updated 06/03/2008 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/03/2008 AT 1:10 PM ET
Sex and the City’s Samantha, Kim Cattrall, had the sweet smell of success all around her Monday night in Manhattan, at the Council of Fashion Designer of America Awards, the industry’s top honor.
“I haven’t been able to sleep, I’ve been so excited,” the 51-year-old actress, wearing Monique Lhuillier and hanging on the arm of top menswear designer Tom Ford after presenting him with his award, told PEOPLE.
“I should probably be at home with my feet up,” she said after her whirlwind international promotional tour to help her movie set a $55.7 million record-breaker (the most for an R-rated comedy) on its opening weekend in the U.S. “But I can’t seem to stay at home. I’ve never experienced anything like this.”
Cattrall’s theory on how the film whipped Indiana Jones in the box-office race? “I think it was really driven by women,” she said. “They were getting together in groups of 8, 16, 24 … en masse. And when you get women joining together, it’s very powerful.”
So was the CFDA gathering, at the historic main branch of the New York Public Library: Eva Longoria Parker, Tony Parker, Victoria Beckham, Ashley Olsen, Tina Fey as well as designers Vera Wang, Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein.
But the actress is cautious about speculating whether Samantha and Carrie and company will, like Indiana Jones, be having more adventures 20 years from when they first got together.
“He started when he was in his 20s or 30s,” she said about Harrison Ford’s Indy. “The thing that I love about this is that women seem to be having more screen longevity than ever before. And to have a film like this exist where one of the characters turns 50 [as Samantha does in the movie], it’s truly extraordinary.”
Her hope, she says, is that “it continues, because our lives don’t end when we turn 35. They get deeper and richer, and hopefully there will be more stories to tell about women at that point in their lives.”
For Cattrall, that’s already true. On Monday, HBO (original home of SATC) announced that she had signed on to star and executive produce an American adaptation of the British series Sensitive Skin, which starred Absolutely Fabulous’s Joanna Lumley as a well-off former model working at an London art gallery who rediscovers her sexuality.