Kim Cattrall has admitted it is "scary" taking on the role of a faded film star in Sweet Bird Of Youth, because she doesn't feel old enough.
The 56-year-old Sex And The City star plays Alexandra Del Lago in the new production of Tennessee Williams' play at London's Old Vic theatre, directed by War Horse's Marianne Elliott, with 26-year-old Broadway star Seth Numrich as her gigolo toy boy.
Kim said: "It's a great pleasure, but it's a scary role. I think for an actress it's one of those benchmark roles where you think, 'It's time to do the older woman role'."
Kevin Spacey, artistic director at The Old Vic, approached Kim personally and asked her to take on the part.
"I was told by the director I was working with at the time, 'I think you're too young for it, I think you should wait 10 years.' And I thought that was very sweet of him to say, but I really thought it would be interesting to play her at this time in my life. Because I think I'm going through a lot of the issues that this character is going through - no longer being the youngest person, never mind in the room, but in the company.
"And just in your life when you're thought to look one way or be one way and then of course you age, you change and those are issues that are difficult for women who've been so objectified like this character has. And I have in my life.
"It exorcises demons and also allows me to access them and look at them with a different point of view."
Kim particularly wanted to work with Marianne.
She revealed: "Not just because she's a woman, but I think she's really brilliantly talented and very smart. She was the first director I've had in a long time who actually gave me homework."
Sweet Bird Of Youth runs at The Old Vic until Saturday August 31.