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Sex And The City's Kim Cattrall says she's coming to terms with taking 'older women' roles


Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall says she has come to terms with taking on "older woman" roles as she prepares for her latest West End part.

But the 56-year-old actress said Hollywood still struggles to find fulfilling roles for older women on screen.

Cattrall opens in Sweet Bird Of Youth this week, playing faded Hollywood star Alexandra Del Lago in the new production of Tennessee Williams' play at London's Old Vic theatre.

Speaking ahead of the opening night she said she found herself sidelined in the movie world by the time she hit her mid-30s. But she said she was sure the audience wants to see films depicting women of her age.

"When I turned 35 the amount of scripts I was sent cut in half, or a little bit more, three-quarters of the roles were available," she revealed.

"It was relegating to supporting roles and mum roles, which can be rewarding, but I thought, 'Well, I have more life experience'.

"I'm part of the baby-boomer generation. If I want to see more stories about women my age and people my age, I'm sure other people do."

But Cattrall admitted she was a little unsure when Kevin Spacey, artistic director at The Old Vic, approached her to take the part.

She said: "It's a great pleasure, but it's a scary role. I think for an actress it's one of those benchmark roles where you think, 'It's time to do the older woman role'.

"I think I'm going through a lot of the issues that this character is going through - no longer being the youngest person, never mind in the room, but in the company.

"And just in your life when you're thought to look one way or be one way and then of course you age, you change and those are issues that are difficult for women who've been so objectified like this character has. And I have in my life.

"It exorcises demons and also allows me to access them and look at them with a different point of view," said the actress who is directed by War Horse's Marianne Elliott in the new production, with 26-year-old Broadway star Seth Numrich cast as her troubled toy boy lover.

Cattrall credits television with "filling the void" of stories about middle-aged people.

She said: "I was lucky to be a part of Sex In The City which was about women, and my character a woman in her 40s. So there is less of that. But I think in feature films, you are really hard-pressed to find a lead story of a woman in her 50s plus, that's rare.

"I hope there'll be more stories to tell, they're very rich stories, life just gets better for me. We just have more experience."

Her next project is a US adaptation of BBC comedy Sensitive Skin, which she sees as her own personal follow-up to Sex And The City.

"This is a series that was on BBC2 with Joanna Lumley and I got the rights to it," she explained.

"It's a half-hour comedy series about a middle-aged woman going through a mid-life crisis and I'm also a producer on it.

"I'm very excited about it. It's sort of the next chapter of Sex And The City for me, for men and women in the 50s."

Sweet Bird Of Youth runs at The Old Vic until Saturday August 31