After she was missing from the first season of the Sex and the City reboot, fans had one question: Why is Samantha not in And Just Like That? Well, Kim Cattrall’s feud with Sarah Jessica Parker is just one of many reasons Samantha Jones wasn’t in the first season of the SATC revival.
And Just Like That—whose full title is And Just Like That…A New Chapter in Sex and the City—is a reboot of HBO’s comedy series, Sex and the City, which ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2004. The show, which was based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book of the same title, followed four women in their 30s and 40s—Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis)—and their sex lives in New York City. The show went on to win four Emmy Awards (including Outstanding Comedy Series in 2001) and release two movies, Sex and the City: The Movie in 2008 and Sex and the City 2 in 2010.
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In January 2021, HBO announced that a Sex and the City reboot, titled And Just Like That, was in the works for HBO Max. The reboot sees the return of each of the main cast members—except Cattrall. So why isn’t Samantha in And Just Like That? Read on for the real reason Cattrall and Samantha aren’t in the Sex and the City reboot and whether they could return for a possible future season.
How did Samantha return in And Just Like That?
How did Samantha return in And Just Like That? Samantha Jones returned in And Just Like That Season 2, Episode 11, “The Last Supper Part Two: Entree,” where she called Carrie Bradshaw that she planned to surprise her at her “Last Supper” at her apartment but fog delayed her flight from London to New York City and she couldn’t make it. “Well, it is your apartment and I have to pay my respects,” Samantha said.
Samantha then told Carrie to put her on speakerphone so she could say goodbye to her apartment properly. “Thank you for everything you fucking fabulous, fabulous flat,” she said. When Carrie teased Samantha of developing a British accent, Samantha joked that her real name was Annabelle Bronstein from Inja, a character she impersonated in Sex and the City. “Ta and cheerio!” Samantha concluded. “And have a great night.”
On an episode of the podcast “The Writer’s Room,” showrunner Michael Patrick King revealed that the moment where “Samantha kisses the phone” after she said goodbye to Carrie was improvised and “not in the script.” “It was totally [an instance of] of an actor playing a moment. And it’s really nice,” he said. King added, “In my multiverse of And Just Like That and Sex and the City, [Carrie and Samantha] are always talking. [Samantha]’s always texting and talking, [and] not just [with] Carrie, but Miranda and Charlotte.”
Is Samantha coming back to And Just Like That for good?
Is Samantha coming back to And Just Like That for good? The answer is no. Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha in Sex and the City, explained in an interview on The View in June 2023 why she decided to return as the character in And Just Like That Season 2. “It’s very interesting to get a call from the head of HBO saying, ‘What can we do?’ And I went, ‘Hmm…,’” Cattrall. “Let me get creative and one of those things was to get Pat Field back because I just thought that if I’m going to come back I gotta come back with that Samantha style, I gotta push it and we did.”
Cattrall confirmed in an interview with Today at the time that Samantha’s scene was just a cameo and she didn’t plan on returning to the franchise full time. “This is as far as I’m going to go,” she said. “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. She gave me so much, and I’m so appreciative of her.”
Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda Hobbes, also confirmed to The Times in July 2023 that fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for Samantha to come back for good. “We were very disappointed that the secret leaked of Kim’s upcoming appearance. We so hoped it was something people wouldn’t know about until they saw the episode and that it would be a fun surprise as they were watching,” she said. “I worry that with all the build-up people are going to wonder what all the fuss was about. It’s important to know that it is a very brief, very small cameo.”
Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie Bradshaw, also told E! News in June 2023 about how the idea for Samantha to cameo in And Just Like That came about. “The idea emerged because of the 25 years and wanting to celebrate that, but also acknowledge the affection that we had for Samantha—that we continue to have,” Parker said “She’s been present on the show in text form, so it just seemed such a nice way to put a face to the text, and just have a moment.”
She continued, “It’s a very sweet, sentimental phone call that happens in a particular time in Carrie’s life. And it’s just punctuated by this phone call. I hope people enjoy it.”
Why is Kim Cattrall not in And Just Like That full time?
Why is Kim Cattrall not in And Just Like That? In a tweet in 2017, Cattrall—who played Samantha Jones for all six seasons of Sex and the City and two movies—confirmed that she had retired as the character after news broke that a third Sex and the City movie had been canceled. “Woke 2 a @MailOnline (poop emoji) storm! The only ‘DEMAND’ I ever made was that I didn’t want to do a 3rd film….& that was back in 2016,” Cattrall tweeted at the time in response to a Daily Mail article that reported that she would only sign on for Sex and the City 3 if the production studio for the movie, Warner Bros. Pictures, also produced her other projects.
“The only reason this movie isn’t being made is because of Kim Cattrall. Everyone was looking forward to making this movie but Kim made it all about her, always playing the victim,” a source told The Daily Mail at the time. “Kim had the audacity to tell Warner Bros that she would only do this if they made other movies she had in development. Ridiculous. Who does she think she is—George Clooney?” Another source added, “This franchise made her and let’s be frank, it’s all she is really known for. Cast and crew don’t just show up to make a movie, they have to rearrange their lives. People turned down other jobs, were in the process of relocating to New York but she kept stalling and was always unavailable when answers from her were needed.”
In an interview with Piers Morgan in October 2017, Cattrall made it clear that she would never play Samantha again. “Not for me. That was part of turning 60. That was a very clear moment of, how many years do I have left and what do I want to do with it? What haven’t I done? I feel that the show was the best when it was the series and the bonus was the two movies,” she said. She explained that she rejected the offer for a third Sex and the City movie because she wants to move on to a new “chapter” in her life.
“The answer was simply thank you, but no, I’m good,” she said. “This isn’t about more money. It’s not about more scenes. It’s not about any of those things. This is about a clear decision, an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another,” she said. “It’s a great part. I played it past the finish line and then some, and I loved it.” Cattrall also confirmed in the interview that she and Sarah Jessica Parker (who plays Carrie Bradshaw) have “never been friends.” “We’ve been colleagues and, in some ways, it’s a very healthy place to be,” she said at the time. Cattrall also accused SJP of continuing the narrative that she quit Sex and the City because she wanted more money. “This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker,” Cattrall said. “I think she could’ve been nicer. I really think she could’ve been nicer. I don’t know what her issue is.”
That same month, Page Six reported that Cattrall had been on outs with Parker and the rest of the Sex and the City cast well before plans for a third movie. According to the newspaper, there was an incident in season 5 of Sex and the City when Parker rented a house with Nixon and Davis in Atlantic City for a shoot but didn’t include Cattrall. (A spokesperson for HBO told Page Six at the time that Cattrall didn’t stay with her co-stars because her husband was supposed to come.) A source also told Page Six at the time that toward the end of the Sex and the City, Cattrall wasn’t on speaking terms with any of the cast.
In February 2018, Cattrall slammed SJP for an Instagram comment her former co-star made at the time about her brother’s death. “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,” Cattrall wrote on her Instagram at the time. “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.”
While Cattrall has said that money wasn’t the sole reason she decided to retire as Samantha, she has expressed her dissatisfaction with how much she’s been paid on Sex in the City in the past. In an interview on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross in 2004, Cattrall hinted that the pay disparity on Sex and the City between her and SJP was part of the reason she decided to “move on” from the show. “I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City,” she said at the time. “When they didn’t seem keen on that I thought it was time to move on.”
A source told The New York Post in 2017 that some of the Sex and the City crew didn’t think it was fair that Parker was the highest-paid when Samantha was the favorite character for most viewers. “There was a disparity between what Sarah got and what the other girls got. Everyone loved Kim’s character, people related to her—and [Kim’s] salary wasn’t showing that,” the insider said. According to Bustle, Cattrall asked to be paid $1 million per episode for Sex and the City season 7. The request was rejected, which may explain why the series ended after season 6.
As for the films, Cattrall also earned less than SJP. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Cattrall made $7 million for the first film and $10 million for the second, which was about half of what SJP made. (Cattrall did, however, make more than co-stars Davis and Nixon). In 2017, Variety also reported that Cattrall initially didn’t sign on for the first film but did so after she was offered a raise.
Why is Samantha not in And Just Like That full time?
Why is Samantha not in And Just Like That? During the Season 1 premiere of And Just Like That, Bitsy Von Muffling, a character from Sex and the City, runs into Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda at a restaurant and asks why Samantha wasn’t with them. Carrie and Miranda explain that Samantha moved to London for a job. The viewers learn in a conversation between Carrie and Miranda later in the episode that Carrie hired Samantha to be her publicist for her books, but let her go when the publishing industry went took a turn for the worse. Samantha took the move as a hit to her “ego” and “fired” Carrie as a friend (in Carrie’s own words.) She also cut off Miranda and Charlotte and moved to London. Carrie and Miranda also confirmed that they’ve reached out to Samantha since their fallout but she hasn’t returned their texts or calls. After Big dies at the end of the first episode, Samantha sends Carrie flowers at Big’s funeral. Carrie later texts Samantha to thank her.
The Daily Mail confirmed in November 2021 that Samantha wasn’t killed off in And Just Like That and had a fallout with Carrie. “We get into her absence very quickly,” a source told the newspaper at the time. “Viewers will learn that Samantha and Carrie have fallen out over Carrie firing Samantha as her publicist and that they no longer talk. This effectively ends their personal relationship. You’ll see as the series progresses over the 10 episodes that Carrie misses her friend and wants to repair the relationship. In the words of Oscar Wilde, life imitates art.”
The insider explained that And Just Like That decided to not kill off Samantha in case Cattrall wanted to return for the reboot for season 2. “We’ll announce eventually that the show will have a second season. This isn’t a one-off, this will be a series,” the insider said. “It will be quite a while between the first and second series as Sarah Jessica Parker has a busy schedule and we have a lot of work to do to get Kim Cattrall back.” The source continued, “We all miss Kim and we hope she comes back for the second season—the door will never close on her, she is an important part of the franchise…On set, Kim has been missed by everyone. The cast and crew love her and hope she returns.”
Michael Patrick King, the executive producer of And Just Like That and Sex and the City, also told The Hollywood Reporter in December 2021 that he’s open to a second season of the reboot. “Everything I do, I always end,” he said. “I always leave a finished something. … So, there are no crazy cliffhangers here. I’m just telling a story to see what it is.” He continued, “But of course, there’s interest [in doing more]. Everybody loves everything, in theory.” He also told Emmy magazine in November 2021 that there’s also the possibility of more And Just Like That seasons. “As we were working, it always felt like the beginning. It didn’t feel like a beginning, middle and an end,” he said. “So I think it’s possible to keep going—if we have enough good stories.”
Why did Samantha return in And Just Like That?
Why did Samantha return in And Just Like That? News broke in May 2023 that Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones from Season 1 to Season 6 of Sex and the City and its two movies, would reprise her role in the And Just Like That Season 2 finale after her feud with Sarah Jessica Parker. Variety reported at the time that Cattrall filmed one scene on March 22 in New York City without seeing or speaking to any of her co-stars or showrunner Michael Patrick King. The scene sees Samantha, who moved to London after a fallout with Carrie, have a phone conversation with Carrie.
A source told The New York Post at the time that crew members on And Just Like That were “shocked” by Cattrall’s “hush-hush” cameo. “[We were] definitely shocked, very intrigued on how they’re gonna write this in—and very excited,” a source told The New York Post. “She said she’d never do it! She said she’d never come back.”
The insider reported that Cattrall’s “completely” secretive scene was filmed in a town car in a parking garage near Silvercup Studios in Queens, New York City, where interior scenes for And Just Like That are filmed. The source also told The New York Post that Cattrall arrived in an SUV with blacked-out windows to hide her from onlookers.
A source also told The New York Post that the creators of And Just Like That planned for Season 2 to have 10 episodes, however it ended up splitting the finale into two parts and having 11 episodes after Cattrall agreed to film Samantha’s cameo. “The fact that they’re keeping it very hush-hush says that there’s some implication that she might be coming back — not this season, but it’s definitely a cliffhanger that’s gonna get people to come back for Season 3,” the insider said.
Another source told The New York Post at the time that Cattrall agreed to film Samantha’s cameo as long as she didn’t film with her former co-stars, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis. She also refused to film if And Just Like That and Sex and the City‘s showruner, Michael Patrick King, was on set. “Kim had two stipulations -—one, that she would not act with any of the other girls, and two, she did not want to see Michael Patrick King,” the insider said.
The source also claimed that Cattrall received a heavy paycheck for the scene. “She will have gotten a s–tload of money. It just shows the power of Kim,” the insider said. “They still need her on the show. But even though this may get fans thinking she’ll be back for the next season, she’ll never do that. She was treated poorly.” The source continued, “I’m glad she gets to be the hero … I’m sure it took a lot of massaging to make the cameo happen.”
A spokesperson for MAX denied that Cattrall’s scene ever included any of the other characters. “The offer presented to Kim was always to be a phone call, shot alone as most calls would be. This was an easy and convenient way for Samantha to return. We are delighted it worked out,” the spokesperson said in a statement to The New York Post.
Candace Bushnell, the author behind the Sex and the City book that inspired the series, also told The New York Post, “I love Kim, everyone loves Kim. I’m sure she got paid handsomely … Kim is a grown woman and she does things on her own terms. It’s what the fans want.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June 2023, King opened up about how Cattrall’s cameo came to be. “You probably know more than me. I did not start this season thinking Samantha would ever appear in the show. Now, my Samantha has always been in And Just Like That,” he said. “And in actuality, the audience saw Carrie texting with her and she sent flowers [in season one]. And in my writer’s sense, when I’m away from the screen, they’re calling and seeing each other. I know Kim said that she’d hung up the Samantha wardrobe, and then some magic happened behind the scenes because all of a sudden, there was a possibility of it happening. And I think, I don’t know, something about the 25th anniversary, the fans have always asked for Samantha and something happened where all of a sudden I was like, ‘Well, maybe if it’s a possibility, I can come up with a small beautiful little treat.’ And that’s what happened.”
When asked about how much Cattrall was paid for the cameo, King told The Hollywood Reporter, “Let me tell you, I like as much of a surprise in the show as I like as a viewer. And I was like, ‘Hey, if it’s happening, it’s magical. Let’s just keep going.’ My job as a writer is to write it and then to see if it works, and how we present it to the audience. So, I will say that maybe if there was the Olympics of showrunning, I might have won the decathlon over this.”
Sarah Jessica Parker, who is an executive producer on And Just Like That, also told Entertainment Weekly at the time why the series decided to bring Cattrall back for Season 2. “Samantha is present in season 1 and more so in season 2 via text. It was just a nice nod to the 25 years [of Sex and the City] to add the face to the text,” Parker said. “And it’s a really opportune moment in the story, [a] consequential event happening in Carrie’s life, that Samantha rings and they have this quick, lovely, sentimental, funny call. And it just feels normal and really nice, and I’m glad that we could manage it and work it out and get it sorted time-wise and schedule-wise.”
Kristin Davis, who is also an executive producer, added, “We had a conversation about it and we decided that it was right for the fans.. The fans miss Samantha. The fans love Samantha. Samantha’s a fantastic character. We get it.”
She continued, “It seemed like something that would be great to do. It also seemed like we had to honor the story. Sometimes people aren’t in your life every day, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not connected. I can’t give anything else away about the story, ’cause we’re trying to keep what secrets are left secret, but it makes sense for the circumstance that it’s in.”
‘Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell’ by Amy Sohn
For more about And Just Like That and Sex and the City, read HBO’s official companion book, Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell. The book, written by dating columnist and screenwriter Amy Sohn, is filled with behind-the-scenes secrets from Sex and the City‘s six seasons and details on the real-life stories that inspired the show’s shocking episodes. The book also includes 750 full-color photographs from filming the series, as well as an introduction written by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker. With fun facts on how many dates Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda really went on to never-been-told secrets about Carrie’s most outrageous (and fabulous) outfits, Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell is a must-read for any SATC superfan.
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