Skimm'd from The Couch | Kim Cattrall | theSkimm

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If you need some tips on advocating for yourself at work… Kim Cattrall’s got you covered. The actress and producer joined us to talk about how she learned to negotiate for herself from a young age. And how she trusts her instincts to choose new roles, including her character on the new show, “Filthy Rich.” 

On Taking Care of Herself

Carly: You took a break because you had to choose some self-care and pay attention to what you needed. And I would love to hear you talk about that.

Kim: Well, it was startling actually because I had never hit a wall in my life. And I think the core change for me was about loss. And it was a great loss. It was my father. And my father had dementia for a long time and was not well. And I felt that I was prepared for his passing. And when he passed away, I just worked harder than I had ever worked. I did not take a break. And in retrospect of that period of time, I see I needed to do that because I just wanted to block the devastating blow of losing my father.

But I went into this play that was about a woman who was having a nervous breakdown. And I couldn't sleep…. And I couldn't process anything and I couldn't think. And I started to get scared about everything. I just felt, "This is not me." I didn't feel like I was in my body. I couldn't feel comfortable. I couldn't really express what was going on because I had never been there before.

…. I came to the producers and I said, "I can't do this. I can't function, never mind perform." And I felt the best thing for me to do was to get the help that I needed and to just stop everything and take six months and find out why and really take care of myself and surround myself with the people who first loved me and would understand what a blow it was to leave a job that I was loving…. This was the wall that I ran into and had to pick myself up from, which I did with a lot of help and a lot of love.

Danielle: How have you kept that experience centered as things went back to normal slowly but surely?

Kim: …. As difficult as those times are when you are feeling desperately alone and terrified, and you don't know what to do, you will get through it. Especially with a lot of help, especially with a lot of care. And when you come through it, you will be altered, but in some ways for the better because you have allowed yourself to experience something that at the time seems like such a horrific burden, but it increases your strength.

It doesn't weaken you. It increases your understanding. It increases your empathy and your need to understand other people in a much deeper, complex way than you did before. So, I have tried to, especially in the last ten years, say yes to projects that are reflecting questions that I'm having in my life.

On Listening To Yourself

Kim: Everybody has an opinion about what you should do in my business…. you cannot keep up with it. And it's ongoing all the time. It's overwhelming. I know what's right for me more than anybody else.

…. You have to start to get to know yourself and what is right for you. And what's right for you might not be right for somebody else. It doesn't mean you're less smart or intelligent or talented. It means it's just not right for you. So, you're getting those signals all the time, in any situation, but most of us are not listening because we're filling some kind of equation of what we should do or what we shouldn't do. And that doesn't mean that you always make the right decision either. I wish it did, but it doesn't. But you learn from that. You just keep going.