Kim Cattrall Talks About Being a Boomer

Category: Television and Streaming

American Masters: The Boomer ListIn the new PBS documentary The Boomer List, 19 iconic “boomers” talk about their lives and experiences. The baby boomers are those born immediately after World War II, between 1946-1964. The youngest boomer will turn 50 this year.

Actress Kim Cattrall is one of the Baby Boomer generation, aka boomers. She has had an interesting career that is most closely associated with her role of Samantha Jones in Sex and the City. Recently Cattrall discussed the show, her life, and being a boomer.


Having originally thought she was too young to be considered a boomer, Cattrall admitted, “I’m actually relieved to find out that I do belong to this baby boomer generation.”


In the TV series and films, Samantha was the character most involved in her sexuality. “I think, for my generation, sex was a form of self‑expression,” the actress said. “But I feel that because I was born when I was born and was in high school and experimenting sexually when I was, where there was the pill introduced where you could plan when you wanted to have a child … I was very fortunate to have the mother that I had, which was, ‘If there is a problem, please come to me,’ which not all of my girlfriends had.”
Cattrall credits the women’s movement of the 60s and 70s along with the pill as being a liberating force for all women who had previously had little control over their reproductivity. She also said AIDS was a “game changer” for her generation. “It really put all of this liberation almost into a deep freeze, an ice age again. And this real conservatism swept in, and a lot of hatred and prejudice against just wanting to have sex as part of your life would be adventurous, sexually.”


The actress continued, “So we lived through quite a revolution from what our parents really gave us and taught us and what we were experiencing in the late ’60s and early ’70s with this liberation and celebration of sexuality to really putting this deep freeze on it.” The actress feels her show Sex and the City began thawing that sexual freeze. “And I think that using humor, especially of society’s taboos, instead of violence is the way to understand it and embrace it again and realize that it is part of not just of life, but of expressing yourself and being human. So I continue to do that because my generation, I feel we’ve had a lot of mixed messages,” Cattrall stated.


But sex wasn’t the only thing on the minds of boomers. Cattrall also spoke about growing up in the Cold War and during the turbulent time of Watergate.


“There was so much to discover, wasn’t there, in the time period? I mean, Watergate, I remember coming home from school in ’72, ’73 and finding out that Spiro Agnew was no longer the Vice President of United States. I mean, all of these things were coming down around you. The events were so fast and furious. I don’t think you could really, really digest them completely as they were going on.” The change in the government did take many by surprise. There were big changes in Nixon’s cabinet, Gerald Ford became vice president, then Nixon resigned and Ford became the president. For history buffs, this was an interesting time in American politics.


“I look at what’s going on in the news now, and it reminds me very much of the Cold War. And I think, well, where will this lead us? I mean, I think the thing that was so clear in our generation was fear of the unknown, the fear of the atomic bomb and the Russian threat, and I think that that still exists today. It’s just slightly different circumstances. But it seems to be part of the human condition that continues, and I think that what we, as a generation of boomers or whatever you want to call us, I think there’s more of the feeling of, well, we survived so many things, and how will this turn out?”


Cattrall said, “You never stop holding your breath when you hear it. But I think at the same time, you have this faith that you’ve survived so much that you can survive more because, our generation, we were brought up by survivors. My parents were pioneers. They came to a new country, and you think about doing that now, it’s just a tremendous amount of courage. But we have our own badge of honor in the sense of what we’ve survived and what we’ve witnessed, and that’s why I think it’s important to have a forum, not just entertainment but to speak about it and examine it in a personal way.”


Kim Cattrall (along with Tim O’Brien, Deepak Chopra, Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Joel, Steve Wozniak, Tommy Hilfiger, Amy Tan, Eve Ensler, Julieanna Richardson, Maria Shriver, Virginia Rometty, Ellen Ochoa, Ronnie Lott, Erin Brockovich, Peter Staley, Rosie O’Donnell, David LaChapelle, and John Leguizamo) talks about life as a boomer in The Boomer List on American Masters on PBS. The Boomer List premiers September 23, 2014.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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