The premiere marked the continuation of a beloved series, picking up the narrative after six successful seasons of “Sex and the City” and two captivating feature films. However, there was a noticeable absence:
Samantha Jones, a pivotal member of the iconic quartet of women who gallivanted through the vibrant streets of New York City, delving into their love lives during the late 90s and early 2000s—the golden era of the HBO series.
Samantha Jones, the embodiment of a sex-positive PR expert who added a tantalizing flair to the ensemble, was masterfully portrayed by Kim Cattrall—a renowned 1980s film luminary known for her roles in “Mannequin” and “Big Trouble in Little China.”
Following the Emmy-winning series’ conclusion in 2004 and subsequent cinematic adaptations in 2008 and 2010 (with the latter receiving mixed reviews), Cattrall declined to reprise her role for a third movie that never materialized. When “And Just Like That…” was conceived, Cattrall had moved on from the franchise and was not approached to rejoin the ensemble.
Nevertheless, my spouse harbored a persistent belief that Cattrall would make an eventual comeback as Samantha during the new series’ run. Conversely, I was steadfast in my conviction that this reunion would never come to fruition.
Thus, the terms were laid out plainly: Cattrall, in her iconic persona as Samantha, had to make an appearance on screen in any scene within the duration of the series.
While I was pleasantly taken aback by the numerous direct references to Samantha in the first season of “And Just Like That…”—including her touching gesture of sending funeral flowers to console Carrie (portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker) following Mr. Big’s demise, as well as their continued text exchanges—my victory was secured by the season’s conclusion.
Fast-forward to late May of the current year, mere weeks ahead of the second season’s debut, when leaked information confirmed that Cattrall would indeed be reprising her role as Samantha.
Coincidentally, I was wrapping up my workday at CNN’s New York office, while my spouse waited for me at a nearby park. It was he who broke the exhilarating news to me, sharing a social media post.
A colleague—evidently not a “Sex and the City” enthusiast—queried whether this revelation was significant. My response was resolute, “Absolutely, this is a major development!”
What lent this announcement its staggering impact—akin, I dare say, to other iconic TV moments like “Who shot JR?” on “Dallas”—was the unequivocal stance Cattrall had maintained: her chapter as Samantha was firmly closed.
As early as 2017, she emphatically stated, “This is about a clear decision, an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another… It’s a great part. I played it past the finish line and then some, and I loved it.”
In the preceding year, she participated in a Variety Power of Women event, centered around the theme of the “power of saying no”—a sentiment that extended beyond declining the role of Samantha, but undoubtedly played a role.
Furthermore, public exchanges between Cattrall and Parker hinted at tensions between the former co-stars (such as Cattrall’s 2017 interview with Piers Morgan and Parker’s comments to Andy Cohen, as well as more recent statements in Variety expressing discomfort with Cattrall’s potential return to the franchise).
Yet, my spouse remained steadfast in his conviction that Cattrall would eventually reappear, even if in a standalone scene—after all, as he put it, “money talks, and bulls— walks.”
Ultimately, his insight proved accurate, as Cattrall playfully alluded to negotiations regarding her cameo in the Season 2 finale during an appearance on “The View” in June. She shared that she had received “a call from the head of HBO” inviting her to join the series once again.
Her creative stipulations included the involvement of her friend and longtime collaborator Patricia Field, who would serve as her costume designer for Samantha.
The lesson here is profound: while declining opportunities hold immense power, there is also value in recognizing when a change of heart is justified.
This week, we relish the opportunity to witness Cattrall’s reprisal of her most iconic character, yet prospects for more Samantha in the freshly greenlit Season 3 appear limited—Cattrall has affirmed that this cameo marks her final involvement.
However, I’m not prepared to wager against the unexpected.
FAQs About Kim Cattrall’s Return to “And Just Like That…”
Q1: What prompted Kim Cattrall’s return as Samantha?
A1: Despite her previous statements about closing the chapter on Samantha, Kim Cattrall’s return was confirmed for the Season 2 finale of the series. This surprising decision suggests the influence of creative negotiations and perhaps the allure of a fresh perspective.
Q2: Were there tensions between Kim Cattrall and her co-stars, especially Sarah Jessica Parker?
A3: Yes, public comments by both Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker indicated tensions between them. This added an extra layer of surprise to Cattrall’s return, considering their history.
Q5: What lesson can be learned from Kim Cattrall’s return?
A5: Kim Cattrall’s return highlights the significance of being open to change, even after making firm decisions. It emphasizes that while saying no holds power, there’s also value in knowing when circumstances warrant a change of mind.