Kim Cattrall: What Happened to Sex and the City's Samantha Jones?

VIDEO: Kim Cattrall plays a former adult film star struggling to makes ends meet.
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For years, Kim Cattrall attracted a huge fan base on "Sex and the City" with her portrayal of Samantha Jones, a shamelessly confident "cougar" who wasn't afraid to take her sexuality by the reins. Known for her raunchy quips and one-night stands, Samantha became a favorite with viewers.

And for a while, Kim Cattrall capitalized on the message of sexual freedom her character stood for. In 2003, she released a how-to book with then husband Mark Levinson called "Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm." In 2006, the year after "Sex and the City" ended, Cattrall followed up with "Sexual Intelligence," a coffee table book, and an HBO documentary of the same name. It seemed as if Kim Cattrall and Samantha Jones were one and the same, until recently.

At the March 29 premiere of her recent indie movie, "Meet Monica Velour," in which Cattrall plays a former adult film star who turns to stripping to pay the bills, she reportedly went on a red carpet tirade, lashing out at several female reporters at New York's Landmark Theater. When a New York Post reporter asked her about a story that she had gotten a bikini wax earlier that day, Cattrall said, "That's a stupid question." She then told a Page Six reporter that being a gossip columnist wasn't a "respectable job," suggesting that she work for Reuters or write a blog.

After Keith Bearden, "Meet Monica Velour's" director, told reporters about an embarrassing moment on the set in which Cattrall's 21-year-old co-star Dustin Ingram reportedly got aroused during a steamy kissing scene, the New York Daily News tried to get Cattrall to comment. But she claimed not to know what the director was talking about, retorting, "You know, as a woman, I really find those questions offensive."

The media has gone into a frenzy, questioning whether the actress, who once channeled the easygoing and sex-driven Samantha Jones, had gone prude on everyone.

And a sudden reserve is not the only apparent break with her "Sex and the City" character: Samantha never had any qualms about aging, but 54-year-old Cattrall told the New York Post, "Do you know what it's like to be 54 and marginalized? It doesn't get easier as you get older."

Kim Cattrall Gains 20 Pounds to Play Aging Stripper

Aging was certainly a theme that resonated in "Meet Monica Velour." Though Cattrall has always been known for her svelte figure, she gained 20 pounds to play the role of an aging former stripper living in a rural Indiana trailer park. Cattrall told the Portland Press Herald that while on location in Detroit, she ate and drank at local bars for about six weeks. After the movie wrapped, she quickly went on a strict diet to lose the weight for her following project, Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer."

Perhaps the actress's frustrations stem from a seeming lack of attention to "Meet Monica Velour." During the movie's premiere, she scoffed at another reporter, "You didn't see my film. Why are you even here?"

Ian Drew, a senior editor at Us Weekly, attributes the red carpet mishaps to a common misunderstanding between Hollywood and the press.

"Unfortunately, many actresses take themselves too seriously. But I admit it probably can get pretty annoying answering the same ridiculous questions from reporters all the time. But reporters tend to ask what people actually care about, and let's face it, most people don't care about the movie. Actors and actresses never quite understand that," he said.

As for Cattrall, she's battling age on other fronts. She was named the new spokeswoman for Olay's anti-aging skincare line Total Effects last January.

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