Cynthia Nixon turns villain in Follett's "World Without End"

Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:23pm EDT
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By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon returns to the small screen on Wednesday as the murderous, scheming Petranilla in the miniseries of Ken Follett's best-selling medieval novel, "World Without End."

The 2007 book is a sequel to 1989's "The Pillars of the Earth," and is set in an English village in the year 1327 against the backdrop of the Black Death. The eight-part TV miniseries starts on Wednesday on Reelz Channel.

Nixon, 46, spoke to Reuters by phone about playing the show's villain, her post-"Sex and the City" career, and why television is banned in her home.

Q: It seems like you left the "city" in your acting choices over the past few years. Were you afraid at some point you would be typecast after the enormous success of "Sex and the City?"

A: "I got (offers for) 5 million lawyers and corporate people. As you get older there are fewer and fewer female roles. But they do tend to get more interesting, and that's a plus."

Q: You've made interesting choices. Aside from Petranilla, you've played Eleanor Roosevelt in HBO's "Warm Springs" (2005) and are next set to play poet Emily Dickinson. How do the experiences compare?

A: "With Eleanor Roosevelt, it was really tricky. There is so much writing by her and about her. And there was also endless footage and audio recordings of her. Everyone knows what she looked and sounded like. And she didn't look and sound like me.

"With Petranilla, I just really used the script and the book, which was so large and meaty. I didn't do any research on the period. I was in the universe of Ken Follett, and anything I needed to know ... I could find in the book and the script.   Continued...

Actress Cynthia Nixon poses for photographers at the premiere of "Sex and the City 2" in Leicester Square, London May 27, 2010. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty