Cynthia Nixon Reveals She Auditioned to Play Carrie on ‘Sex and the City’ – and Bombed: ‘They Were Like, Yeah, Not So Much’

The actress, who was eventually cast as Miranda Hobbes, dishes the details on the “And Just Like That” companion podcast with costars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis

Cynthia Nixon as Miranda and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie in "Sex and the City"
Cynthia Nixon as Miranda and Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie in "Sex and the City" (Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/Warner Bros.)

While it’s hard to imagine anyone but Cynthia Nixon playing Miranda and Sarah Jessica Parker playing Carrie on HBO’s classic comedy “Sex and the City,” Nixon revealed in a new podcast Thursday that she first auditioned to play the role of Carrie on the series — and bombed. Thankfully, producers asked her back to audition for the uptight but well-meaning lawyer Miranda, and just like that… the rest is history.

Sitting for a special “Sex and the City” 25th anniversary episode of “And Just Like That… The Writers Room” podcast — along with costars Parker and Kristin Davis — Emmy winner Nixon recalled how after bombing as Carrie, she pushed to be seen for another role.

“They brought me in to audition for Carrie. I auditioned and they were like, ‘Yeah, not so much,’” Nixon said on the “And Just Like That” companion podcast. “And I said to myself — and I’m usually not so proactive — but I was like, at the time, it didn’t seem like there were four women, it seemed there was, like, seven. And I was like, ‘There’s gotta be one of those women I can play. Can they see me for somebody else?’”

The actress said that’s when she read to play Miranda Hobbes.

“My manager of like, however many years… she said to me before I went in for Miranda, she was like, ‘Maybe you could comb your hair,’” the actress added. “’Maybe you could wear some lipstick.’ And they auditioned me a lot of times.”

Costar Davis, who stars as Charlotte, also read for Carrie — but she knew that she couldn’t play that part, either.

“The talk of Los Angeles, or Hollywood, or whatever you want to call it, was ‘Sex and the City’ because it was so unusual amongst women. Everyone wanted it,” Davis said, then describing how she got the script to read for Carrie because Parker’s casting wasn’t yet clear. “We don’t know if Sarah’s gonna do it so will you read for Carrie?’” she was told.

It was one specific line in the script that tipped Davis off that she wasn’t the right fit for the heroine. “It said, ‘Carrie has the body of Heather Locklear and the mind of Dorothy Parker,’” Davis said on the podcast. “And I was like, ‘That is adorable, but I can’t play that part.’”

“And Just Like That” showrunner and “Sex and the City” writer and director Michael Patrick King then chimed in, saying, “Back to the writing room, that kind of sentence destroys people because it’s an impossible standard. But apparently not — because we got somebody with the body of Heather Locklear and the mind of Dorothy Parker.”

“So I was like, ‘Darren, I can’t play Carrie. I can’t even read for Carrie,’” Davis added. “I am this other girl who’s, like, underwritten, but I understand. OK? I need to be her.’”

And thus, Davis’ Charlotte York was born.

Listen to the whole “And Just Like That” companion podcast episode here.