Interview with Tony Award winner Cynthia Nixon
We recently caught up with Tony Award & 2-time Emmy Award winner Cynthia Nixon, currently celebrating a fourth Tony nomination for her role(s) in the Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway revival of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. She had just picked up yet another award at The 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards.
Ms. Nixon is alternating the roles of Regina Giddens and Birdie Hubbard with 4-time Tony nominee Laura Linney, appearing opposite each other at every performance - a proposal made by Ms. Linney herself.
Ms. Nixon won a Tony Award in 2006 for "Best Actress in a Play" for her performance in Rabbit Hole. She also earned Tony nominations for Wit (2012) and Indiscretions (1995). She also appeared in the Broadway productions of The Real Thing (2014 and 1984), The Women (2001), The Last Night of Ballyhoo(1997), Angels in America (1993), The Heidi Chronicles(1989), Hurlyburly (1984), and she made her Broadway debut in The Philadelphia Story in 1980.
She garnered international acclaim for her recurring role as Miranda Hobbes in the Sex and the City TV and Film series. Other screen credits include Amadeus, Tanner '88, Tanner on Tanner, Little Manhattan, The Big C, Rampart, World Without End, Alpha House, and Hannibal.
Here's what Ms. Nixon had to say:
Thomas Hayden Millward: Congratulations on winning the Drama Desk Award, Cynthia. It’s not your first time picking up an award though. Does this ever get old?
Cynthia Nixon: (Laughs) No. It’s awfully nice. The whole evening is nice. After a long week of eight shows – I mean, they’re fun, but they’re exhausting – so it’s nice to gather on a Sunday evening and see all the people you know or hope to know. It’s just lovely. And the host Michael Urie is so funny!
THM: For those who have never heard of ‘The Little Foxes,’ what exactly is it all about?
CN: It’s a play that was written in 1939 by Lillian Hellman, an American playwright. It takes place in 1900 Alabama and even though it was written a long time ago and it takes place even longer ago, it’s a very “Trumpian” world that these characters find themselves in. It’s a family who are in business together and at the same time are a family and so it’s very hard to know where the family ends and the business begins and there’s a lot of pursuing of money!
THM: When you first accepted the job to alternate the roles of Regina and Birdie with Laura Linney, did you ever think to yourself: “Crikey! I’ll have double the amount of lines to learn!”?
CN: (Laughs) No! The moment I heard it, I was in love! I accepted almost immediately. I called Laura first to talk to her about it and just to say “Thank You” and then I accepted right away.
THM: In all honesty, do you look forward to playing Regina or Birdie more?
CN: Hmmm… It seems silly but you have to get there a little earlier with Birdie because you have a “slap rehearsal” (laughs). I feel a little less pressure if I wander in a little later to play Regina. So that’s OK. Also, Regina gives you a bit more time to warm up, whereas Birdie has to hit it strong in the first Act and strong in the third Act. Regina’s got the whole play, so you can use the first Act to warm up.
THM: I saw ‘Mary Stuart’ at the Almeida Theatre in London, where it was decided who would play Elizabeth I and who would play Mary, Queen of Scots at each performance with a coin toss before the show. Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams were up for it. Would you be up for something with that much short notice?
CN: Oh, sure! Absolutely! Yes, yes, yes.
THM: Finally, if you could just sum it up in a few words, what could our readers expect from a visit to this Manhattan Theatre Club revival of The Little Foxes?
CN: (takes a dramatic tone) Greed! Malevolence! Backstabbing! And, you know, other family values like that!