Kim Cattrall is finally talking about her And Just Like That... cameo.
During an appearance on Wednesday's The View, the actress, who portrayed Samantha Jones on the original HBO Sex and the City series and the two movies, opened up about her big return. Despite a long-running feud with series star and executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker, Cattrall is making a cameo in the Max show's Season 2 finale — and revealed what led her to say yes.
"Well, it's very interesting to get a call from the head of HBO saying, 'What can we do?'" Cattrall recounted, referring to Casey Bloys, who is chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content. "I went: 'Hmmm...,'" Cattrall said with a big grin. "'Let me get creative.'"
.@KimCattrall speaks on her scene in the new season of 'And Just Like That...' where she reprises her iconic role as Samantha and tells @TheView: "It's very interesting to get a call from the head of HBO saying, 'What can we do?'" https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/Sam3mX9b81
— The View (@TheView) June 28, 2023
She continued, "One of those things was to get [former SATC costume designer Patricia] Field back. I just thought: If I'm going to come back, I got to come back with that kind of Samantha style. I got to push it — and we did."
Cattrall didn't mention her co-star or their drama and was tight-lipped on storyline. However, we do know that the return of Samantha won't be a big, hug-it-out reunion with Parker's Carrie and the other leading ladies, Cynthia Nixon as Miranda and Kristin Davis as Charlotte. When news of Cattrall's cameo first broke on June 1, Variety reported the actress shot her dialogue "without seeing or speaking with" the series stars or showrunner Michael Patrick King. She reportedly taped in a "garage" on March 22 in New York City.
Samantha, who moved to London, will be seen having a phone conversation with Carrie. In Season 1, it was explained that the long-time friends had a falling out when Carrie fired Samantha as her publicist, a plot created in the wake of Cattrall declaring herself "done" with the franchise and saying she had a "toxic relationship" with Parker. As the season progressed, Carrie texted with an off-screen Samantha, teeing up a possible reconciliation — though that sounds like a very far off outcome due to the stars' real-life history.
#TeamKim, #TeamSJP — it's been a messy decade for the famed fictional friend group from NYC, who wooed viewers with their candid conversations about love, sex and friendship, over cosmos and in Manolos, beginning 25 years ago. We take a look back at how things went from friendly to feuding — up through the surprise development of Cattrall's brief return...
June 6, 1998: Sex and the City debuts. The ground-breaking series, an adaptation of Candace Bushnell's newspaper column and book, about the friendship between the strong women — Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda — becomes a huge hit for HBO, and part of the cultural lexicon. Parker has the starring role and executive produces the series, but the three other actresses gain major star power.
There are Emmys — and SATC tours and gawkers outside Carrie's brownstone to this day. However, with a show centered around four women, along with it comes a tabloid narrative of feuding between the stars.
February 22, 2004: The show ends its six-season run with many bedmates and bonding moments for the ladies along the way.
Early chatter about a feature film gets killed by Cattrall's publicist, who says, "She would have loved to have done the movie and she made a deal to do the movie. But she waited as long as possible with no script or start date and felt she had to take other offers that were presented to her after the hold period had passed."
Cattrall sits apart from the others at the Emmy Awards.
Cattrall addresses rumors that pay parity was behind the series ending and the movie being killed. "I felt after six years, it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City," she says on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. "When they didn’t seem keen on that, I thought it was time to move on." However, she left the door open: "If the deal was right and the script was fabulous, absolutely I would."
2007: After years of on and off talks about a feature film, it is greenlit and starts shooting.
Parker says, "We've had ridiculous obstacles. It's been very upsetting at times — we've gotten so close and then fallen apart. But there's something about the experience that makes it much sweeter to ... arrive on the set and just be doing it. We wanted it so much."
Cattrall is blamed for holding up the production over financial negotiations. She later tells the Advocate she wasn't jealous of Parker's higher salary: "I never expected to be paid what Sarah was being paid. Sarah's a producer. But I felt that the offer was not worthy of what the three of us had contributed, and I spoke up about it."
2008: Sex and the City the movie comes out and is a big hit.
While promoting the film, the women talk about the feud rumors. Cattrall, with her trademark candor, says, "It's no use saying the four of us are best friends — because we're not... But it felt like no time had passed when we met up again." She adds that a "hard negotiation" played out but it was lucrative, saying, "it had to be enough to get us all together again." Parker tells the same outlet, "Why would you think that things were tense between Kim and me? People keep asking why we didn't make this movie four years ago and the answer is quite simple — it just didn't feel right for Kim to do it then. It was disappointing but we all had to respect the choice she made. We certainly didn't want to make it with another actress, because we're like family now... I wanted Kim to be there, and to be happy to be there... Would I, as a producer of the movie, have made it without her? No.'"
A second film is confirmed. Parker later says she and King envision three films total: "Michael Patrick and I long ago talked about the movie and how we'd break it up into three acts. So the first movie being the first act, the second being the second act, and that ... there is a third story."
2009: Sex and the City 2 is in production. Things look cordial on the set with Parker and Cattrall photographed sharing a hug.
Months later, Cattrall supports Parker at her premiere for Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Parker tells Elle, "I don't think anybody wants to believe that I love Kim. I adore her. I wouldn't have done the movie without her."
2010: Cattrall agrees with Parker's take, saying, "I think Sarah was right: People don’t want to believe that we get on. They have too much invested in the idea of two strong, successful women fighting with each other. It makes for juicy gossip and copy. The truth of us being friends and getting along and happily doing our jobs together is nowhere near as newsworthy. I think Sarah is fantastic. She is a born leader and she guides the crew and the cast in such a strong but gentle way. She and I are sick of this. It's exhausting talking about it, and a real bore. Next?"
Parker tells Marie Claire, "When you're on set, you're working 90-hour weeks, you're never home, you're exhausted. There are times when all of us have been sensitive, and sometimes feelings get hurt. But I don't have any regrets about how I've treated people." Cattrall adds, "The chemistry among the four of us is very strong."
Sex and the City 2 is released and it doesn't get as good of a reception.
Chris Noth, who played Big (pre-misconduct allegations), says, "The franchise is dead. The press killed it," due to the bad reviews. He later adds, "I thought a lot of the reviews were actually personal, derogatory and in bad taste. It was only a movie for godsakes! ... They made like we had killed somebody's mother making that movie. I don't think there will be another one." Parker remains optimistic, "You never know... It's less about the reviewers than it is about the audience, and they've been pretty true."
2011: Nonetheless, a Sex and the City 3 doesn't materialize.
Cattrall say it's "doubtful" there will be a third film. She also expresses disappointment over pay, saying, "Originally I was asked to do the [first] movie with no script, no start date, and a very paltry sum. I thought the three of us should fight for a piece of what we created and that was my reluctance. The four of us were not set for life. We were on cable TV and we were not making nearly what our counterparts in television were making. I thought we were working damn hard and it was the time to negotiate that."
Parker says, "I don't know of a movie in the imminent, or near, or even distant future. Honestly, I'm not being cagey. There is no discussion currently of a Sex and the City 3. Do I hold it out in my future in some way as a possibility? Of course."
Parker posts an online birthday tribute to Cattrall and defends their relationship to Time, saying, "It was always so heartbreaking to me that there was this narrative about Kim and myself because it just didn't reflect anything that happened on that set. They just didn't do it to the Sopranos guys. It was so strange to me and upsetting. I posted something on Kim’s birthday and people were like, 'Oh my god, I didn't know you liked her!' What? We were all at liberty to walk away at any time! But nobody asked those questions of shows with men. Isn’t that interesting?"
She talks about the narrative of "this ongoing catfight" in an interview with Howard Stern, saying, "It really used to upset me. It was usually about bad behavior on the set and I take very seriously my reputation... To suggest that I'm behaving poorly or not treating somebody well… It would drive me bananas."
2017: Parker drops the bomb that the third film officially isn't happening, telling Extra, "It's over. We're not doing it. I'm disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It's not just disappointing that we don't get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie."
Right after, a Daily Mail story claims Cattrall's "diva demands" derailed the project. Cattrall tweeted that "the only 'demand' I ever made was that I didn't want to do a 3rd film….&that was back in 2016." Many other castmates express their disappointment in the film falling apart, seemingly siding with Parker.
Another article, via the New York Post, is about the "Mean Girls" culture cultivated by Parker on the set.
Cattrall tells Piers Morgan, "It's quite extraordinary to get any kind of negative press about something that I've been saying for almost a year of 'no' — that I'm demanding or a diva. And this is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City — and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker — in that I think she could have been nicer... I don't know what her issue is; I never have." She goes on to say they had a "toxic relationship," adding, "We've never been friends. We've been colleagues and in some ways it's a very healthy place to be because then you have a clear line between your professional life and relationship and your personal." She calls her decision not to appear in the third film a "clear" and "empowered" one. I played it past the finish line and then some, and I loved it."
2018: Parker says she was "heartbroken" by Cattrall's comments. "I... found it very upsetting, because that's not the way I recall our experience."
Cattrall's brother dies and Parker is among the SATC stars expressing condolences on social media.
Cattrall slams Parker for the public reach out, writing, "Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven't already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona." She added a link to the "Mean Girls" story.
2021: The SATC reboot And Just Like That... is announced and it is noted that Cattrall will not be joining the three other women.
The show premieres in December. It's explained that Samantha and Carrie had a falling out and the PR exec moved to London.
2022: King is asked if Cattrall would ever appear on the reboot and tells Variety, "No. Just like there was no thought that Kim would ever participate in And Just Like That... because she's said what she had said…You have to look at the reality of something: You can literally not make an actress play a part."
Parker says they didn't approach Cattrall — and she wouldn't be OK with her being in on this show at this point, telling Variety, "I don't think I would, because I think there's just too much public history of feelings on her part that she's shared. I haven’t participated in or read articles, although people are inclined to let me know."
Cattrall confirms to Variety she "was never asked to be part of the reboot." As for a future appearance it "would never happen. She calls it a definite "no," adding, "It's powerful to say no." She also makes clear, "I haven't deserted anybody. Can you imagine going back to a job you did 25 years ago? And the job didn't get easier; it got more complicated in the sense of how are you going to progress with these characters? Everything has to grow, or it dies." She said after the second movie, she knew, "I'm done."
Cattrall gives a speech at Variety's Power of Women event on the power of saying "no."
Parker says on the Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast that the catfight narrative is "painful," explaining, "I've never uttered fighting words in my life about anybody that I’ve worked with ever. There is not a 'fight' going on... There has been no public dispute or spat or conversations or allegations made by me or anybody on my behalf. I wouldn't do it. That is not the way I would have it. So I just wish that they would stop calling this a 'catfight' or an 'argument' … There has been one person talking. And I'm not going to tell her not to … so that’s been kind of painful for me also."
2023: Cattrall secretly shoots her cameo in March.
Ahead of the Season 2 premiere of AJLT, in May, the surprise news breaks that Cattrall will appear in the final episode. It's also clear that it wasn't a teary reunion. Cattrall didn't work or speak with Parker, Nixon or Davis. The showrunner, King, wasn't there for her shooting. Field was hired to dress Cattrall for the show.
The next day, on June 1, Cattrall confirms the news, tying her announcement to Pride month.
The same day, the trailer for the series drops, promising an action-packed season. However, Cattrall is not included in the trailer.
Evan Handler, who plays Charlotte's husband Harry, told People magazine, he first read about Cattrall's cameo online. He added, “Apparently, [it] was shot in the garage somewhere with no contact with anybody, so the only place I have to welcome her is into my living room when it airs on television."
Davis and Nixon also weighed in — before Parker broke her silence in a TVLine interview on June 22, saying, "It was just an idea that we all discussed, [showrunner] Michael Patrick [King] and I and the studio. She called it a "very opportune moment in a very specific story, in a sort of consequential event in Carrie’s life."
Parker admitted she was disappointed the news leaked before the show's premiere, but called the cameo a "nice acknowledgment of the 25 years" that have passed since SATC debuted on HBO in 1998. "It’s just this really nice, quick little phone call that just feels so normal, and just is a perfect portrait of the longevity of that friendship, and what it means and the ease in which it exists."
Cattrall then spoke out about the cameo during her June 28 appearance on The View, revealing it was the HBO CEO who lured her back. She didn't mention Parker, King or any other castmates, but did talk about working with Field to recreate "that kind of Samantha style," noting that she "got to push it."
On the same day, Cattrall said on Today, "It felt like dipping my toe back in time and having a wonderful afternoon, and then a great martini."
And Just Like That... is now streaming on Max.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 1, 2023 at 4:05 p.m. ET and has been updated with new information.