stripper pole in MEET MONICA VELOUR.

The small independent film about a 17 year old boy’s unlikely friendship with a past her prime porn star never made it to many theatres, despite some strong reviews and a presence at TRIBECA.

“We seem to live in an era where people don’t go to movies. Movies come to people,” said KIM, who hopes that the film finds an audience on DVD. But the SEX & THE CITY star has no regrets about exposing her decidedly unglamorous side in the film.

KIM spoke to EW about her desire to continue playing real, tough American women.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What appealed to you about playing MONICA VELOUR?

KIM CATTRALL: First of all, it’s a character you don’t see very often because there’s nothing empowering and uplifting about her. She’s a narcissist and she’s in a real bind…and you see her in this very difficult time in her life where she needs to turn a page. Then she meets a young man who also needs to turn a page and then they actually help each other do it.

It reminded me very much of HAROLD & MAUDE, of two different people in two different points in this crazy world that they inhabit. For me, there were many dimensions to this character. Rarely do you see that in a film script. I’m not a personality actress. I never have been. I have been a character actress. You see it on my CV for theatre, less in film because that’s just the way film is — it’s pigeonholing.

I was pigeonholed very early on and then that expanded with SEX & THE CITY and then that was another pigeonhole. Now that is changing and evolving and I’m very happy about that because to have longevity in this business is a real challenge.

My curiosity and my appetite for evolving as an actor is one of the main components of me still working today in the business.

EW: MONICA VELOUR is far from SAMANTHA JONES, but a lot of her character’s history is defined by her sexuality. Do you want to get away from sexual roles?

KC: I’m really interested in exploring sexuality. Especially for women. Because I think that we have been mum for so long. There are so many more stories to tell. The least important thing to me was the fact that she’s an ex porn star in the sense of where her given circumstances are at the beginning, middle and end of the film.

I thought of this as a story about a mother fighting for the custody of her daughter. That made her empathetic and understandable for everything that she does. She’s not always likable and I didn’t want to play a hooker with a heart of gold. I’m bored with that.

I wanted to play a person in these circumstances and be as truthful as I possibly could. Not just with the look of it, the exterior of it, but with the guts of it. It’s scary to do and when we did the strip…and I’m 20 pounds overweight and my ass is hanging out, I’m scared.

KIM is scared and so is MONICA. In some ways, this set me free because I look like hell in it. I wanted people to see this character — not me, the character — and that’s the way she looks and that’s the way she is. Putting on the weight was glorious; taking off the weight was hellacious. That was part of the journey of it, too. To become something other than just you.

EW: With movies like BRIDESMAIDS and SEX & THE CITY, do you think there are more options for playing female characters who aren’t in their 20s?

KC: I think it’s slow. I look at SEX & THE CITY and MAMMA MIA and these movies with women in their 40s and 50s and 60s and they were big box office hits. I think that’s really encouraging, but I just encourage women to take on projects that really speak of what it is to live in America right now as a woman. That’s interesting to me.

The 3D and the fantasy and the rom com, I think we’ve had enough of it. I think we need substance and that’s why films like MEET MONICA VELOUR are important. Because they’re telling stories about American women. The rest of the world will see this film and see it as quintessentially American and hold onto it.

It really reflects where are country is now. We don’t make enough things that we value. We used to. We don’t any more. It speaks not just of women and being objectified. It speaks of sort of what’s going on in the country.

EW: I know you’re asked this all the time, but do you think we’ll see SAMANTHA in a SEX & THE CITY 3?

KC: I have to say, I really don’t think so. Maybe in a prequel. But I don’t know. I think that everybody who could make this happen in the sense of the script and directing has gone on to other things and I really wish them all the best. I had a fantastic time.

To play this character and be a part of this series that is so beloved is such a gift and I so appreciate it.

2 Responses to “KIM CATTRALL: THE ALLURE OF VELOUR”

  1. glimmer Says:

    I’m not a personality actress. I never have been. I have been a character actress

    please explain??? and you’ll love this, i had to look up what cv was…

    and I didn’t want to play a hooker with a heart of gold

    i think circa now those only exist in film….really i think that.that seems like such a cliche and unlikely now that got to be like running into someone that has a rotary phone. that obsolete???

    The 3D and the fantasy and the rom com, I think we’ve had enough of it.

    see, ms. m. it’s not just the crazy man that’s more than had enough…

  2. There are glamour actors and then there are character actors.

    A glamour actor is someone who is primarily cast for their appearance. They’re breathtaking and they resemble your stereotypical movie star. Like your quintessential leading woman or man. But they don’t generally do any (or much) of the heavy lifting. They are offered parts that aren’t very substantial and that’s what they’ll stick with. Unless of course they have more ambition or ability.

    A character actor can technically be beautiful or sexy. (As KIM most definitely is.) But they won’t use their physical gifts in every type of role. They may be gorgeous off screen but they’ll accept a part where they look like hell or that’s completely different from their usual persona. They take roles for the challenges involved and they’re capable of playing a wide variety of characters.

    It’s really the difference between being a distracting physical presence in the movies (almost like a model) and doing work that’s prestigious or provocative.

    If you’re fortunate (and that’s simply the luck of the draw), being great looking and possessing a lot of talent is the very best thing. That way you can play the glam parts and make them your own, but you also have the flair to do work that is complex and ultimately much more satisfying.

    What does personality actress mean? I haven’t heard that term used a lot. But I believe it’s similar to the glamour categorization. Not a lot of risk or depth involved. But KIM has a much better idea of that than I do.

    and you’ll love this, i had to look up what cv was…

    I do love that. That’s hysterical.

    The 3D and the fantasy and the rom com, I think we’ve had enough of it.

    see, ms. m. it’s not just the crazy man that’s more than had enough…

    I hear you, honey bear. Loud and clear…

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