NEW YORK — After 12 years playing sultry screen vixen Samantha Jones on "Sex and the City," Kim Cattrall says she's "letting it all hang out" in her new role as a has-been porn star.
Cattrall gained 20 pounds for the title role in the indie film "Meet Monica Velour," about a washed up, aging porn star living in a rural Indiana trailer park.
"It was actually kind of a relief," the 54-year-old actress said Tuesday in an interview. "It was like getting rid of the Barbie doll and throwing it out and starting again."
She said packing on the pounds for "Monica Velour," which comes out April 8, was her fist break from dieting in 25 years and was "wonderful."
"We were shooting in Detroit, and there's a lot of great bars in Detroit," Cattrall said. "So I ate and I drank for about six weeks."
Not so wonderful, she admits, was getting back into her strict regimen so she could shoot her next project, Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," which was released last year.
Cattrall hit the treadmill and cut out breads, dairy, sweets and most meats to prepare for her role as an assistant to a former British prime minister, played by Pierce Brosnan.
Cattrall said she hopes the stripped-down role in "Monica Velour" will remind people that before Samantha there was Kim, the actress with more than 35 years of varied film, television and theater credits.
"I loved working on 'Sex and the City.' It's a dream job and a great character to play," she said. "But before 'Sex and the City' I was a working actress, and hopefully I'll be until I can't talk or move."