Let the SATC Prequel Casting Rumors Begin

Just when you thought the Sex and the City franchise had swilled its last round of cosmos, SATC author Candace Bushnell revealed an interest in having Selena Gomez play a younger version of Charlotte York in a big-screen prequel to her novels, entitled The Carrie Diaries and Summer in the City. Which seems fitting, given the starlet has barely graduated from Disney teenbop cuteness and Charlotte is delightfully naïve, even in her thirties.

Bushnell told The Daily Caller, “I’m going to get into trouble for this, but I was looking at some pictures of Selena Gomez today and thinking she’d make a really good young Charlotte. She’s so pretty. I was like…gosh, wouldn’t she be great? Am I right or wrong? I’m not good at this. If I say something like that, then the next thing I know, people are like, ‘no!”

There are also rumors that Blake Lively could play a youthful and inexperienced Carrie Bradshaw. We admit it: Selena Gomez is adorable and Blake Lively is…blonde, but didn’t the last SATC adjunct flop? It may be an uphill battle after the negative reviews SATC 2 received (save for these three starry-eyed critics), but this addition has the potential to actually being interesting, considering the ladies would be early-twenties sexpots not yet jaded by the whole struggling-in-New York thing.

After all, the four archetypes — the prep, the prude, the man eater, the narcissist writer — of the SATC crew are timeless. We’d like to see some other heat-seekers fill those roles. We’re thinking Jennifer Lawrence as Carrie, Mia Wasikowska as Miranda, Emma Stone as Samantha, and, um, Ashley Greene as Charlotte. Please share your own casting choices in the comments.

Kim Cattrall on Aging, Airbrushing, & Ricky Gervais

On a gloomy Monday morning in New York City, Kim Cattrall sits in front of a vanity mirror as the members of her glam team—one for her face, one for her hair, one for her nails, and one for her clothes—poke, prod, gloss, comb, powder, tuck, paint, and pull her in every direction. Cattrall is unfazed. “I’m good at multitasking,” she admits. “You were saying?”

I’d been cut off mid-sentence by an interjecting powder brush while attempting to discuss parallels between the 54-year-old actor and Samantha Jones, the libidinous character she embodied for six seasons on HBO’s seminal series Sex and the City. It’s a routine question, and one she’s prepared to discuss before the words even escape my mouth. “People have a tendency to associate everything I do with Samantha, but that’s not me,” she says. “Samantha is a fictional character who lives in a pretend Oz in New York City.” And in truth, Cattrall doesn’t sound like Samantha, she doesn’t carry herself like Samantha, and she certainly doesn’t say things like, “I will wear whatever and blow whomever I want as long as I can breathe and kneel.” Still, after six seasons and two movies, the comparisons are inevitable.

Her frustration over their reductive urge to equate is obvious—“People want you to be the characters you play on TV because then they know how to deal with you,” she says—which might explain her enthusiasm for first-time director Keith Bearden’s darkly comic film, Meet Monica Velour, in which Cattrall plays Linda Romanoli, a washed-up porn star whose career peaked with films such as Welcome Back, Harder and Saturday Night Beaver, struggling to find a way out of her dead-end life. Her costar, newcomer Dustin Ingram, plays Tobe, a teenage outcast and Linda’s biggest fan. Driving an inherited hot-dog truck, Tobe sojourns from his home in Washington state to the Petting Zoo, a low-rent strip club in Indiana, to meet his idol. When he arrives at the club, Tobe finds Linda, known to her fans as Monica Velour, dancing in cheap lingerie and clear plastic heels to the song “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack. Cattrall, who gained 20 pounds for the role, flosses her crotch with a white elbow-length glove, her outdated dance moves stiff and maladroit despite their seductive intentions. The frat-boy hecklers in the front row make the scene difficult to watch: “Damn, someone ordered off the senior’s menu,” says one of them to his laughing friends. “I think someone’s got Depends on under there.”

Meet Monica Velour is fiction, of course, and yet it hugs the edge of reality. After all, it wasn’t long ago that Ricky Gervais, during his much-ballyhooed hosting gig at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this year, lobbed similarly snide remarks at Cattrall and her Sex and the City costars, suggesting that their faces were in need of “CGI special effects.” Remembering his gibes, she says, laughing, “He’s shooting arrows at women, and he’s how old? What an overfed, slimy individual.”

For over three decades, Cattrall has portrayed women in films like The Bonfire of the Vanities (skinny, beautiful woman), Mannequin (plastic, beautiful woman), and Police Academy (feisty, beautiful woman), but more recently, she’s been drawn to gutsier roles, from an aide to a disgraced British Prime Minister in Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, to Cleopatra in a stage production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra last fall at the Liverpool Playhouse. Cattrall’s deepening hunger for more substantial parts seems to suggest she might have an answer to the mystery of growing older in the public eye. Instead, she has a question of her own: “Where does one go to age?” image

It’s the morning after the Academy Awards, and as she prepares for a decidedly unfussy photo shoot, Cattrall is amiable and relaxed, devoid of the diva behavior that supposedly swirled about the SATC set. It’s clear that Cattrall is friendly, yet when it comes to work, she likes to keep things simple. “It’s a job,” she says. “I don’t have to be close to the people I work with. Bankers don’t want to go home and balance their checkbooks.” Audiences, she explains, had invested so much into the friendships of those characters that “they expected it to be real life.”

Meeting expectations, as it turns out, is not Cattrall’s forte. “As a woman, you always symbolize something to someone,” she says. “People interview me and they’re looking at my face, not into my eyes. They’re looking around my eyes. I can see that they’re not listening to me.” At this moment, her gaze couldn’t be more direct. “For once, with Meet Monica Velour, I got to experience how wonderful it is to not have to look a certain way—I didn’t have to be sexy.” Most actors shy away from roles that focus on age and call attention to wrinkles and a flabby physique, but Cattrall was thrilled to let herself go. “I did this film because it scared me,” she says. “Growing up, I was a cute kid, then I was a pretty young girl, then a pretty woman, then a beautiful woman—what comes after that? A lot of actors my age won’t take a role if it comes with a 20-year-old son.” She considers, for a moment, naming names, but restrains herself. “It frightens me, too, but that’s the inevitable next step.”

Possibly due to continued public ribbing about the aging SATC stars, or that last year’s big-screen sequel was met with critical hostility (along with her three costars, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, Cattrall took home the award for worst actress at this year’s Razzies), there has been talk of replacing the four leads with a younger group of women, including Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively, in a rumored prequel. She calls the buzz “interesting,” and just to make sure we get her drift, she adds, “I don’t know who Blake Lively is.” After a considerable pause, she continues. “The original show did so much for its generation. I just hope, no matter what direction they decide to go with it, that we don’t slide backwards, that we don’t lose the work the show did.”

On the topic of having work done, we find ourselves discussing the Sex and the City 2 movie poster, and the barrage of ridicule it received for its post-production treatment. “Like they don’t airbrush men? Trees? The sky?” She brings up a surprising comment made on NPR’s weekly quiz show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! “They were talking about chickens and somehow connected it to ‘those four old chickens from Sex and the City.’ What a sexist thing to say!” Her mild-mannered tone begins to deepen. “Would you say that about someone who was black? Would you say it about a man? Is it because women don’t stand up, because we don’t say anything?” Consciously or not, Cattrall just has.

“I used to think that when I finally reached this age, I would have to armor up, but I don’t feel that way anymore,” she says. Instead she has chosen to do battle by making smart films. “I consider 50 to be young. People are living so much longer, and besides, I don’t think I look 50. I take really great care of myself.” True to her word, at the end of Cattrall’s photo shoot, she was given the choice to either have her pictures slightly retouched or shellacked and shined like a Cadillac. Her response: “Fuck it. Leave it all in.”

Dress by Chanel. Bracelets by Kenneth Jay Lane.

Top picture: Jacket by Burberry London. Tank by Helmut Lang Pants by Fendi. Second picture: Earrings (worn on jacket lapel) by Kenneth Jay Lane. Jeweled bracelet (worn as a pocket Square) by Swarovski.

Photography by Kate Orne. Styling by Paolo Neddu. Hair by Ryan Trygstad @ The Milton Agency using L’Oreal Professionel. Makeup by Nick Barose @ Exclusive Artists using Laura Mercier manicurist Julie Kandelac @ artistsbytimothypriano .com. Photo assistant: Maria Karas. Fashion Assistants Gina Donnelly and Jahil Fisher. Tech :Kotaro Kawashima. Location Tribeca Skyline Studios, New York City.

Should Blake Lively Revive ‘Sex and the City’?

The macabre specter of the Sex and the City franchise could be summoned to life yet again – except this time, with a new Carrie Bradshaw. If the rumors are to be believed, Gossip Girl‘s Blake Lively will take on Sarah Jessica Parker’s role in a prequel set in Carrie’s early New York years. Sounds foolproof. What could possibly go wrong, after the critical acclaim that accompanied the first two SATC movies?

The new installment would be based on a recently-completed Candace Bushnell book that chronicles Carrie’s move to New York as a young woman. In that context, it really doesn’t make sense to trot out the old foursome again. But actually — and I say this on the behalf of sane SATC fans everywhere – it doesn’t make sense to make this movie at all. Please don’t make this movie, Hollywood people, if indeed you are planning to.

First, there’s the issue of Blake Lively. Sarah Jessica Parker has her shortcomings as an actress, but she was just right for the endearing mess that is (or was, more aptly) Carrie Bradshaw. The cigarettes, the goofy outfits, the questionable men and imperfect looks; Carrie was relatable even if she also was totally unrealistic. Blake Lively is not relatable. Her face isn’t funny enough. She’s too tall, and you could never in a million years picture her wearing the crazy shit that Carrie pulled off. She needs a touch of Streisand, you know?

Also – and this is a point that gets brought up often, but still – these relentless movies are ruining a fantastic television show. It was cartoonish at times (and that was kind of the point!), but Sex and the City was also smart and funny and often touching. I know I can’t be the only young woman who watched nearly every episode on DVD on her friend’s couch in high school and thought, thrillingly, “Is that what New York is like?” And then we got here, and New York was nothing like that, but never mind. SATC is now primarily a nostalgia trip to a place that never really was, and that’s why we love it so.

It’s getting harder to keep loving it, though, especially after the disastrous second SATC “film.” Lindy West at the Seattle Stranger described it as “essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls,” and basically, yeah. That’s what it was, 1000 times over. Everything that needs to be said about that movie has already been said, and we should just forget that it happened. The first one, too; although that had some redeeming qualities, at least. Mostly the clothes.

There’s no harm in letting this franchise go to its well-deserved final resting place. The series started in 1998 and ended in 2004. The zeitgeist is over. Doesn’t Michael Patrick King have any other ideas, or was that his one idea ever? This is a different time and New York is a different place, and teenage girls in small towns deserve a new fantasy.

Morning Links: Kim Kardashian Can’t Dance, Charlie Sheen’s Bender Becomes Porn

● Rumor has it that fallen news star Keith Olbermann has landed at Current TV, Al Gore’s little cable news channel that only ever sort of was. The new job would come with a much more limited audience, but with welcome breathing room for the fiery anchor. [NYT] ● “I had enormous boobs that I didn’t know what to do with,” admits Katy Perry in the March issue of Elle. But now she’s older and much more competent. [Elle] ● “Welcome to America,” said Prince, after kicking Kim Kardashian offstage for not dancing. [VV]

● This sounds like blasphemy, but apparently SATC producers are gearing up an adaptation for the prequel The Carrie Diaries, and looking to hand over the roll of Carrie Bradshaw to Blake Lively. [Grazia] ● Porn star Kasey Jordan, most notable to the general public for getting wild with Charlie Sheen, is working on an XXX-rated retelling of “Sheen’s last wild party.” Let the truth be told! [Radar] ● Brick Squad rapper Waka Flocka Flame has signed on to be a face in PETA’s upcoming “Ink Not Mink” campaign, because, as his publicist makes clear, it’s the right thing to do: “Would you want someone just to walk up and skin your kid? Hell no!” [XXL]

Anna Sui, Jil Sander, ‘SATC2’ & Williamson Spawn Fashion Reads

Fashion’s literary fetish is anything but waning these days. While street-style bloggers have released a slew of tomes in recent months (The Sartorialist, The Selby and the Facehunter included), so have the likes of unemployed sartorial icon Olivier Theyskens and former employees of both Miuccia Prada and Karl Lagerfeld. Now comes news that Anna Sui, Jil Sander and the Sex and the City engine will release their own publications in upcoming months. Notoriously shy Sui is about to go “very public about her 20-year career,” says Women’s Wear Daily. Come fall, Chronicle Books will release a retrospective that will “recount her working with practically every supermodel around, dressing rock sirens and bohemian chicks and giving the baby-doll dress a lease on life.” Although Sui herself can’t be credited for actually penning anything more than the book’s forward; contributors Jack White (hubby to longtime Sui muse Karen Elson), the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton and photog Steven Meisel take care of the rest.

Jil Sander, who recently returned from a fashion hiatus to team up with Uniqlo for a heralded ongoing collaboration, is following suit. “The reclusive German designer said she wants to produce a book … ‘some kind of resume of my work in the past and the ideals that stand behind it’,” Sander told Women’s Wear Daily. She has yet to decide on the publisher, but given her larger-than-life sartorial reputation, finding interested parties isn’t likely to be much of a struggle.

A significantly harder pill to swallow, however, is the latest extension of the Sex and the City empire. In anticipation of the sequel to the ongoing Carrie Bradshaw saga, SATC is releasing its own style guide. Slated to hit shelves May 18, the paperback is a “mammoth 500 page fashion-focused book” that breaks down outfits from the film as well as offers up behind-the-scenes, “making of” magic. Fortunately for designers whose garb is featured in the film, every outfit’s various components are labeled by brand. As for the looks themselves, let’s just say that whoever released the preview image above might have been better of opting for something slightly more understated.

Speaking of Sex and the City, Bradshaw favorite, Brit designer Matthew Williamson is also getting into the literary game. “Yes, I’m working on a book,” he divulged to Racked LA this past weekend, before adding, “it’s going to be written by Colin McDowell, with an introduction by Sienna Miller. With a few more contributors, maybe. Anna Wintour possibly.”

Jeffrey Wells Blames Sex & the City For Everything

Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere is a consistently amusing read for a number reasons, not the least of which is how childishly irascible he can be. It might be the violence in a particular film he dislikes, or it may be something as trivial (and non film related!) as a logorrheic couple seated next him in a café, but the man likes to vent and doesn’t necessarily let sound judgment get in his way. I’ve been reading his column long enough that I’ve started calling these his “righteous rage” pieces, and today’s, directed against the forthcoming Sex and the City 2, is a doozy.

His thoughts are as follows:

“Could there possibly be a more toxic symbol of the utter nowhereness of girlie America than the forthcoming Sex and the City 2 (Sony, 5.27)? What could have better inspired that jerkoff who tried to blow up Times Square the other day? Wallowing in the backwash of the Bernie Madoff and Goldman Sachs-styled profiteering that brought the U.S. to the brink of economic disaster, Carrie and the girls are glaring symbols of everything that was excessively rank about the pre-meltdown 21st Century economy.”

Ok, I get it, and far be it for me to defend Sex and the City, but doesn’t this argument have the angry ring of teenager’s drunken party tirade? The terrorists, and Bernie Madoff, and Carrie Bradshaw, and Halliburton….! Besides, no sentient person needs to be told Sex in the City is debased and debasing. To even say so strikes me as redundant.

Germans Deem New York Nothing More Than a Land of Cupcakes

This is totally Sex and the City‘s fault. Sarah Jessica Parker, Magnolia Cupcakes, we blame you. McDonald’s in Germany are now offering a series of cupcakes named after New York City neighborhoods — Central Park, Soho, Chelsea, and East Village. Because, really now, what is New York now but a series of cutesy cupcake shops?

The East Village cupcake is cappuccino-flavored because, according to German McDonald’s, “Here come from the most famous artists in New York” and also something about Andy Warhol that doesn’t quite translate. A dude in a floppy hat and corduroy pants stands alongside the E.V. cupcake on the German website.

Chelsea is chocolate because it “was once terribly hip, sometimes not, and then again.” It’s paired with a dude in baggy jeans and a rumpled button-down. So un-Chelsea. McD’s, get that guy in some G-Stars.

Soho gets stuck with a vanilla cupcake and a chick who looks like a cute nurse because the only reason to go to Soho and throw some elbows on the sidewalks is Uniqlo.

Central Park gets a strawberry cupcake and a cool chick in jeggings and a vest whose style is more downtown than uptown. German McDonald’s explains that Central Park is where “all of New York hangs out.” Who knew?

Newcomer Alice Eve’s ‘Sex and the City’ Flip-flop

In just over a month, little-known English actress Alice Eve will be christened a brand new pin-up by ravenous teenage boys everywhere. That’s when She’s Out of My League comes out, an R-rated comedy starring Jay Baruchel as an airport security schlub who lands the girl of, well, everyone’s dreams (played by Eve). The movie was originally called Hard 10, named after Eve’s place on the hotness scale. (We saw the movie, and it’s true, she’s scorching). But Alice Eve is not just a pretty face. She’s a well-spoken, stage-trained, Oxford-educated actress. In fact, back when she was promoting the disappointing immigration mosaic Crossing Over, Eve had some choice words for a certain comedy about urbanity and fornication. “I have a problem with Sex and the City in that it perpetuates a level of judgment between women,” she said then. Then she mentioned that she’s hard at work on two screenplays about “the modern woman.” What a difference a year makes.

Following She’s Out of My League, Eve’s next and so far only role is in, you guessed it, Sex and the City 2—as a nanny. We understand that Hollywood can be a brutal place, especially for a gorgeous blond who actually knows how to act, and that when you’re offered a role in one of the biggest movies of the year, you take it, even if that means eating your own words later. Well Ms. Eve, you’ve been served. Sorry, but we couldn’t help it.

‘Sex & The City 2’ Trailer Arrives in Time To Bring Holiday Fear

There’s been a lot of speculation about the Sex & the City sequel: Will it involve saffron love, a Tony Kushner tribute or sex robots? But today marks a turning point! A trailer for the film has leaked and in it, Carrie Bradshaw blah-blahs about how it’s been two years and sometimes reality hits you like it’s Chris Brown and you wonder how all your girlfriends have managed not to contract cirrhosis from all those martinis. Then she goes on to muse about whether Jay-Z and Alicia Keys will ever forgive her for misappropriating “Empire State of Mind.” They won’t! Oh, city life. Ain’t it grand?

Then at some point, Kim Cattrall bounces out of a taxi wearing some fugly black mini-dress with unflattering breast-adjacent slits. This may make you wonder if perhaps it isn’t the Garbage Pail Kids trailer you’re watching instead. Alas, no. There’s also a moment when the uppity brunette one makes cupcakes while holding a baby. Suddenly it’s 0:50 into the trailer and that horrible orchestral version of the S&TC theme kicks in, making you want to tear your ears out and throw your eyeballs into a mug of hot lye. But please don’t! Next year also promises to bring some good films, too. The top contender for next year’s Razzies, as presented in just under a minute-and-a-half, below.