Kim Cattrall: I'm Not Samantha

Aug. 25, 2003 -- Kim Cattrall, who plays sexually free femme fatale Samantha Jones on Sex and the City, is newly single — but don't confuse her with the character she plays on TV.

Cattrall is up for an Emmy award for best supporting actress next month for the HBO hit, which is in its final season. But perhaps no one knows better about her acting abilities than the men she is dating these days.

"I'm retaining my sense of humor whenever I go on a date," Cattrall told Good Morning America. "I'm sort of competing out there with other women and also with Samantha, because I think a lot of guys go out on a date or ask me out and they think after the appetizers, things are going to warm up the way they do with Samantha. But I'm Kim and things take their natural course."

Though the 47-year-old actress says she is fond of Samantha's open attitude toward sex, she is nothing like the character she plays on the show.

"I'm much more reserved than she is," Cattrall said. "The thing that I love about her is she's not judgmental at all, with her girlfriends or whatever experience the writers throw at her."

‘Funny and Human’ Sexual Escapades

Learning to be sexually liberated before the cameras has been a "learning curve" for Cattrall.

When she first saw the Sex scripts, "I was terrified," she said. "I didn't know how to do it. It was uncharted territory to make these sexual escapades funny and human."

But Cattrall apparently became more comfortable about discussing sexuality. Last year, she and her third husband, jazz musician Mark Levinson, published Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm, a racy, graphic guide to better sex.

The actress says she wrote the book because her sex life hadn't always been good.

"What I was writing and the reason I wanted to write about it is my past was sodifferent than Samantha's and I wanted to talk about that," Cattrall said. "I think like a lot of women, I had had an unsatisfactory life. This was really holding back my relationships."

With Levinson, Cattrall says she found that a relationship based on honesty, communication and caring allowed her to speak more openly about what she needed to be fulfilled sexually and emotionally.

Nevertheless, the couple separated not long after the book came out.

Flattering Photos With Clinton

Recently, Cattrall was photographed sitting next to former President Clinton at a party. The photos show the former commander in chief gazing at the actress with what seems to be an appreciative gaze. It was "incredibly flattering," said Cattrall.

"He's a very charismatic individual — I was really honored to meet him," she said. "I found him fascinating. We had a short but interesting conversation … It was a wonderful opportunityto meet him."

Now had Samantha met Clinton, things might have taken a different turn, she jokes.

"Maybe we would have had a shorter conversation. Or a longer one," Cattrall said.

The role of Samantha has been like a "comfortable suit for her," she said.

"I can do Samantha and it's wonderful, but when I leave the set, I'm Kim," Cattrall said. "I really, for my own sanity have that very clear divided line between Samantha and myself … I need that divided line."

Now that Sex and the City is in its final season, she is ready to move on to new challenges. She is co-executive producer and host of a documentary called Sexual Intelligence, which she hopes will show that it is acceptable for women to talk about their sexuality.

She will also be co-executive producer and star of an HBO remake of the 1954 movie The Country Girl. She plays the wife of a has-been actor.

"I've always played strong women and Samantha is one of them," Cattrall said. "I had a wonderful career before Sex and the City. It's even more wonderful now."

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