SATC’s Kim Cattrall on how Hollywood ageism cut short her acting career

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Kayleigh Dray
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Kim Cattrall, as Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones, was never afraid to speak her mind when it came to misogyny and women’s issues. And, in real life, the talented actor has addressed sexist and outdated attitudes in Hollywood – revealing she’s even changed her career direction as a result.

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show, the 60-year-old explained that she has, like so many other women in the spotlight, seen her career affected by pervasive ageism in the film industry.

“I’m not ready to play someone who is grotesque, either from being thought as a very, very older woman at 60 – which I'm not and I don’t feel that way!” she announced.

“60 now is different to my mother’s 60 and I’ve had the advantage of working out and educating myself further and working on so many things that have challenged me mentally and physically. 

“They have demanded me to be much more youthful... and I'm not ready for that.”

Cattrall went on to reveal that she no longer feels able to rely on agents to find intriguing, complex, and empowering characters for her to play. As such, she’s decided to step behind the camera and take on the role of executive producer instead.

“I just feel like there are very few roles to begin with, [they tend to be] in the category of someone who is wanting to be young in a very desperate way or someone who has given up,” she said.

“And that's why I don’t depend on Hollywood for jobs anymore, that’s why I became an executive producer.”

Cattrall’s co-star, Cynthia Nixon (who, of course, played Miranda Hobbs in SATC) also addressed Hollywood ageism a few months ago – although she had quite a different take on it.

The 50-year-old – who has children Samantha, 20, and Charles, 14, with ex-husband Danny Mozes, and Max, six, with wife Christine Marinoni – said: “I am supposed to be of an age where I've raised my children already – the fact I haven't isn't nature's fault, it was my decision.

“But even though I'm still in the mommy space [with young children], being no longer fertile means I am not offered roles that are to do with being a mother, which is freeing.”

Nixon went on to explain that, while some roles have been closed off to her as a result of Hollywood ageism, it has – on the whole – proven to be a positive thing. Particularly because the role of a “non-mother” in productions is “far more complicated and interesting”.

She said: “Being someone's mother in real life is wonderful but, in dramatic terms, non-mother roles are far more complicated and interesting.”

Former co-star Kristin Davis, similarly, say her film career has flourished as she has grown older.

The 52-year-old said that she used to believe she had to achieve her career ambitions while in her 20s – although she credits this almost entirely to her time as Charlotte York Goldenblatt.

“I don't think any of us would have had this kind of career at this age if it hadn't been for the larger thing Sex and the City turned out to be, culturally,” she said.

“I do feel incredibly lucky.”

Images: Rex Features