When PAUL GROSS was first approached about costarring with KIM CATTRALL in the Toronto production of PRIVATE LIVES this fall, he was forced to admit that he hadn’t read the play and wasn’t really a fan of its author NOEL COWARD.

So why did he decide to join KIM when the play opens this September?

“(Director) Richard Eyre and Kim said kind of the same thing: he’s a wife beater, the character,” PAUL said Tuesday in an interview in Toronto, seated next to his glamorous giggling costar in the basement of the ROYAL ALEXANDRA THEATRE.

“I said: ‘Well, that’s immediately interesting.’ And then Kim hit me and she said: ‘We’ll foxtrot and then I’ll beat you up.‘ I said, ‘This is really worth trying.”’

“You don’t get that invitation every day, do you?” KIM replied.

Indeed, this does seem a rare opportunity for both actors.

The British Columbia raised actor hasn’t graced a Canadian stage in roughly 35 years, when she performed with MAURY CHAYKIN in a MARTIN KINCH play in Toronto.

PAUL, meanwhile, will have the chance to perform on Broadway when he and KIM bring the play to the Great White Way in November, following its Canadian run.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” said PAUL, who wrote, directed and starred in MEN WITH BROOMS and PASSCHENDAELE and who won two GEMINI AWARDS for his role in the critically acclaimed Canadian series SLINGS & ARROWS.

“I’m just very excited.”

KIM will portray the gorgeous AMANDA, a newlywed who treks off to the French Riviera for her honeymoon only to discover that the room next door is occupied by her detestable ex husband ELYOT, played by PAUL.

For what it’s worth, PAUL said he warmed to the play once he actually read it.

“I’d always had this funny thing about Coward. I don’t know — it didn’t speak to me,” commented PAUL, with KIM helping him finish his sentence.

“And then I read it and actually, there’s a lot more stuff underneath it.”

PAUL said he met KIM, who starred as the lusty publicist SAMANTHA JONES on the HBO hit SEX & THE CITY for six seasons and two blockbuster films, about a month ago at her “unbelievable apartment” in New York.

But KIM claimed that she had followed PAUL’S career since his starring turn in the 90s cross border TV hit DUE SOUTH.

“I think we’ve watched each other grow up really as actors, both being Canadians. I wanted to be an actor and I would see someone who is an actor and I’d say: ‘He’s Canadian.’ And I always said that about you: ‘He’s Canadian, you know?’ I’ve just been a fan. So when Richard Eyre suggested Paul, I thought it was the best possible idea. So I’m thrilled. Really thrilled that he’s doing this.”

Just as KIM was beginning to lavish PAUL with praise, she suddenly shouted out in pain.

“I stepped on her foot,” PAUL smiled matter of factly.

“Oh my God!” laughed KIM. “That’s not a good start.”

But the two seemed to enjoy an easy chemistry, bantering back and forth and poking fun at one another amiably.

KIM, who played the same role in a production of PRIVATE LIVES in London’s West End last year, said she thought PAUL would be perfect for the play.

“Well, he seems to be very stubborn. And very 100 per cent male. He doesn’t take well to being dictated. And I think that’s a great combination.”

“It’s funny that you would notice that all ready and we have hardly done anything together,” PAUL shot back. “I think the fighting part (of the play) is going to go great.”

“I think the loving part’s going to go really well too, because we really like each other,” KIM responded.

“So that’s a great start. I just hope we don’t kill each other by the time this is over with.”


  1. glimmer Says:

    “I said: ‘Well, that’s immediately interesting.’ And then Kim hit me and she said: ‘We’ll foxtrot and then I’ll beat you up.‘ I said, ‘This is really worth trying.”’

    You don’t get that invitation every day, do you?” KIM replied.

    and if that happened to a non actor they would say it was just like being in the movies… 😉

    that was a fun article.

  2. that was a fun article.

    I’m thrilled that it lit your fire, honey bear.

    I have a feeling that KIM and PAUL are going to make a most intriguing team. They’re having a lot of fun all ready…and that will translate easily to any audiences that see them.

    Sounds like a splendid time will be had by all…

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