Eliot Stein Interviews Kim Cattral
Actress Kim Cattral has become a household word with her role in
in TV's "Sex and the City." Before that she had prominent roles in
films including "Mannequin," "Star Trek VI" and "Porky's."
ELIOT: Where did you grow up?
KIM: I was born in Liverpool, England. When I was a baby, we emigrated
to Canada and settled in Vancouver, B.C.
I lived there till I was 10. We moved back to Liverpool for a year.
When I was 16, I moved to New York.
ELIOT: With the constant interest in The Beatles, is it fun to be able
to say that you were from Liverpool?
KIM: Yes! It's been a badge of honor to have come from the town of
the Fab Four! I got a lot of mileage out of it in high school!
ELIOT: Did you ever meet any of the group?
KIM: I've met Paul and Ringo!
ELIOT: When did you become interested in acting?
KIM: When I was 10. I did a school play. It was called
"Pifull is only a Sniffel." I played a cold germ.
ELIOT: Did you have to hide from the Listerine?
KIM: The sun did me in at the end!
ELIOT: When did this take a very serious turn?
KIM: That same summer, I got a scholarship to go to a summer school,
an acting summer school. An arts camp.
I was introduced to the classics. This whole world of acting became
fascinating to me. I really liked it.
ELIOT: In your opinion, which production you did of any kind,
really put you in front of American audiences?
KIM: I think the first film I did was "Porky's" that was the
smash hit. Now, every man here has seen that.
I played Ms. Honeywell who had the noisy orgasm in the locker room.
I became every teenage boy's dream.
ELIOT: You mentioned the classics, have you ever performed in any of Shakespeare's plays? If so , which ones?
KIM: Midsummer Night's Dream, Olivia in Twelfth Night,
AS you Like It, I've played Juliet!
ELIOT: Many people in America really came to know you through
"Mannequin." Tell us about the film!
KIM: We started in Philadelphia. We'd go to work at 9:00 p.m. at night
when the store closed and work through 8:00 a.m.
It was like working through jet lag for five weeks.
I have a life size mannequin of myself as a souvenir.
ELIOT: Did you ever see the "Twilight Zone" episode involving
KIM: I already knew about the episode. It was one of my favorites.
ELIOT: The "bots" on TV's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" regularly
talked about you...and Crow T. Robot went out of his way to express
his love and admiration. Did that make you feel uneasy?
KIM: No...I loved the attention I got from Crow. And I want more!
ELIOT: Have you ever had a robot pursue you?
KIM: Not that I know of.
ELIOT: What do you feel are Crow's best qualities?
KIM: His sarcasm, his wit, I'm very partial to his antlers. He is
intellectually very stimulating! His beady little eyes.I can't go on!
ELIOT: Is it true that you had something to do with
"Rocky Horror Picture Show" ?
KIM: I did the Canadian premiere production on stage! I wasn't
in the movie. But I played Janet in the major stage production!
I wish I had been part of the film version!
ELIOT: Tell us about your work in "Star Trek!"
KIM: I've always been a big science fiction fan!. I was a big fan
of the original TV series. Playing "Star Trek" was one of my
favorite games as a kid.
I actually auditioned for "The Wrath of Khan" and didn't get it.
When "Star Trek VI" came along, it was the same director. I just
didn't want to be another actress playing Lt. Savak.
So I took a creative meeting with Nicholas Myer the director and
would like to change the character and he and Leonard Nimoy
gave me full reign to do so!
ELIOT: Do you prefer playing sexy/"femme-fatale" type roles,
or more straight-forward characters?
KIM: I like to play both. The best combination is to play a woman
who is a straight-forward femme-fatale. I am attracted to dangerous
ELIOT: Do you feel sorry for any film you made ?
KIM: I did a film with Gary Busey in 1993. I don't remember
the name!. I was very unhappy. There were strange goings on.
When it was released, they did a nude scene with a body double
afterwards that they didn't tell me about.
The whole atmosphere was unpleasant.
ELIOT: What was it like to be in a mind-meld with Leonard Nimoy?
KIM: If you have to be in a mind meld, it's best to do it with
Leonard Nimoy. It was very crucial and sensory...like being totally
dominated physically and emotionally.
It was quite a moment. I don't think Leonard or anybody knew what
to expect. In different takes I was hyperventilating,
crying...different responses every time we did the take.
It took the whole day to shoot the sequence.
ELIOT: What were your greatest influences as a child?
KIM: I remember seeing Glenda Jackson in "Elizabeth R" on PBS and I
never saw a woman portrayed so strong. When I came to Hollywood,
Jane Fonda was very big. She was finding her own projects, and
that influenced me to do the same!
ELIOT: What hobbies do you have?
KIM: I like to ski, hike, I like to read and write short stories.