Cynthia Nixon felt under pressure stay thin and "look great all the time" during her time on Sex and the City.
The 50-year-old actress played businesswoman Miranda Hobbes in the drama series for six years, winning an Emmy for her role in 2004. The show ended over a decade ago and since then, new programs have portrayed city life in fresh and different ways, with Cynthia citing Lena Dunham's Girls as a game changer for today's actresses.
"I think Girls is really important," she told The Edit. "When sex was bad on Sex and the City, it was funny. And the worse it was, the funnier it was.
"But when sex is bad on Girls, it can be really hard to watch, and it's sometimes abusive, and it's important to show that. Plus, in SATC we had to be thin and look great all the time; in Girls, they have permission to be more real and less airbrushed."
Cynthia admits her portrayal of Miranda, which she reprised for two subsequent film adaptations, was the most pivotal point in her career as it changed how others viewed her as well as how she looked at herself. Having not paid much attention to her appearance before landing the part, the star suddenly found herself fixated on it, comparing this revelation to exploring an "undiscovered country".
Cynthia has since taken on more varied roles both on screen and on stage, with her most recent TV role playing former U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan in Killing Reagan, a movie about the 1981 assassination attempt on then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan. It's earned her a Critics' Choice Television Award nomination for best actress, with competitors including Kerry Washington, Sarah Paulson and Felicity Huffman, and the star admits she was surprised to find such a project only made for TV.
"A couple of decades ago, some of (today's) shows would have been movies, no question. But there isn't the same appetite for making an interesting, literate film," she noted of how TV has emerged as a more popular form of entertainment than film. "When I was told Killing Reagan was for the National Geographic (channel), I thought, 'Don't they make panda movies and stuff?' But it has the budget and the viewership."