May 11th, 2011
05:55 PM ET
If Kim Cattrall brings to mind a certain "Sex and the City" siren with her new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter campaign, it's not exactly a coincidence.
"It has a wink and a nod to a character I'm known for, but in a slightly different set of circumstances," the actress formerly known as Samantha Jones tells Marquee.
Working with both a stylist and a director from her hit HBO series, Cattrall shot the commercials—titled "Mussels," "French Toast," "Dish" and "Naughty & Nice"—over the course of four days in Argentina ("The people were lovely; the wine was amazing!" she says). Clad in a slinky yellow robe by luxe French label Lanvin, the star is sexier than ever—though she insists that looking this good doesn't necessarily come easy.
"I have literally been on a diet since 1976," says Cattrall, who maintains her weight with the help of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (naturally!), a personal trainer, strong aerobics, and long strolls in New York City. "There's a lot of eye candy in the stores to look at," she tells Marquee, then adds with a sly laugh, "There's a lot of eye candy, period, to look at!"
Cattrall was required to lose her sleek physique to play a faded porn star in the recent dramedy "Meet Monica Velour," and she says it was a pleasure to pack on the pounds. "It was a Get Out of Jail card," she says of her food freedom. "It was fantastic! And it's where my body naturally wants to go. It was shocking how quickly I put [the weight] on. Shocking!"
The role also called for Cattrall to be lit harshly so that the camera caught every line on her face. Though she 'fesses up to having Botox injected in the crease between her eyes, Cattrall is "terrified" of going under the knife and is taking steps to ensure that her age and aversion to surgery won't impact her career.
"There aren't a lot of great roles [for women]," she says. "But as you get older, they get more and more scarce—as my mother says, like hen's teeth. That's why I have a production company. I don’t want to take on projects that do not, in one way or another, help women or empower women or tell a woman's story that's never been told."
Cattrall has been doing plenty of story-telling post-"Sex and the City" with roles in Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," the BBC miniseries "Any Human Heart," and an English production of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra." She also isn't ruling out revisiting Samantha, if as Sarah Jessica Parker hopes, a third "Sex and the City" film is made five years from now. Where might Ms. Jones be by then? "Oh God, I have no idea," says Cattrall. "I know where I'd be—approaching 60!"
She believes a third film should only be made if there is a great story to tell and not just for the sake of cashing in at the box office. "When that happens it's just about money making," she says, "and it takes the heart out of a show that had tremendous heart and a message for women."
Cattrall is equally opinionated about the rumored "Sex and the City" prequel, which may star Blake Lively as a college-age Carrie Bradshaw. Who would make the perfect 20-something Samantha?
"Michelle Williams," Cattrall tells Marquee. "It would be interesting to see her doing something kind of crazy like this. She's so subtle and detailed and nuanced. Just a beautiful actress. It would be interesting to see her do something quite, quite different!"
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