Kim Cattrall Goes It Alone

Sex and the City is history. So is husband number three. Kim Cattrall talks about moving beyond Samantha — and into the middle of her brand-new bed.

By Meryl Gordon
Photo Courtesy: Bravo

Single AgainOne night recently, when Kim Cattrall was getting ready to go to sleep, she had one of those small but startling revelations of the newly divorced. "I finally realized that I didn’t need to keep sleeping on the right side of the bed," she says. "I could sleep in the middle, because no one else was there!" Rather than feeling distressed, she was delighted to contemplate what might take place in that queen-sized realm in the future. "Claiming that space was fundamental to luxuriating in the fact that this was my life," she says. "In my 20s and 30s, I was a serial monogamist. But now, in my late 40s, I’m going to swing, in the sense that I’m going to lead my life in a way I never have before."Given the free-spirited, sex-crazed character she played on Sex and the City, it’s only fitting to begin a story about Kim Cattrall in her bedroom. It’s just one of the stops on the tour of her new Park Avenue apartment, elegantly decorated in ’40s movie-queen style. The bedroom is all girl: mirrored bureaus, pink walls, and an ornately carved white wooden bed, topped with white and pink pillowcases. Her cat, Kobi, is snoozing on the coverlet. "When I told a girlfriend that my bedroom was going to be pink, she said, ‘You must be planning to stay single for a long time,’" says the thrice-married Cattrall, with the mischievous smile of a woman who has a lot of living to do. "Yes, I am!"On this overcast afternoon, workmen are hammering away in the half-furnished apartment. Cattrall, awaiting the delivery of her new couch, is in a cheerfully reflective mood — outrageously funny one moment, achingly vulnerable the next. Clearly, she’s a woman at a turning point, struggling to work out the next chapters of her life and career; it’s a motif that runs through our several conversations in different locales. "Kim is not jaded; she’s much more intellectual than the character she played," says Jeffrey Locker, her lawyer and platonic friend. "She’s worked since she was 17, and she’s not afraid to try new things."And she’s a woman who believes in the occasional grand gesture. To mark two finales on and offstage last year — the end of Sex and the City, and her divorce, after five years of marriage, from jazz musician and sound-system specialist Mark Levinson (with whom she wrote Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm) — she got rid of most of her possessions, selling, donating to charity, or giving to friends most of her furniture and jewelry. She has no television in her new home; she’d rather read or watch DVDs on a projection screen. Cattrall, 48, insists that the process of cleaning house was cathartic. "I just wanted to start fresh," she says.Two of the most notable possessions that went out the door were gifts from men: the eye-catching gold-and-amber ring from Levinson that she wore on Sex, and a white lacquered wood-and-leather bed frame she designed with her second husband, German architect Andreas Lyson. "I didn’t want to bring anything here that was a huge legacy of what my life had been," she says. "I would rather be in limbo than hold on to what was."Character ChangeCattrall is taking the same attitude toward her career. Instead of adhering to her sex-siren image, she’s taking on roles that allow her to play radically different characters. She seems out to prove that as an actress she can be provocative and, yes, chaste at the same time. In the upcoming Disney movie Ice Princess, she plays a repressed ice-skating coach who has channeled all her ambition into her daughter. "No man, no sex, no nudity," she says. "I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics between mothers and daughters, and success and drive. This turns into a power struggle." Cattrall, who performed in theater early in her career, is returning to the stage in London this winter in a revival of Whose Life Is It Anyway?, directed by Sir Peter Hall; she plays a woman paralyzed in an accident who seeks the right to die. After twisting herself into sexual pretzel-like positions for Sex, she will now be unable to move onstage for several hours a night. "I took it because it’s the antithesis of what I’ve been doing."She is unapologetic about nixing the movie version of Sex and the City, much to the dismay of her fellow cast members.

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