Cynthia Nixon Says the Subway Is Her Favorite Place in the World
Cynthia Nixon has had many roles in her life: A native New Yorker, a devoted mother of three children, the wife of activist Christine Marinoni, an impassioned advocate for public education, LGBTQ rights, and women's health care, and even a candidate for the governor of New York. Not to mention the hundreds of characters she's played on stage (from her Broadway debut as Dinah Lord in The Philadelphia Story to her Tony-winning turn as Birdie in The Little Foxes) and screen (most notably, as the unapologetically outspoken Miranda Hobbes on HBO's Sex and the City) during her 42-year acting career. Fun fact: She's only an Oscar from EGOT-ing.
Now, Nixon will add another role to that prolific list, when she stars in Ryan Murphy's long-awaited, new Netflix series, Ratched, which is based on the infamous antagonist of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In it, Nixon plays Gwendolyn Briggs, the press secretary for the governor of California turned love interest of Mildred Ratched (played by Sarah Paulson). "It's very exciting to play a queer character who falls in love with another queer character, also played by another queer actress," Nixon told Variety. "I mean, this does not happen every day."
Ahead of the show's premiere on Netflix (September 18), O Magazine spoke to Nixon about a few things she can't live without.
Sex and the City was like high-heels bootcamp, but I'm really all about cowboy boots. They're beautiful, they're cozy, and they're a way to dress up without killing your feet or back. One of my favorite boot stores in New York City recently moved to Nashville, so I stopped in to say goodbye—and left with three more pairs.
If I leave home without one, the lure of reading news article after news article on my phone is too tempting. Being submerged in a book is much better for my mental health. I recently read Glennon Doyle's Love Warrior, and it knocked me out. I picked it up after seeing an interview with her in The New York Times. There are so many resonances between our lives: being a person who'd only ever been with men, raising children with a man, and then falling in love with a woman. And the woman she fell in love with was Abby Wambach! My wife's a soccer fanatic, so I bought Glennon's book for me and Abby's book for her.
My grandmother's 19th-century pie cabinet.
It's filled with china I inherited from both my grandmothers, as well as serving pieces and other items I've collected over the years. Not only does it steep me in my family history, but it's also filled with stuff I use on a weekly, if not daily, basis. So much of our life revolves around cooking and sharing food with friends and family. Who else are you saving the good china for?
Sometimes I drink it with a big ice cube, sometimes I drink it neat—either way, I love it. At the moment, my favorite bourbon, rye, and whiskey all come from the same brand, which is Koval. It's a distillery out of Chicago—apparently its first since Prohibition.
Specifically, Sunday in the Park with George. It was precious to me when I was a teenager and I still find it to be so emotional and endlessly clever. When my mom died, we held a wake where everybody sang songs, including one from that show called "Children and Art," in which an old woman sings about her mother telling her those are the two most important things in the world. If I could listen to only one album for the rest of my life, it would have to be one that makes me cry; Sunday in the Park with George certainly qualifies.
Ideally one with Epsom salts, lavender or eucalyptus oil, and some candles. Like me, my middle child is a whirlwind of activity. But when he was little, there was something about being in his stroller that made him conk out. I'm like that with a bath. There isn't much to do in there except read a book or fill in a crossword puzzle, so it forces me to stop doing things—in a soothing, sweet-smelling way.
It's my favorite place in the world. If New York City is the ultimate, the subway is the ultimate ultimate. When you're on it, you’re surrounded by every kind of person. To have not ridden it in the past few months is very weird. I miss it so much.
Just another Wednesday night on the 1 train. I ❤️ NY pic.twitter.com/sfVkgSYT4m— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) October 3, 2019
A cheese plate, risotto, fondue, a salad with cheese on it—I crave anything with cheese. And the more, the better. It’s just cheese, cheese, cheese.
This storyoriginally appeared in the September issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.