With Kim Cattrall's highly anticipated cameo in the season 2 finale of 'AJLT,' ET looks back at the alleged rift within the franchise.
Kim Cattrall has returned to the Sex and the City universe! After previously disavowing the franchise's Max reboot, And Just Like That, the actress reprised her role as Samantha Jones in the season 2 finale of the show.
It wasn't the dramatic call that was implied by the show's previous teaser, but rather a lighthearted exchange about Samantha's plane being delayed. She had planned to surprise Carrie at her "Last Supper" to say goodbye to her old apartment.
Instead, she has Carrie put the phone on speaker to pay her respects to the home where Carrie and Co. spent so many of their years.
The brief cameo marked the first time Cattrall has appeared as Samantha since the 2010 film, Sex and the City 2. Though the reboot kept the character of Samantha alive through texts with Carrie in the show's first season, the PR pro remained nearly unmentioned in season 2.
News broke ahead of the season 2 premiere that Cattrall was expected to return to the franchise for a special cameo in honor of the 25th anniversary of Sex and the City. At the time, the announcement shocked fans after years of Cattrall being outspoken against Parker and her time on the series.
In light of Cattrall's return, ET is looking back at the years-long public drama between Cattrall and Parker to examine when things went south, and what both actresses have said about the headline-grabbing drama ever since.
2004 -- Money Issues
When Sex and the City was shooting its final season, Cattrall sat down for a chat on the British talk show, Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, and vented a bit about the financial elements that led to the show ending after six seasons. Cattrall claimed at the time, "I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City. When they didn’t seem keen on that I thought it was time to move on."
Showrunner Michael Patrick King also claimed, in an interview in August 2018, that tensions ran high between the stars of the show -- Cattrall, Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis -- from early on in the series. King recalled that Parker was the biggest star when the show began, and was paid accordingly. However, as the show took off, the other three co-leads felt this to be unfair.
"The show doesn’t exist if Sarah Jessica wasn't the blond star of the show, that’s No. 1. Kim was not at the height of her career, Kristin was under her in terms of notability, Cynthia was a theater actress -- and their contracts reflected that status," King said, at the time. "As the show progressed, the characters, everybody grew, it became a family... Kristin, Cynthia and Sarah Jessica became one group, and Kim never joined mentally."
2009 -- A State(ment) of Denial
One year after the release of the first Sex and the City film, Parker opened up to Elle Magazine and denied that she had any ill will toward Cattrall at all. When asked about rumors of behind-the-scenes tension, Parker said, "I don't think anybody wants to believe that I love Kim. I adore her. I wouldn't have done the movie without her. Didn't and wouldn't."
In January 2010, while speaking with The Daily Mail in a profile piece, Cattrall echoed Parker's sentiments and had nothing but praise for her longtime co-star.
"I think Sarah was right -- people don’t want to believe that we get on. They have too much invested in the idea of two strong, successful women fighting with each other. It makes for juicy gossip and copy. The truth of us being friends and getting along and happily doing our jobs together is nowhere near as newsworthy," Cattrall stated. "I think Sarah is fantastic. She is a born leader and she guides the crew and the cast in such a strong but gentle way. She and I are sick of this. It’s exhausting talking about it, and a real bore."
2016 -- Shooting Down Drama Rumors
Parker sat down for an interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show in October 2016 and said that she found the reports of on-set feuding with Cattrall to be sexist and offensive.
"It used to really confound me and really upset me, because we were part of a family [with fellow HBO hit] The Sopranos, and nobody ever questioned the relationships of the men on that show, and nobody ever said to them, 'Did you hang out this weekend with each other?' or, 'Did you give each other Christmas presents?'" she points out. "These were people that I grew to love and admire, and was every day perfect, and were people desperately, hopelessly in love with each other? No, but this was a family of people who needed each other, and relied upon each other, and loved each other. And this sort of narrative, this ongoing catfight, it really upset me for a very long time."
Two months earlier, Parker celebrated Cattrall's birthday with a swooning Instagram post, in which she wrote, "Happy birthday you beauty @kimcattrall. Sending love and the very best for a perfectly marvelous, joyous, healthy and adventure filled birthday year. Your ol' pal, fellow mischief maker and 'sister' Sj xxx."
January 2017 -- 'Sex and the City 3' Hopes Dashed
Cattrall didn't mince words in 2017 when she revealed that she had shut down any questions about her involvement in a third Sex and the City movie the year before, and had moved on from playing the character -- points she would elaborate on in great detail as she was asked about it repeatedly for the years to come.
In January 2017, she told ET, of nixing the plans for a third film, "I hate to be a spoilsport, but what would the next story be? ... The reality of what [a third movie] would be -- there's nothing concrete. There's no script, there's no idea."
According to Parker, however, there was a story and a script. "It's over... we're not doing it," she told Extra shortly thereafter. "I’m disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It’s not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie."
October 2017 -- Cattrall Calls Out Parker
The reports of drama and tension escalated quickly during an interview in October 2017 with Piers Morgan. Cattrall insisted that she's been saying all along that there wouldn't and shouldn't be a Sex and the City 3 movie. "At this very moment, it’s quite extraordinary to get any kind of negative press about something that I’ve been saying for almost a year," she noted.
"This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, specifically Sarah Jessica Parker in that I think she could have been nicer," she expressed to Morgan, referring to Parker's comments about disappointing fans. "I really think she could have been nicer... I don’t know what her issue is, I never have."
She also told Morgan that she didn't care if the other actresses signed on for a third film without her, and suggested recasting her part.
"I want them to make the movie, if that’s what they want to do. It’s a great part," she said of her character. "I played it past the finish line and then some and I loved it and another actress should play it... Maybe they could make it an African American Samantha Jones or a Hispanic Samantha Jones -- or bring in another character. ...This is what I really believe that this franchise needs, another point of view and this could be it."
In the interview, Cattrall also admitted that she and the cast have never been more than work associates, explaining, "We’ve never been friends. We‘ve been colleagues and in some ways, it’s a very healthy place to be because then you have a clear line between your professional life and relationship and your personal."
"They all have children and I am 10 years older, and since, specifically, the series ended, I have been spending most of my time outside of New York, so, I don’t see them," the actress continued. "The common ground that we had was the series, and the series is over."
January 2018 -- A 'Heartbroken' Parker
Parker appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, and the late-night host and the actress' longtime friend wasn’t afraid to ask her some of the tougher questions surrounding the Sex and the City drama, and how she felt about Cattrall's comments that they were never friends.
"Just heartbroken,” admitted Parker. "I found it very upsetting because that’s not the way I recall our experience. It’s sad, but I always think that what ties us together was this singular experience. It was a professional experience but it became personal because it was years and years of our lives, so I hope that that eclipses anything that’s been recently spoken. That many years spent doing something so special that people had a connection with it is such a privilege."
February 2018 -- Lashing Out
Tragically, Cattrall suffered a painful loss when her brother, Chris Cattrall, died by suicide in February 2018. Parker -- like many other famous friends and colleagues -- sent Cattrall "love and condolences" over Instagram. However, according to Cattrall, her comment did more harm than good, and she took to Instagram to air her grievances very publicly.
"I don't need your love or support at this tragic time @sarahjessicaparker," Cattrall posted on Instagram. She added in the caption, "My Mom asked me today 'When will that @sarahjessicaparker, that hypocrite, leave you alone?' Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now," she continued. "Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven’t already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I’m writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona."
Just four days earlier, Cattrall thanked "my fans, friends, and my #SexandtheCity colleagues for the outpouring of support." Cynthia Nixon was among those who left well wishes on her Instagram.
April 2018 -- Redefining the Drama
In an interview with Vulture, Parker denied that she played a part in the tensions between herself and Cattrall, sharing, "I’d just like to remind everybody that there is no catfight... I have never uttered an unkind, unsupportive, unfriendly word, so I would love to redefine it... I’ve always held Kim’s work in high regard and always appreciative of her contributions. If she chooses not to do the third movie, there’s not a lot I can do to change her mind and we must respect it. That’s the only thing I’ve ever said about it, you know?"
February 2022 -- Parker Shuts It Down
After the release and success of the first season of And Just Like That -- where Cattrall's Samantha Jones is revealed to have moved out of the country and still communicates with Carrie Bradshaw via text message -- Parker spoke with Variety in February 2022 and said that she would not be OK with Cattrall reprising her role as Samantha.
"I don't think I would, because I think there's just too much public history of feelings on her part that she's shared," Parker said. "I haven't participated in or read articles, although people are inclined to let me know."
Parker says they never asked Cattrall to be part of And Just Like That given her previous public comments. "We didn't go to Kim for this, you know," she noted. "After we didn't do the third [Sex and the City] movie and the studio couldn't meet what she wanted to do, we have to hear her and listen to her and what was important to her. It didn't fit into what was important or needed for us."
May 2022 -- Cattrall Explains Her Departure
Three months after Parker's remarks, Cattrall spoke with Variety about leaving behind the character of Samantha, and explained, "It's a great wisdom to know when enough is enough... I also didn't want to compromise what the show was to me."
She says that after the second Sex And The City movie, "Everything in me went, 'I'm done.'"
While she had already decided not to play Samantha again, the actress noted, "I was never asked to be part of the reboot. I made my feelings clear after the possible third movie, so I found out about it like everyone else did -- on social media."
Addressing Parker's remarks about her not being OK with Cattrall returning to play Samantha, Cattrall said, "Well, it would never happen anyway. So nobody has to worry about that."
June 2022 -- Parker Denies Any 'Fight'
During a candid conversation on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Parker once again reiterated her claims that the so-called "feud" was entirely one-sided and it was unfair to portray her as being combative in the drama with Cattrall.
"I just want to say one thing, because you've allowed me this opportunity: it's so painful for people to keep talking about this 'catfight' -- a 'fight,' a 'fight,' a 'fight.' I've never uttered fighting words in my life about anybody that I've worked with -- ever," she said. "There is not a 'fight' going on. There has been no public dispute or spat or conversations or allegations made by me or anybody on my behalf. I wouldn't do it. That is not the way I would have it. So I just wish that they would stop calling this a 'catfight' or an 'argument,' because it doesn't reflect [reality]. There has been one person talking."
"There were just a lot of public conversations about how she felt about the show," Parker tells THR. "I've spent a lot of years working really hard to always be decent to everybody on the set, to take care of people, to be responsible to and for people, both my employers and the people that I feel I'm responsible for as a producer of the show. And there just isn't anyone else who's ever talked about me this way."
May 2023 -- Samantha's Comeback
ET confirmed on May 31 that Cattrall will be reprising her beloved role for the season 2 finale of And Just Like That Cattrall is set to appear in a cliffhanger finale for the second season. Cattrall reportedly shot only one scene for the episode and filmed her scene in one day back in March, Variety reports. Not much is known about what happens in the scene, or its implications for Cattrall's participation in possible future seasons.
June 2023 -- Cattrall Breaks Her Silence
Following the surprising news that she's making a cameo in the Sex and the City revival, Cattrall broke her silence by paying homage to her iconic character.
On June 1, the actress took to Instagram and shared the headline that sent shockwaves around the Sex And The City universe, which revealed she'll appear on Max's And Just Like That as Samantha Jones for a cameo.
Cattrall simply captioned the post, "Happy Pride 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️🌈….." to honor the start of Pride Month.
It's not lost on fans that Cattrall's character -- a serial dater with an unfulfilling appetite for young men -- actually slowed her roll and settled down in season 4 of the hit HBO series, albeit briefly, with an artist named Maria Reyes. When she revealed this to her friends while out at dinner ("Yes ladies, I'm a lesbian"), Charlotte (Davis) concluded, "I don't think she's a lesbian. I think she just ran out of men."
June 2023 -- Evan Handler Speaks Out
After news of Cattrall's return broke, Evan Handler, who stars in the franchise as Charlotte's husband, Harry Goldenblatt, gushed to People, "I think it is great!"
"Apparently, [her cameo] was shot in the garage somewhere with no contact with anybody," Handler said. "So the only place I have to welcome her is into my living room when it airs on television."
June 2023 -- Davis Addresses the Drama
In an interview with The Telegraph, Davis addressed the reported feud between Cattrall and Parker, telling the outlet, "You have to respect people's wishes. I'm not gonna waste energy on it. I can't change anybody."
"I do understand fans' feelings -- that they're upset," she added. "… I wish I could fix it, but I can't, it's not in my power."
June 2023 -- Parker and the Cast Speak About the Cameo
While speaking to ET days before the new season premiered, Parker and her co-stars as well as King opened up about the planned cameo and the subsequent leak that spoiled the surprise well before Cattrall's appearance one of the final episodes of season 2 in August.
"I was really excited about the idea," Parker said. "I thought it was a really good idea and I was thrilled that, you know, we could make it happen and that it worked for her and it's just really nice to see. It's really nice. I was really pleased."
She added, "I think it reflects the relationship that we've been sharing via text for last season and this season. You know, this is a hugely important relationship for Carrie, it's been filled with affection. We just thought it was a really nice idea to put a face to the text, really in large part to celebrate the 25 years of [Sex and the City]."
The actress also called it a "lovely nod" to the characters' friendship as well as the franchise's viewers, revealing that King planned the moment. "Just the way Michael placed it where it was placed and the sentimental moment in which it occurs is just a really nice little thing," Parker said, with Davis noting that fans "missed" the fourth cast member.
"We wanted to kind of acknowledge them and try to give them what they want within the story and the situation that we're in. And so that seemed the solution, you know, in terms of like, people come and go in your life. Maybe people move or they get married or whatever it is that happens that changes their circumstance, but that doesn't mean that you're not friends or that you're not connected still," she said.
However, King and Nixon were not happy that the cameo was revealed ahead of time. "I am a little bit upset that you even know about it because I really wanted you to be sitting there watching the show, see Carrie look at her phone and all of a sudden seeing Samantha," King said. "But there's a secret. You don't know why she's there and what's going to happen."
Nixon added, "We were hoping we could keep it under wraps, and she would just pop up as a person who's watching the episode and it would be this delightful unexpected surprise. Unfortunately now it's been blown, which is really a bummer. Most of it was just this surprise of her coming back. I think we all are emphasizing it's really brief, it's just a moment, so don't be expecting anything other than that."
June 2023 -- Parker Admits to Being Upset About Spoiled Cameo
Later in the month, Parker appeared on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live, where she shared her feelings about the cameo being leaked in the press ahead of season 2's premiere.
"Couldn’t have been more upset," she admitted while speaking to the Watch What Happens Live host. "It’s a big bummer because it would’ve been so like fireworks in the middle, you know, and also because we want to make sure that expectations are real. Like, it’s a little exchange that is happy and it says everything about their relationship and all the stuff that’s off camera."
She added, "Like, yeah, they’re talking. They talk all the time, and it comes at a significant moment of the series so…"
June 2023 -- Cattrall Says She'll 'Never Say Goodbye' to Samantha
While speaking on the Today show with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, Cattrall told the hosts that Samantha would always be a part of her.
"I don't think I'll ever say goodbye to Samantha. She's like a lot of other characters that I've done over the years. I get very emotionally attached and protective of my characters," Cattrall shared. "She gave me so much, and I'm so appreciative of her."
When asked about returning for season 3 of the spinoff series, Cattrall replied, "That's as far as I'm going to go," seemingly implying that her season 2 cameo was the extent of her time on the series.
August 2023 -- Cattrall's Appearance Airs
In the season 2 finale, the previously teased cameo delivered. Carrie receives a phone call from an upset Samantha who had wanted to surprise her at her "Last Supper" meal.
"Oh my gosh, well you did. I'm very surprised," Carrie says, smiling.
But because of flight delays, Sam can't make it to the gathering to say goodbye to Carrie's old apartment. So she has her friend put her on speaker so she can declare, "Thank you for everything, you f**king fabulous, fabulous flat."
Season 2 of And Just Like That is now streaming on Max.