Cynthia Nixon Reveals She 'Had to Be Thin and Look Great All the Time' on S'ex and the City'

"All of a sudden, the roles that I play are allowed to be much more interesting," Nixon said of turning 50

Cynthia Nixon is praising Lena Dunham‘s Girls for bringing realness to the TV screen.

Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbs on HBO’s Sex and the City, got candid about the physical pressures that female actresses face in an honest discussion with Kristen Bell, Tracee Ellis Ross and Michelle Monaghan for a filmed debate of NET-A-PORTER’s digital magazine The EDIT.

Girls has been important in changing the game for female actresses. In Sex and the City we had to be thin and look great all the time; in Girls they have permission to be more real and less airbrushed,” Nixon, 50, revealed during the conversation with her fellow TV actresses.

The women also shared their thoughts and opinions on sexism, diversity, female equality and ageism in the TV sphere. Since turning 50, Nixon revealed that the type of roles that she is considered for are now “allowed to be much more interesting” versus what she auditioned for as a younger actress.

Photograph by Victor Demarchelier, Courtesy of The EDIT,

“It’s because I’m out of my fertile period and so many of the roles that we are offered when we’re between 25 and 45 have to do with being someone’s mother. And being someone’s mother, up close is really wonderful, but it’s frankly not that interesting and particularly dramatically, it’s sort of mind-numbing,” she said of playing the character of a mother.

“I turned 50 this year. The way that the people who are casting me see me, now that I’m out of that space — even though I have a 5-year-old at home and I’m not actually out of that space at all — but to their eye I am, all of a sudden, the roles that I play are allowed to be much more interesting. They’re allowed to be malevolent and complicated in a way that’s like, if I’m still in the mommy area, it’s really important that I’m basically benevolent,” the mother of three continued.

The veteran actress, who starred in the October release of Killing Reagan, also believes that instead of television being at the forefront of setting trends, the industry is attempting to catch up with what is happening in the world, but has just not yet made it to the screen.

“I always feel like television is so often playing catch up. Like in the case of Sex and the City, it was that actually women weren’t sitting around pining to get married and that was the be all and end all of their existence,” Nixon stated. “Now, Sex and the City didn’t create that — that was what was happening — but we showed it and all of a sudden people flocked to it because they were like, ‘yes!’ ”

Photograph by Victor Demarchelier, Courtesy of The EDIT,

And for SATC fans who are hoping to see Nixon reprise her role as Miranda Hobbs in a third film installment, it just might be a possibility!

Tim Matheson, who played former President Ronald Reagan to Nixon’s Nancy Reagan in Killing Reagan, asked his costar about the likelihood of Sex and the City 3. Matheson said Nixon “was very enigmatic about it, like, ‘Who knows! Who knows!’ ”

He added of working with her: “She’s a wonderful actor and she looks you in the eye and she tells you the truth and she listens carefully to what you’re saying … she’s just fabulous to bounce off of.”

To see The EDIT’s full interview with Cynthia Nixon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kristen Bell and Michelle Monaghan go to and or download the free EDIT app at the App Store and Google Play.

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