Cynthia Nixon has won two Tony awards and a Grammy, but the actress, who played Nancy Reagan in National Geographic’s “Killing Reagan,” realizes she will best be known for the role that gave her an Emmy: Miranda Hobbes, the no-nonsense lawyer on HBO’s “Sex and the City.” “I have had many, many great and exciting projects that have meant the world to me and to audiences, but I have never had that intersection of a show that is both so artistically terrific and so wildly popular,” she says. Here, she recalls the “out-of-body experience” of winning that Emmy in 2004.
You seem genuinely shocked that you won.
I was just completely flabbergasted. It was our very last season. None of us had ever won Emmys as actors before. I think myself and a lot of other people thought that if one of the supporting actresses was going to win it was going to be Kim Cattrall.
Why did you think she was going to win?
It seemed like it was her turn. She’s so great in the show and it’s a much flashier character. And I think Donald Trump presented the award, which I’d forgotten about.
He presented with Simon Cowell because they both had reality shows. How do you feel about it?
Do I wish I had gotten my Emmy from somebody else? Yes, I do. Absolutely I do. But, it’s not like he picked me. He just passed off the trophy.
How did it feel to have Sarah Jessica Parker, who starred in “Sex and the City,” win for lead actress in a comedy that year?
We’d won for best comedy [in 2001], which is also amazing. But the show had been on for six years [and] we’d never won any [Emmy] acting awards. It was a triumphant night, and it was our last chance at the Emmys. It was a very sweet victory.
Your speech mentioned HBO publicist Angela Tarantino, and your manager, Emily Gerson Saines.
I didn’t have a publicist at the time and Angela took care of me like she was my mother hen and I was her baby chick, even though she’s younger than I am. Emily has been my manager since I was 26. At that point, it wasn’t that long ago. But it’s been half my lifetime now, almost.
You also thanked your mom, who was your date that night.
It was so great to be there with her. I was an only child and my mom, herself, was an only child and she wasn’t very good at doing kid things with me. So she took me to old movies and theater. To get to be there and see me win, because I don’t think she thought I’d win either, was great.
You won a guest actress in a drama Emmy in 2008 for “Law & Order: SVU.” What did you learn about award shows between those times?
That’s different when you win as a guest, because it’s not presented at the regular awards. I guess I learned that this very rarefied world of not only being nominated for awards, but also winning them, is not only for other people. Sometimes, if you’re very lucky and work very hard it can be for you, too.