Kim Cattrall

Brave and Fragile

Kim Cattrall, Yana Mandeville - HealthyLivinG Magazine

Kim Cattrall, Yana Mandeville - HealthyLivinG Magazine

Golden Globe Award winner for her role as "Samantha Jones", two Screen Actors Guild Awards winner, five Emmy Award nominee and the first half of the movies and TV series titled Sex and the City with 88 movie roles in her pocket, Kim Cattrall talks to HL's Beauty & Lifestyle Editor Yana Mandeville about mistakes, glamour, daredevil things, walking off a cliff, her new role in the Sweet Bird of Youth on the West End of London and her big appetite.

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HealthyLivinG: Kim, for the last few years you have been doing a lot of theater from Private Lives in the UK and Broadway to Anthony and Cleopatra, which can be physically exhausting-how do you stay healthy during these times?

Kim Cattrall:I have been working in the theatre since I was a little girl, so I find it gives me a lot of energy. I don't find it exhausting. I'm tired at the end of a three-hour show, but particularly the last seven years, since the series ended, I've been doing a lot of theater in the West End and here Off-Broadway, on Broadway, and readings of new plays. And to me it's really a luxurious feeling. I think what's more tiring is the filming, which is when you're doing that stop and starting. But in rehearsals it's really great. I love rehearsals. They are like getting to play and try different things, and I work with great directors. So I don't find it exhausting, I find it gives me energy. It exercises my brain. A lot of the shows like Private Lives were very physical, as was Anthony and Cleopatra, so I get a workout to. I'm working my mind, my imagination, and so I get energy from that. I think I would be more tired staying at home reading a book than I am busy and being creative in the theater.

HealthyLivinG: You are about to start a new play Sweet Bird of Youth on the West End of London–is there anything you do health wise or physically to get ready?

Kim Cattrall:Yeah, the thing about doing the play is that it really puts your body in a different cycle because usually you get up in the morning and you have your day, and as night comes, you kind of start to slow down. But for actors, and the crews in the theatre, and even for the audience for an extent... later on in the day-- that's when my day is really starting. So I try instead of having a late dinner after a show, even though I'm hungry, I'll try and make my breakfast my bigger dinner. And have a bigger lunch than a big dinner. I remember going to a nutritionist and she suggested just turning my meals around and making my bigger meal my breakfast- lunch, instead of my dinner. My dinner being something than was less heavy, so I could go to sleep and get satiated before I went on stage so I would have energy. I thought it was smart.

Kim Cattrall, Yana Mandeville - HealthyLivinG Magazine

Kim Cattrall, Yana Mandeville - HealthyLivinG Magazine

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HealthyLivinG: Do you cook yourself?

Kim Cattrall:Yes, I love to cook. I can cook something out of leftovers; I can cook something without going to the grocery store. I'm very creative as a cook. The other day I had a friend over and I hadn't had a chance to go to the grocery store and we were both hungry... I had taken some stewing meat out from the night before and thought I'd make a stew but I didn't get to it. So I just improvised and made a little pasta, chopped up a little garlic, used some dry herbs, cooked the stewing meat and then I put it in the broth so it could simmer. I had some left over vegetables from the night before, I just put them in and made almost like a pasta dish with meat. And it was really delicious. I mean I've cooked better things, but with what I had at hand, I made a nice meal and had a nice glass of wine. So yes, I can take care of myself. I've been around a lot of people for many years who cook. And I always wanted to do it by the recipe, and then I started to realize that these recipes were originally just ideas that people came up with of putting tastes together. But I think it was just a bit of nervousness about making a mistake. And I made a lot of mistakes in meals that I've made, God knows-in every part of my life. But it's just a meal, you know. You forget it the next time you sit down to eat.

HealthyLivinG: Maybe a cookbook coming up?

Kim Cattrall:God no. No, no, no. Writing books is a lonely... well you as a writer, you know. I like what I do because it's collaboration. And it is collaboration with an editor and everything. It's just that writing books is like writing a book report that never ends. And some of it is enjoyable because you get to reach an audience, but I much prefer what I do. It's more fun, for me.

HealthyLivinG: Your personality became a worldwide statement of beauty and joy in your second half of life. Which half felt better for you?

Kim Cattrall:Are you telling me it's half over? (chuckles) I prefer to call it midlife, not half my life. I think it does get better. I think society doesn't want you to believe it gets better, because maybe you buy less stuff. And the advertising world doesn't pitch to you as to the 18 to 49 or whatever. But I think one of the greatest things about getting older is the peace of mind, and I've been very fortunate to achieve a lot of things that I set out to do. So now I get to just experiment and try different things and enjoy. All the hard work that I put in in my 20s, 30s and 40s... I look back at those times and they were very productive. They went by so quickly. I think I'm savoring more and being more selective about what I do and where I go. And I think that just happens to you when you think differently about time and mortality. And I think that starts to creep in when your parents start getting older, and you “well, I’ve been having a great time and I want to have longer having a great time”. I’ve got to take care of myself, and rest. And sometimes say “no” instead of just “why not”.

HealthyLivinG: What is the most important thing that you have learned about yourself?

Kim Cattrall:I learned a lot about myself. I think one of the things I like about myself is that I feel that I'm courageous. People say, "it's just great what you're doing and what you're getting behind and its very brave of you." And to me... yes it is, but in some ways I don't really have a choice, and I like that part of me that feels that. Sometimes it terrifies me, but I seem to be strong enough, at least until now, to take on these roles, these challenges that I set for myself. And that makes me feel really alive, and I feel things intensely when I'm up against those odds. And I don't think its like a dare devil thing because I have a net of a director, and a theatre, and a play and great actors. But there is that feeling of walking off a cliff that I think performers have of never really knowing how its gonna go. And you feel like you're on the stage and there's a tremendous amount of community, and family, and feeling that you are together as part of something. So I think that I like that about myself. I like that I still want that and need that and I still welcome it, as scary and as frightening as it can be.

HealthyLivinG: Do you think healthy living is glamorous?

Kim Cattrall:I don't understand what glamorous means. Glamorous to me is, I don't know... its something that's outside, what people think of you, I guess. I just don't know whether I'm glamorous, I just know whether I feel good. And I feel good when I feel like myself, when it's authentically me. That's when I feel confident, I'm not trying to be anybody else, or be a character that I've played, that I am effectively myself. I think that's when I feel happy, its when I feel... I don't know if glamorous is the word but I feel content, and I feel good. And I think that's when I look my best, and perform my best, and I'm at peace when I feel that I'm myself. And being myself is taking care of myself, and I like to do that. So I guess it does go hand in hand in that, in my understanding of it.

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HealthyLivinG: What do you have in common with Samantha?

Kim Cattrall:We look very much alike. But she is a character in a TV series, and it was a really beautifully drawn character the way it was written, and I had a ball playing her. But I'm not like Samantha. She bounces back in a way that only exists in the movies or on TV. And I don't think people bounce back like that. She has an indomitable spirit. She is the fun and the bubbles and the champagne and the laughter and the extravagance and the craziness and the fabulousness of especially the time that we made the series in. But I live in the real world, where there's a lot more fragility, and heartbreak, and REAL joy, and not just the joy of a sexual conquest, the joys that a character like Samantha could never envision, which is commitment-she has a very hard time committing to anyone other than herself. I don't have that problem.

Kim Cattrall, Yana Mandeville - HealthyLivinG Magazine

Kim Cattrall, Yana Mandeville - HealthyLivinG Magazine

HealthyLivinG: Can you share a critical health moment in your life?

Kim Cattrall:I've been incredibly healthy my whole life. I think that I went through all kinds of issues as a teenager, with hormones, and my monthlies, and regulating that. Hormonally it was always very difficult. I have a low-producing thyroid, which I take a synthetic hormone for. And that was a big clue for me in my forties that my energy levels had changed. I guess that was the most critical health moment.

HealthyLivinG: There are many women over 40 who look and feel like a withered flower, which is so unlike you. Any words for them?

Kim Cattrall:Withered flower sounds very depressed and sad, doesn't it?! What has always meant so much to me and supported me are my girlfriends. And I think that's what was so great about a show like Sex and the City was that it brought women together so they don't feel so alone. It's really important for us to have human contact. And it doesn't mean just with your kids, or your maid, or your colleagues. It means your own girlfriends; you know who ARE on weightwatchers, who ARE going through a divorce, or a death. We need that kind of connection. And I think women who feel like wallflowers, what they are lacking is support, I would encourage them to reach out to their girlfriends. Families are sometimes very difficult to do that with. But I find my girlfriends are a great resource for touch and base with realities of what you're going through. You know, you grow up together and you have a history. I think that will make you feel less of a withered anything.

Yana Mandeville, Kim Cattrall Brave and Fragile Starring in Sex and The City

Yana Mandeville, Kim Cattrall Brave and Fragile Starring in Sex and The City

HealthyLivinG: What is a healthy relationship?

Kim Cattrall:Well I think showing up is very important. And investing. It’s making that commitment. A friend of mine got married recently, and they made up their own vows. His vow was “I will always put you first,” and her vow was “I will always put us first.” And I thought she is a smart girl. But I think it’s that feeling in a relationship, especially with your partner, is to put “us” first. And that’s something that’s harder to do as we get older, because of children and relatives. But I think that’s what true love is. It’s putting that person as a priority in your life, and recognizing that the other person feels the same way.

HealthyLivinG: They say we are as unwell as our secrets. What secret can you reveal to us that most people do not know?

Kim Cattrall:I think it's complicated in my profession, because I believe that people really want you to embody a fantasy of what they have grown to know you as. And I'm not saying that I can't have fun, and I'm not saying I can't be as witty as Samantha, and savvy as Samantha. Yes, I can be. So I don't think its so much a secret, but I think because film and television especially are very powerful mediums, they plant and germinate ideas of especially who someone is. And I guess the secret is that I am just a girl. I'm a girl who's probably as nervous and as scared as you are. Even more so, sometimes. That I am vulnerable and that I cry and I laugh too. But I'm a girl, as well as being a woman. And it doesn't make me a less strong woman. It makes me, I think, just more of a person to recognize that I am also a girl.

Yana Mandeville, Kim Cattrall Brave and Fragile Starring as Samantha Jones

Yana Mandeville, Kim Cattrall Brave and Fragile Starring as Samantha Jones

HealthyLivinG: What is a burning wish you missed to fulfill in your life?

Kim Cattrall:I would like to live in Italy. I think there's something about Italy that draws me in a profound way that I'm not really sure why. The visits that I've had there have been magical. I feel that way about London too. I think it's a magical city. But there's something about the beauty of Venice, with Amalfi Coast, the Capri. It's my imagination. It's in my consciousness of being something extraordinary, and I'm drawn to it.

HealthyLivinG: Your eating philosophy? You said once that you've been dieting your entire life. Any plans to ever stop?

Kim Cattrall:Diet is just a plan of eating. It doesn't mean starving yourself. I've never starved myself. I like myself too much to starve myself. But yes, I have to diet because I have a big appetite. When I was coming up everybody was on the Atkins diet. Dieting used to be just not eating pie or dessert. There's so much more information about living longer and what you should or shouldn't eat. So yes, I'm on a diet! As we speak I'm on a diet. But it doesn't mean I don't eat a hamburger, or French fries. I balance everything. Somebody once said to me "the greatest knowledge is to know when enough is enough." And I know when I've had enough to eat. Your body and your mind tell you a lot of these things. I think a lot of us don't listen to it, don't follow that. Some people call it your conscience. But my conscience is about protecting me, not about abusing me.

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HealthyLivinG: If you had one health tip for women, what would it be?

Kim Cattrall:I think you should relax more. Don't take everything so seriously. I think there's a lot behind that. Like this play, I wanted to do well. I'm so excited about working with Marianne Elliott and the actors that she's assembled. And also working at The Old Vic. It's a dream of mine. But ultimately, you know, it's a play, and its not cancer, and I will come through it, and enjoy it and all of those things. But I think we tend to put too much on succeeding or failing, instead of learning. So I think we should be better to ourselves, be kinder to ourselves.

HealthyLivinG: If I gave you a giraffe would you take it home?

Kim Cattrall:No (chuckles). I can barely take care of a cat. Giraffes are very gentle sweet creatures but... I think that giraffes belong together and I don't happen to be a giraffe.

Kim can be seen in Sweet Bird of Youth June 1- August 31st
Old Vic Theatre, London

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