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From Usatoday.com

Kim Cattrall trades ’Sex and the City’ for a rink (michelle trachtenberg mention)

By Susan Wloszczyna

Friday 23 July 2004, by Webmaster

Cattrall trades ’City’ for a rink

Samantha does Disney.

On ice, no less.

"I’m spending the summer inside a skating rink, all bundled up from neck to toes," says Kim Cattrall, speaking from the Toronto film set of Ice Princess, her first acting assignment since HBO’s Sex and the City ended after six seasons. (Related story: About that movie script, and all that money talk)

Even more shocking: "No man in sight."

Before Sex, the late-blooming actress seemed stuck in a B-grade rut. She did those twin heights of ’80s hilarity Porky’s and Police Academy. Later, she was in a Tom Hanks film. Unfortunately, it was The Bonfire of the Vanities.

But opportunity knocked with a professional booty call when she entered her 40s and hit a career climax as one of the bawdiest, naughtiest babes ever to go nude and talk rude on cable TV.

Her randy run as the extreme libertine Samantha Jones on Sex and the City just earned her a fifth Emmy nomination and plenty of tabloid ink over the years for her exploits onscreen (she averaged a conquest per episode) and off (rumored friction between her and series star Sarah Jessica Parker).

Now Cattrall, who turns 48 in August, is striking out on her own in life and at work.

"There has been a lot of change this year. The ending of the series. My divorce (from third husband Mark Levinson) becoming final. I’m beginning to produce. I sold my apartment in New York, and my new apartment is waiting."

And she’s doing a family film, of all things. "My niece and nephew are young and haven’t been able to see my work in the past six years," she says. "This is a valentine to them."

In the Disney flick due in December, Cattrall plays "a tough-assed coach" and single mom who pours her own thwarted figure-skating ambitions into a potential prodigy (Michelle Trachtenberg, the kid sis on TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Sounds like the usual sports opera, but Cattrall assures that she is injecting as much humor as she can, especially since she gets to break the ice with that premier funny lady Joan Cusack as Trachtenberg’s mom.

Taking on a polar-opposite role proved invigorating as she made the controversial decision to opt out of a Sex and the City feature film and pursue Ice Princess instead.

"For the first time in six years, I’ve gotten into another skin," Cattrall says. "There is no comfort zone around you. It was amazingly freeing to play Samantha. I knew her inside and out. This woman is so different, blocked and under-realized, so cautious in how she leads her life."

Even a tamed Cattrall is worth watching, assures Ice Princess director Tim Fywell. "It was exciting for me to cast someone who wasn’t the most obvious choice. It was a brave move for her, especially since her character is potentially unsympathetic. There is a bravery about Kim as a person. An edge about her and a slight sense of danger."

Cattrall hasn’t totally abandoned sex. She is just exploring it in a more academic fashion. Through her own production company, Fertile Ground, she will spend the next eight months traveling to such locales as Pompeii, Cyprus and Dorset, England, to film Sexual Intelligence, a documentary for HBO that will air next year. "It’s about the history of sexuality and desire, an irreverent look back and a curious look forward."

She’ll narrate and be on camera, guiding viewers through the annals of carnality and posing titillating questions to a Greek chorus of common folk of every sexual stripe.

The actress who has been dubbed the Mae West of the 21st century is all too aware that without her racy TV alter ego, she would never have had the opportunity to be an ambassador of our libidinous desires or to pen her explicit best-selling book, co-written with Levinson, Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm.

"Without Samantha, I wouldn’t have had these amazing platforms to talk about so many things. Sex and the City has made us all less shamed and guilty, more unconditional about sexuality. It’s a very powerful message."

Fans of the show know Samantha was last seen continuing her battle against breast cancer and snuggling in the arms of her surprisingly astute boy-toy model. "She would never marry, and she would never leave New York City," says Cattrall, predicting what the future would hold for Ms. Jones. "She came out full throttle and left full throttle, so much more in touch with her heart and not just the heat."

As for the woman behind the party girl, "I’m in love with working right now. That’s my love life. What’s most comforting to me is sleeping in bed alone. This is a transitional time. I see myself with more challenges ahead, taking one step forward, one step back. I am dancing through life with consequence and determination."