SEX AND THE BITCHY; All Smiles? from Left, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis
Byline: Ashley Pearson
PREPARATIONS began in earnest this week for the premiere of one of themost eagerly awaited films of the year.
After months of speculation over which city would host the glittering firstnight, the movie version of Sex And The City will be unveiled on Monday inLondon not, surprisingly, Manhattan, where the show is based.
That is if the film's famous quartet of stars can bear to share the same redcarpet, however.
Insiders who worked on the set say the movie's stars breathed a big sigh ofrelief when filming ended: little wonder after months of rumours aboutin-fighting, back-biting, arguments over cash and which stars had the greatestpublic exposure, sky-rocketing wardrobe costsand, inevitably, anxiety over wrinkles and cellulite.
Nor have those tensions miraculously vanished with the film's completion.
Even now, the actresses' agents will be lobbying for the best hotel suites, themost coveted designer dresses and the highest profile Press interviews for thelaunch. No doubt the producers will insist on cosy group shots on premierenight.
But behind the frozen smiles, what will really be running through their minds?It seems there were problems with the chemistry between the stars from the verybeginning, courtesy of a raging row between Kim Cattrall, who plays man-eatingSamantha Jones, and the film's producer and leading star, Sarah Jessica Parker.
According to one source, Cattrall 'did not want to sign on' to the projectbecause 'she felt she has been treated horribly by Sarah Jessica for six years,so why would she want to revisit that?' Parker and Cattrall are not the best offriends.
And that's putting it mildly.
The pair reportedly fell out over a pay inequality during the HBO show's final2004 TV season. As a producer and star, Parker pocketed considerably more thanCattrall who didn't relish suffering the same indignity on the big screen.
Insiders cite this as the reason the British-born actress Cattrall took so longto sign on to the film.
She has admitted: 'The offer [for the film] just wasn't acceptable. I felt weshould all make lots of moneynot just one of us.' She eventually signed up for a reported $6 million deal.
The other two female leadsCynthia Nixon (who plays Miranda Hobbes) and Kristin Davis (Charlotte York)signed for $2 million each, according to one report.
One source told me: 'Kim's been bragging to everyone that she held out for moremoney on the film and, in turn, got better salaries than Davis and Nixon.'Despite overwhelming reports to the contrary, a spokesman for Cattrall claimedher initial reluctance was not about cash.
'It was a complicated time in Kim's life. Her father was diagnosed withdementia and put into a home. She needed to take care of personal matters, butis happy that, years later, the girls reunited to make a great movie.' Oneco-star, however, was slightly more forthcoming. Willie Garson, who playsCarrie's gay best friend Stanford Blatch, and is a long-time friend of SarahJessica, was overheard confessing that he and the rest of the cast were upsetwhen Cattrall publicly announced she was fed up of waiting to see a script forthe film and wanted to work on other projects.
He remarked dryly: 'We were disappointed. Out of 11 cast members, only one ofus chose to put out a press release.' According to a source, a deal to get thewarring Kim and Sarah Jessica back together was made possible by an olivebranch extended by Cattrall.
'Kim broke the ice by sending Sarah Jessica flowers to congratulate her on herclothing line Bitten, and Sarah Jessica responded by sending items from thecollection.'
HOWEVER it arose, it was a fragile peace. The first day of filming in September2007 should have been a happy reunion for the women who had not worked togetherin more than three years; it was not.
Producers planned an elaborate first day celebration for cast and crew attrendy Manhattan restaurant, Butter. …