Take everything you know about Kim Cattrall, who cemented her place in TV history as lusty, libidinous Samantha Jones on the seminal HBO series "Sex and the City" and two subsequent movies -- and mute it.
The British-born actress returns to the small screen in the Netflix series "Sensitive Skin," playing an art-gallery employee who shies away from anything resembling passion. Her Davina is in a bad marriage, with a dead-end career, and a couch you can't sit on, living in a sterile apartment devoid of color. It's a metaphor for her life. And Cattrall, as executive producer, says the series is represents a very different side of her.
Cattrall saw the six-part British version of the series and was hooked. "There's very few shows in my life, or films, or plays for that matter, that I feel that the writers have been eavesdropping on my thoughts and conversations. That was my first thought when I saw this," she says. "This time in a woman's has never been explored except in a very two-dimensional way."
She teamed up with creator Hugo Block to adapt it for North America, showing Davina in all her depressed, lost, misguided, sexualized glory. For her, it was a revelation. "You're the crazy aunt," says Cattrall, of the rather limited roles open to women her age. "Or when you're older, you're the smart owl. Wait a minute. Women are so much more complex and interesting."
Cattrall has filmed two seasons. Her Davina speaks for a group of women largely ignored by Hollywood: those dealing with hot flashes, kids leaving the nest, marriages unraveling, dreams put on hold forever and then delicately resurrected.
"The challenge is, what do you have to say when you have seen it all? What's left? There's a huge amount. It's a black comedy. It gets blacker. The second season is, I think, stronger than the first," she says. "It's interesting to play a protagonist who doesn't make things happen. She doesn't know what to do."
Cattrall has embraced getting older. She turns 60 this August and remains engaged, curious and driven. And yes, she's fine with her laugh lines.
"I have no choice," she says. "I want to reach out to other women out there. I don't think I'm alone. That's the thing about feeling my age -- I don't."
Davina, unlike Cattrall, is dazed and confused. She's in a middling marriage, and can't relate to her adult son. "She's always been terrified of life and the good looks she's been given," says Cattrall.
To maintain the show's integrity and honesty, Cattrall set boundaries, especially regarding her appearance. "At one point, they said to me, 'We're going to do a digital wipe.' Over my dead body. You can light me and make me look great. But you're not going to do a digital wipe on me. The show is about me aging," says Cattrall. "I'm my age. Don't erase."
OnlyOnAOL: Kim Cattrall acts her age in 'Sensitive Skin'
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Kim Cattrall attends as Spectator Life magazine celebrates its third birthday at the Belgraves Hotel on March 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
WHISTLER, BC - DECEMBER 06: Actress Kim Cattrall attends the 'Signature Series: Tribute To Kim Cattrall' at Whistler Conference Centre at Whistler Film Festiival on December 6, 2014 in Whistler, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Kim Cattrall attends a champagne reception at the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the London Palladium on November 30, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 17: Actress Kim Cattrall attends HBO Canada's New Original Series 'Sensitive Skin' PremiereÃat Scotiabank Theatre on July 17, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: Actress Kim Cattrall attends 'The Leftovers' premiere at NYU Skirball Center on June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Kim Cattrall attends the Museum Of The Moving Image 28th Annual Salute Honoring Kevin Spacey on April 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Kim Cattrall attends Sarah Brown's Theirworld charity event held in London's Connaught Rooms, ahead of International Women's Day, March 1, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Theirworld)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 01:
Kim Cattrall attends the BOVET 1822 Brilliant is Beautiful Gala benefitting Artists for Peace and Justice's Global Education Fund for Women and Girls at Claridge's Hotel on December 1, 2017 in London, England.PHOTOGRAPH BY Jules Annan / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Jules Annan / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Kim Cattrall leaving Claridge's hotel Mayfair on December 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by GOR/GC Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 23: Kim Cattrall attends the Raffaello Summer Day 2017 to celebrate the 27th anniversary of Raffaello on June 23, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Raffaello)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Kim Cattrall poses in the Winner's room at the Virgin TV BAFTA Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: Kim Cattrall visits 'Extra' at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on February 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Actress Kim Cattrall attends AOL Build Presents 'Sensitive Skin' at AOL Studios In New York on January 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Actress Kim Cattrall visits 'Sway in the Morning' with Sway Calloway on Eminem's Shade 45 at the SiriusXM Studios on January 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Kim Cattrall is seen arriving at NBC Studios on September 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Actress Kim Cattrall poses for a photo next to her portrait at 'The Boomer List:
Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' exhibit at The Newseum on October 1, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Kim Cattrall and Frank Grillo -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)