Former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon says HBO’s long-running New York comedy series feels “very dated” and “white” now, but the cast were conscious of that at the time.
The series ran from 1998-2004 and portrayed the live, loves and lusts of a quartet of well-heeled 30+ women and was iconic in it its time, but Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes, feels it hasn’t aged well.
She told Radio Times: “There are things about Sex and the City that look very dated now; certainly how white it was. Even at the time, we were very aware of that. However, it was revolutionary in terms of the age of the characters. We were all over 30 when it started. And as it went on, we were quite a bit older than that.”
It was also groundbreaking in showing that not all women were “marriage-minded” and it “showed how women are deeply interested in sex and really care about it; not just as a means to get a ring on their finger, but as a matter of personal interest and choice”.
Nixon ruled out the cast reuniting for a third Sex and the City movie; you get the feeling the world has moved on from the lives of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte and that Nixon feels it’s a good thing.
Television was heading incrementally towards gender equality and Nixon was very happy about that.
“In recent years, we’ve seen more women producers, directors and writers, which is great,” she said. “It’s very exciting to see shows like Killing Eve that would have traditionally had a male and a female lead. Now, we can have two strong female leads who are also very complicated characters.”
But there was further to go. Shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad had morally dubious lead male characters and, until women could play the same type of unpleasant but compelling lead characters, things weren’t equal.
Nixon co-stars in Ratched, Netflix’s new prequel series to the classic movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and said the lead character, Nurse Ratched, in it was a step in the right direction.
She said: “At the centre of Ratched is a woman, played by Sarah Paulson, who is as much of an anti-heroine as a heroine. We love her and we embrace her in the story. And, much to our shock and horror, we empathise with her. It’s fantastic.”
Nixon plays Gwendolyn Briggs, who has a relationship with Rached in the series.
“[Sarah Paulson] and [Cynthia Nixon] are simply luminescent when they share a scene,” showrunner Ryan Murphy wrote on Twitter. “Get ready for the romance you deserve.”
Ratched streams on Netflix from Friday, 18th September.
Interview by Adam Tanswell
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