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Cynthia Nixon on Love, Sex, and Women's Health

The Sex and the City star talks about playing Miranda, her battle with breast cancer, her fabulous 40s, and her next role.
By Melanie D. G. Kaplan
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

While it may be hard to believe, Cynthia Nixon insists that dressing up in fabulous threads and hanging out with your BFFs can actually be a dangerous job.

Nixon, whom we all recognize as Miranda Hobbes from Sex and the City -- the cable TV series and the movies -- is sitting by the window of a sushi restaurant in her Upper West Side neighborhood, where the server knows her well enough to bring tea before she requests it. She's wearing a long zip-up sweater over leggings, sensibly heeled clogs over striped socks, and dangly, delicate silver earrings. Her hair is a couple shades blonder than Miranda's, but still red enough to promote Sex and the City 2. Nixon is just back from seven weeks of shooting the movie sequel in Morocco, and she's talking about the hazards of her work.

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For example, there's the TV episode from 2001 in which Miranda trains with her new love interest, "Marathon Man," and Nixon (not a runner) is directed in the scene to sprint -- without a warm-up. "I snapped something in the front of my hip," she says, "and every now and then it comes back."

The real peril, however, comes with standard SATC footwear. "The heels! It's hard, and it's long hours," she says, remembering her workdays in Morocco. "Wearing heels for 18 hours -- walking, running, on cobblestones, on sand -- and there's no breaking them in." But, she concedes, "they are very well-made shoes."

On Life As Miranda

Since the beloved HBO series debuted in 1998, we've watched Miranda grow from a hard-nosed law firm partner to a softer single (and then married) mom. As she moved into her 40s, she seemed to find peace and become more relaxed with herself and those she loved. But what we didn't know was that the beautiful, self-assured redhead was becoming more and more like the beautiful, natural blonde behind the script.

"When we started, Miranda was a very different person," Nixon says. "She used to be bitter, cynical, and mistrustful. I think she's grown up, gotten sure of herself, and learned to trust. Now she's a lot more like me." Nixon says Miranda relaxed after she found a guy who really loved her (Steve) and after she became a mother. Plus, all her years of professional ambition paid off. "She got where she was going. But she's not really happy there, so what does she do now?"

Off the set, Nixon, 44, couldn't be mistaken for a SATC character. She dresses stylishly, but for comfort, not to attract paparazzi, and she's quick to admit she's a homebody. "I'm not a girl who likes to get dressed up and go out," she says. "I like to stay home and be with my girlfriend [Christine Marinoni] and my kids. I love going to the theater, but spending a lot of money on clothes -- that is not me."

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