Cynthia Nixon Tried to Be the ‘Anti-Nancy Reagan’ When Directing ‘And Just Like That’

Nixon's directing advice? "Just say yes."
Cynthia Nixon attends the premiere of HBO's "And Just Like That" at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Cynthia Nixon
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Cynthia Nixon ran for New York Governor against incumbent Andrew Cuomo, shares a last name with an infamous President, and now, apparently, takes directing tips from a former First Lady.

The “Sex and the City” star made her directorial debut with the sixth episode of “And Just Like That,” and Nixon hilariously shared her go-to source of inspiration.

“We’re the anti-Nancy Reagan,” Nixon deadpanned during HBO Max’s documentary about the revival series. “Just say yes.”

Nixon admitted that it was “really hard” to step into the director’s chair.

“There were certain scenes that they really wanted a shot list from me early on before we had even rehearsed or anything,” Nixon said of the preparation in production.

Yet Nixon quickly found her footing thanks to a signature personality trait. “I’m a very decisive person and I think that’s a good thing in a director because people are constantly coming up to you and asking you what you want and what your preference is,” she said. “You need to have one, and if you don’t have one, it’s good to say, ‘I don’t know.'”

Nixon added, “My first strength is of course the actors and understanding the scene and working with them.”

Co-star Kristin Davis gushed that Nixon’s familiarity with the cast paid off behind the camera.

“She knows us so well. She knows acting so brilliantly,” Davis said. “She told me to be like a fawn in the episode, which, by the way, is my favorite direction ever.”

Sarah Jessica Parker took to Instagram on January 6 when the episode aired to applaud Nixon’s “beautiful job” with her directing debut.

“We are so proud,” Parker captioned, to which Nixon replied, “Thanks Sarah! And thanks for all the love and support. It helped more than you can know.”

Nixon also shared a series of behind-the-scenes snapshots, writing, “To the incredible cast and crew: thank you for welcoming me with such open arms to take a seat in the director’s chair!”

Nixon continued, “A few special shout outs for friends and colleagues who helped me become a director for the very first time: Michael Patrick King, who with this show not only gave me a chance to both look back and move forward, but opened a new door into the world of directing and my life will never be the same. Shariffa Ali, my dear friend, it was so fun getting to do this with you. Thank you for always being my rock. Wylda Bayrón and Tim Norman, you taught me how to look through the lens with confidence and purpose. You have my undying gratitude.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.