When Harry Met Samantha: Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrall Talk My Boy Jack
By Ileane Rudolph for TV Guide, 18th April 2008
Here’s a magical pairing. Sex and the City siren Kim Cattrall and Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame play mother and son in My Boy Jack, a BBC drama airing on PBS’ Masterpiece (Sunday at 9 pm/ET). The unlikely pair spoke to us together, Cattrall from her home in New York and Radcliffe from the U.K. set of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, about their roles, their upcoming projects and their fondness for each other.
TVGuide.com: My Boy Jack was a hit in England. What’s it about?
Kim Cattrall: It’s a story about how war affects a family, in this case the writer Rudyard Kipling’s family during World War I. I play his amazing American wife Carrie.
Daniel Radcliffe: For my character, Jack Kipling, it’s about finding a source of escape from his famous father. He must overcome physical problems that could keep him from joining the army, because he wants to prove himself to be a man. It’s quite relevant today.
TVGuide.com: As a teenaged soldier, Jack faces as much danger as Harry Potter, but it’s no big-budget fantasy. Why this film?
Radcliffe: It wasn’t a drawback that this didn’t have the same level of spectacle as the Harry Potter stories. In fact, it was quite nice to break away from all that and not to work with a blue screen. It was more real.
Cattrall: They didn’t have the budget for CGI! I was attracted to the role because I had a personal story playing out. My nephew had just turned 18, and his dream is to join the military and fight in Iraq.
TVGuide.com: Kim, you wear high-necked dresses and play a lovely, mature woman. You weren’t considered right for the role at first, true?
Cattrall: I am a lovely, mature woman. At least I like to think so. [Director] Brian Kirk and I met in London, and I immediately loved the project. He was kind of negative and asked for some film to look at. I sent him Ice Princess, where I played a tough-ass skating coach, and a film of a Mamet play I had done in London. He admitted he had been wrong, and it turned out to be one of the happiest filming experiences I’ve ever had.
TVGuide.com: Tell us something surprising about each other.
Cattrall: Daniel does fantastic magic tricks, and he’s a wonderful storyteller. The amount of information that he has stored in his 18-year-old brain is really astounding!
Radcliffe: Kim’s got a brilliant laugh you hear from miles away. It’s delightful. Kim, you made me sound brilliant and I want to do the same, but I simply can’t think of anything else on the spot!
TVGuide.com: Dan, you’re coming to Broadway in Equus this fall. You were naked in the London production. How tough was that?
Radcliffe: The first time it was scary, but then you get used to it pretty quickly. It’s liberating in a funny way.
Cattrall: Dan is much braver than me. I was never completely nude in Sex and the City — just bits and bobs. But Samantha has a comfort with her body that I, Kim, don’t have.
TVGuide.com: After Sex and the City ended, Kim, why have you been working so often in the U.K.?
Cattrall: Offers like Carrie Kipling are just not happening in America for me. It’s easier over there. When director Peter Hall called me to do Whose Life Is It Anyway on the stage, he told me, “You’d have to be in bed for the whole play, but this time, it’s because you’re a quadriplegic!” It’s nice that somebody was so willing to stretch people’s perceptions of who you are. Also, I’ve had a need to go back to my roots — to Liverpool — where I was born. That’s been very joyous for me.
TVGuide.com: Does Harry come of age in Half-Blood Prince, which you’re filming now?
Radcliffe: Yes, his relationship with Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) changes from being teacher/pupil to a general and his foot soldier. Michael and I have been working together a huge amount and it’s been absolutely great fun.
TVGuide.com: When do you start filming the last two Harry Potter movies?
Radcliffe: When I finish this sixth film, I’ll take some time off to do Equus, and I’ll get on to the Hallows films early next year.
TVGuide.com: Kim, how about a role in the final Potter flicks?
Cattrall: I would love to! It’s so much fun working with Dan and I’ve always been such a huge fan of fantasy.
Radcliffe: Actually, you would qualify, because you’re technically British.
Cattrall: I’m halfway to Hogwarts!
TVGuide.com: What’s up with Samantha in Sex and the City: The Movie?
Cattrall: I can tell you she has a dog, a little terrier that’s a bit of a diva, of course.
Radcliffe: [Laughs] That’s the most innocuous detail. Brilliant!
Cattrall: I’m not crossing any legal lines.
TVGuide.com: It’s well known that you drove a hard bargain before you agreed to do the movie. Glad you did?
Cattrall: It was a blast! We all had a really good time. It was a little nerve-racking at the beginning. The first day of shooting, there were hundreds of people screaming with excitement and taking pictures. It was fabulous, but incredibly overwhelming.
TVGuide.com: Could there be more Sex in the future?
Cattrall: I thought everything was sewn up quite neatly four years ago, but it seems as long as Michael Patrick King comes up with these great scripts, there will be an audience. At least I hope there will be. We’ll see how this one goes, but now I have a comedy in development at HBO. It’s a story of a woman in a certain time in her life. But I won’t be wearing any high necklines!