There are several words that the actress Kim Cattrall could describe when she sits in an armchair by a fireplace in a London hotel.
At 62, she is beautiful with an old-school natural glamor. She is relaxed in jeans with a Stella McCartney print and a casual blouse and, just like Samantha Jones, she remains her character in the series that made her name, Sex And The City. She is cool, costly dressed, ready and provocatively sexy at an age where women no longer have the intention to become the boss.
But for me, there's something different about Cattrall, which I last met three years ago, around the corner from her New York home. There is a sadness that is somehow detectable even when she laughs and tells funny stories about her latest movie, Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Novels, in which she plays the evil, manipulative mother of Emperor Nero, Agrippina. .
For the first time, Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall makes her appearance about the tragic loss of her younger brother to suicide
& # 39; There is a source of sadness in me, & # 39; she nods. & # 39; I am not the woman you met in New York. That was me before this terrible happened and it is after me. I am different now and I will never be the same again. & # 39;
The & # 39; terrible & # 39; what she is referring to is the death of her younger brother, Christopher, who unexpectedly died at the age of 55 in February after missing from the home in Canada he shared with his wife and seven dogs. He had put his keys, cell phone and wallet on the table and the front door was unlocked.
His death was later confirmed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who indicated that there was no reason to believe that there was anything suspicious. Previously, the actress had posted a photo of her brother on social media asking for help. She then set up a second post to thank people for their support but for privacy for the family.
Ironically, the subsequent media coverage focused largely on the spit between the sad Cattrall and her former co-star Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie in the spear-like TV series) after the Liverpool-born actress responded to a sympathetic tweet about death from her brother from Parker – with whom she has a long-running fight – told her: & You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I am writing to tell you one last time that you must stop exploiting our tragedy to restore your & # 39; cute girls & # 39; persona. & # 39;
Kim Cattrall with her brother Chris at the 2003 Emmy Awards. & # 39; No one can prepare you & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; He suffered from depression, but depression is something odd and it may be impossible to discover if someone doesn't want you to know & # 39;
We are not talking about Parker in the first instance. We're talking about Christopher. Her funny, gentle, younger brother who loved animals and who, along with his wife, Morgan, was a big part of Kim & # 39; s life. He was her date at the Emmy & # 39; s when her third marriage, with jazz bass player Mark Levinson, broke down and was a regular at her Christmas and Thanksgiving table, where her family met every year at her home on Vancouver Island.
For the first time, Cattrall explains that her brother has taken his own life. She has never talked about it before. She talks slowly, carefully chooses her words and opens up about her grief.
& # 39; No one can prepare you & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; He suffered from depression, but depression is a strange thing and it may be impossible to discover if someone doesn't want you to know.
& # 39; And I didn't know that. We (her family) did not know. And when you lose someone to commit suicide, there is always the question: "If I could only have, if I only did, if I alone …" and it haunts you. And you have to learn to live with those endless questions, the endless feelings of guilt, the endless frustrations every day because you are in a new reality and there is nothing you can do to change it.
Cattrall with her Sex And The City stands together with Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Sarah Jessica Parker
& # 39; It will destroy you. It is so hard. There is a whole process for you and everyone around you to pick up yourself every day, go from a bad day to a better day and then go back. And it goes on and on. & # 39;
She pauses to compose herself: & I lost my father (in 2012) to Alzheimer's. Intellectually, I was prepared, he suffered from a terrible state, and he was freed from that state. I thought it would be okay, but emotionally I was not prepared at all. It destroyed me and led to years of debilitating insomnia (in 2015, on the advice of her doctor, she had to withdraw from the production of a Royal Court due to lack of sleep), but it affected us all. And then this. To lose a father and a brother or sister before their time, two people who meant the world to you … and you will never see them, never hear their voice again, & she says, silently for a moment quiet.
& # 39; Christopher was a very sweet man who was silent about his needs and wishes and that's how he died. It is unbearably sad. He left behind many people who loved him. I have never been to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), but I now know the wisdom of the rule to take one every day. It is all you can do. & # 39;
I ask her how she dealt with her grief and she laughs sadly. I know that she is very close to her mother Gladys – now 90 – and her two sisters, Lisa and Cherry – as well as her British partner, the talking coach Russell Thomas. Family to Cattrall, which has no children of its own, has always been everything.
& # 39; It's hard to talk about suicide and I don't think we are very good with sadness in our society these days. But since we lost Chris, so many people have privately shared their losses with family members or friends and you realize that suicide is an epidemic. It's just that we don't talk about it. & # 39;
Kim Cattrall with Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City. & # 39; When Sex and The City started, I was 41. I felt that I was too old to be sexy; I was an ageist about myself & # 39;
In the months following his death, she was unable to work. She went looking for homes for all of Chris's seven dogs and was saddened by it. Cattrall has never been someone who could take celebrities like Reiki or crystal healing. & # 39; I achieved the worst by walking & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; I didn't feel strong enough to work. I came back to England and I walked from London to Ipswich. I then walked from Ipswich to Cromer to see my cousins, and then I went to Fife in Scotland to see friends, and I walked. I walked and walked and walked and thought about my brother, thought about where I was, thought about my feet and the land and sky. It helped. & # 39;
A few weeks after Chris & # 39; s death, she went to St Cuthbert's church in Edinburgh, lit a candle for him and her father, and had his name written in the prayer book so that he would be remembered by the priests every year. & # 39; That felt incredibly special to me & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; After we did that, we walked through the eaves of the church and through a kind of window to this cold morning in February. I felt the rain on my face and it kind of felt like I was in a light. I took a picture to remember it, to remember my brother. The Reverend (Peter Sutton) was so kind and gracious to us. And I took a souvenir to take back to Chris's wife. & # 39;
She has not felt strong enough so far to talk publicly about her loss. She was in contact with the Campaign Against Living Miserably, the leading movement against male suicide, and quietly supported the powerful installation of 84 hooded sculptures at the top of the ITV tower in London last year. & # 39; Eighty-eight men committed murder every week & # 39 ;, she says, shaking her head. & # 39; We need to understand, we need to know how we can help. & # 39;
She thinks about her brother every day. The second child of a construction engineer, Dennis and secretary, Gladys, was the adventurous who already knew at a young age that she wanted to perform. The family moved from Liverpool to Canada, but at the age of ten she returned to Liverpool to spend time with her grandmother. During this time she visited London and fell in love with the city and the theaters.
At the age of 16 she went to try her luck in New York. & # 39; Looking back now, I realized that I was alone, but I was fearless. My father supported me because he knew I was in charge, and my mother once had ambitions (to act) but she came from a different era. My father always said, "Look what you can get, kid." I would apply for theater places, fairs, sharing and people kept saying yes.
She made her film debut at Rosebud at the age of 19 and quickly appeared in others, including Porky's, Police Academy and Mannequin. She appeared on stage in Chekhov and Arthur Miller, but it was only when Cattrall hit her 40 & # 39; s that she really threw herself into the world with her rendition of the wise-cracking, sex-crazy, super PR Samantha Jones in 1998 & Sex And The City, pushing boundaries in every way – especially in what a woman was allowed to escape on television.
& # 39; There were so many times that I read my script and was speechless with fright at what Sam was going to say and – in particular – next. But in the end it was good for her and also good for me. I loved her.
& # 39; When Sex and The City started, I was 41. I felt that I was too old to be sexy; I was an ageist about myself. A woman over forty then was simply not considered vital or desirable and I did not think I could postpone it. I didn't think people would believe in her like they did. But I was absolutely wrong. Samantha has broken the fungus for the older woman. & # 39;
In Horrible Histories she again plays a very sexy, smart woman, Agrippina, who has to endure being ruled by her vain, stupid son, Nero (Craig Roberts), who is constantly trying to kill her. The film, which also shines Rupert Graves and Sir Derek Jacobi, is a hilarious romp that focuses on Nero's attempt to Celtic Queen Boudicca (played by Kate Nash) in 60 AD. Defeat.
Cattrall is stunned by the idea that there is something of her Sex and The City alpha female Samantha Jones in Agrippina. & # 39; She doesn't look like Sam at all, & # 39; she emphasizes. & # 39; She is manipulative and hard, which Sam never was. I loved Sam and I really loved Agrippina. I mean, at the time everyone was trying to poison each other, it must have been hard to be nice. & # 39;
Kim Cattrall with her brother Chris and his wife Morgan at the Emmy Awards 2003
Horrible Histories was the first film she made after the death of her brother. Why a children's movie? & # 39; In the after period, I decided that I would never do anything that would not feel nice or supportive in any way. My brother had a great sense of humor. He liked to have fun. He loved going with me to the Emmy & # 39; s. He came as my date – I bought him a tuxedo and I got a beautiful dress for his wife and we spent the night together laughing, dancing and just having fun. Everyone would come to award ceremonies – my mother, my father, my sisters, teachers that I had on the way – because they were all part of my life, all people who had supported a girl out of nowhere who wanted to be in the film.
& # 39; And I wanted to do something British. There was a very small budget, but a very big cast. One of the first days of filming, someone came to me, put his hand on me and said, "I can't imagine the weight of what you've been through." I was surprised by the friendliness of the comment. So many people find it hard to tackle these things and at that time it was just the perfect thing to say. I noticed that I only had an image of myself that I climbed a steep cliff with a weight on my back and that the weight started to drop because someone understood it. I knew that I was in the right place. We didn't have the most amount of money for costumes and sets, but that was all part of the charm and the film is incredibly funny and incredibly educational. & # 39;
Although Cattrall is now successful enough to never have to work again, she says: & # 39; I am forced to work, but now I feel that I can only do work that makes me happy. & # 39;
Kim Cattrall as Agrippina with Craig Roberts as Nero in Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans
It is impossible not to return to the subject of her feud with Parker, her co-star for more than a decade in Sex And The City, although Cattrall will not go into detail and refuses to recall too many negative memories from a point where she wants more positivity in her life. The show was about girl power and friendship, but in real life they were never friends. Parker got paid more than the rest of the cast, something that Cattrall found unfair. Six years after the show she made her feelings public and the same year – at the 2004 Emmy & # 39; s – sat away from the rest of the cast.
In 2017 there were reports of major fallouts, with Cattrall being excluded from the set and claiming that the actress made too many demands on a third Sex And The City film. Given that situation and what she has experienced with her family, I ask her if it is likely that the world will ever see another Sex and The City reunion. & # 39; Never & # 39 ;, she says. & # 39; I say no. You learn lessons in life and my lesson is to work with good people and try to make it fun. & # 39;
& # 39; Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans & # 39; is out on July 26
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