Kim Cattrall: I Was "Scared" to Strip for New Movie

The actress talks about gaining 20 pounds -- and getting naked -- to play a porn-star-turned-stripper in Meet Monica Velour

Kim Cattrall is no stranger to playing unabashedly sexual women. After all, she's best known for her portrayal of Sex and the City's lustful Samantha Jones. But, at 54, Cattrall has tackled perhaps her most sexual -- and daring -- role yet, playing an aging porn-star-turned-stripper in the new independent film Meet Monica Velour.

Cattrall, who gained 20 pounds for the part -- and then bravely stripped for the camera! -- tells Entertainment Weekly that the experience was quite liberating. "I'm really interested in exploring sexuality. Especially for women. Because I think that we have been mum for so long," she says. "I wanted to play a person in these circumstances, and be as truthful as I possibly could... It's scary to do, and when we did the strip, and I'm 20 pounds overweight and my ass is hanging out. I'm scared. Kim is scared, and so is Monica. In some ways, this set me free because I look like hell in it."

The movie was filmed in Detroit, and Cattrall says "there's a lot of great bars in Detroit, so I ate and I drank for about six weeks" to pack on the pounds. She jokes: "Putting on the weight was glorious; taking off the weight was hellacious. That was part of the journey of it, too. To become something other than just you."

Despite mostly positive reviews, the film has already come and gone from U.S. theaters, but Cattrall is confident Meet Monica Velour will find viewers on DVD. "We seem to live in an era where people don't go to movies, movies come to people," she says.

One reason she hopes that people discover her performance is that it's a prime example that there are still meaty roles out there for actresses who aren't in their 20s -- a trend she hopes continues. "I look at Sex and the City and Mamma Mia! and these movies with women in their 40s and 50s and 60s, and they were big box office hits," she says. I think that's really encouraging, but I just encourage women to take on projects that really speak of what it is to live in America right now as a woman."

Although she became a household name with Sex and the City, Cattrall is quick to remind her interviewer how long she had been working before that, in theater and films, in all kinds of roles. And while she says she had "a fantastic time" as Samantha Jones, Cattrall states, "My curiosity and my appetite for evolving as an actor is one of the main components of me still working today in the business."

So will we be seeing Samantha reuniting with her gals for a Sex and the City 3? "I have to say, I really don't think so," she says. "Maybe in a prequel."

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