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Sex And The City 2 - Cynthia Nixon interview

Cynthia Nixon in Sex & The City 2

Compiled by Jack Foley

CYNTHIA Nixon talks about some of the challenges of making Sex and the City 2 and taking her character, Miranda, in new directions. She also talks about filming in Marrakech, riding camels and why she’s a tea fanatic…

Q: What’s most exciting about returning to the character?
Cynthia Nixon: I think the most exciting thing about returning to Miranda is now and has always been the way Michael Patrick keeps her evolving. The way he keeps all the characters evolving. I mean, if you look at who she was in the first season, you know, she was so bitter and suspicious and cynical and defensive and quick to yell, quick to anger. And when we pick her up now, she is really a fairly happy wife and mother. Her career is still very important. I won’t give it away but she has some trouble with her career in this film. But I really feel like it’s a mark of how Miranda has evolved.

Q: Talk about the position you found yourself in…
Cynthia Nixon: I think that Miranda has always defined herself so much as a career person She is made partner, she’s in a great firm, terrific salary, everything. And she has a boss who just can’t stand the sight or the sound of her. And I think just like Miranda, we all have our breaking point, so when Miranda reaches her breaking point she walks, she quits. That’s a very big deal for anybody to do, but I think particularly someone who has defined herself through her entire adult life by her career. You know, the men might come and go. Maybe she would become a mother, maybe she wouldn’t, but she was a lawyer. And so now, in her early 40s to all of a sudden be set adrift and try and figure out, if I’m not a lawyer, who am I? What else is there? What else is left of me?

Q: Have you been surprised by the fan reaction and clamouring to see more of Sex and the City?
Cynthia Nixon: I think we are, as the years pass, I think we are always surprised. I think we’re always amazed and very touched and excited by how people want to see more and check in with these characters. They want to see where Michael Patrick will take them, both emotionally and in the case of this film, literally. Where they’re going to go.

Q: What’s the status of her relationship with Steve?
Cynthia Nixon: I think that when we saw Miranda and Steve in the last film they were really at their all time low. They’ve put in the hard work, and they’ve really gotten back to each other. And I think that one thing that touches Miranda so much is Steve’s support of her regarding her career. He just keeps saying over and over again, they don’t appreciate you, just walk, you’ll get another job and we have the money, don’t worry, and value yourself. And I think that for Miranda, she really vacillates between sounding her own horn and really devaluing herself. So, really to have her husband who is so important in her life say, hey, you’re better than this, don’t let them kick you around, really means the world to her.

Q: Tell us about the celebrity cameos in the film…
Cynthia Nixon: Well Liza [Minnelli] was amazing. I mean, most of the celebrity cameos I was not around for, but I certainly was around for Liza. And it was just amazing. We were all so excited that Liza was going to be in the movie. I think the stuff that Michael wrote for her was so funny.

Q: Talk about what Pat Fields has cooked up for you guys in fashion…
Cynthia Nixon: I think she has the idea that Miranda is very, East Side lady, even though she lives in Brooklyn. Miranda has the money the haircuts, the jewellery, the clothes, the shoes and the bags. And I think you can see it on her. But also, in the part of the movie that takes place in the Middle East, we had to still have our kind of fashion forward sense but have it be realistic; We couldn’t be dressed so provocatively that it would have been beyond the pale in the Middle East, particularly for my character, who really has done a lot of research and is very up on the social mores.

Q: Had you ever been there before?
Cynthia Nixon: No, I had never been.

Q: Tell us about the actual travelling and locations…
Cynthia Nixon: We all flew into Casablanca, and then we took cars to Marrakech where we were for the majority of filming. But right after we got to Marrakech we immediately got on a plane and we flew to Erfoud, which is this amazing unspoiled desert, with all these dunes, as far as your eyes can see. Often there were no roads, so we were in cars that would go off road. Driving to work every morning for 40 minutes, with no highway, just over the sand, was challenging, yet amazing, and so beautiful to see this unspoiled land. We have all seen also this so many times, in films like Lawrence of Arabia, that when you see it in person, you feel like you’re in a movie, you feel like you’re on a set. Even though it is right in front of you, you almost see it as a postcard.

Q: What was it like riding camels?
Cynthia Nixon: I think we all had fun riding the camels, but it was hard. It was extremely hot and we were in the dead heat of the day. Luckily, there were a lot of people running up to us with umbrellas every time we would cut. We had a lot of sun-screen on, we had hats, we had sunglasses… and a camel is not like a horse, they are not easily trained! Sometimes the camels would just decide to sit down or stand up randomly. It’s a bit startling.

Q: Do the camels behave?
Cynthia Nixon: The camels by and large were well behaved if not cheerful. Sometimes they would make their camel noises, which sound exactly like Chewbacca in Star Wars. You realise that much of Star Wars is a desert movie, so we decided that they must have taken Chewbacca’s sound from the camel’s sound.

Q: Did you get recognized a lot there?
Cynthia Nixon: We did. Not as much as we would say, in New York. But we certainly got recognized a lot.

Q: Any particular customs you learned?
Cynthia Nixon: I’m a tea fanatic, so I really enjoyed everywhere you go they would offer you this delicious green tea with fresh mint in it, sweetened or unsweetened. They’re very gracious people. There’s a real premium put on hospitality. In people’s homes that I went to, they were so gracious and they love to talk and they love to sit and serve you food. It’s just so much about hospitality.

Q: What are the five best adjectives that describe Miranda?
Cynthia Nixon: The five best adjectives are: smart, tenacious, loyal, surprisingly warm and she’s game. She’s up for an adventure.

Q: And she’s changed over the series, talk about that…
Cynthia Nixon: She was always smart, she was always tenacious, and she used to be just so much more about getting ahead and winning. And I think that the combination of becoming a mother and really having this very loving marriage, she began to examine her career and say, this isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be.

Q: And the other three actresses?
Cynthia Nixon: Well we’ve known each other for a long time now, it’s been 12 years. My daughter turned thirteen during the filming of this movie, and she was eight months old when we did the pilot. I feel like we’ve all been through a lot separately and together. And I feel like we really love each other, and we really support each other. But we’ve never had an experience like this film. It was so much fun. We had adventures, we went shopping, we ate dinner together, and we took trips. For both the actors and the crew, it was such a bonding experience.

Q: Going back to Miranda, when you look in the future, where do you see Miranda?
Cynthia Nixon: That she’ll be more in control of the direction she wants to go, and I wonder if she might branch out and start her own small law firm. I think she would be great at that. I think particularly as she gets older and wiser she knows what she wants.

Read our review of Sex and the City 2