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The Surprising Impact Cynthia Nixon Had On The Sex And The City Reboot

The HBO series "Sex and the City" ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2004, and 17 years later, the show returned for a limited series revival. Developed by Michael Patrick King, the new series, titled "And Just Like That ..." catches up with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), now in their fifties, as they navigate new challenges involving love, families, and career. Notably, the fourth star of "Sex and the City," Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha, opted not to return. Instead, the cast of the series grew larger, adding cast members Nicole Ari Parker, Karen Pittman, Sara Ramirez, and Sarita Choudhury.

"And Just Like That..." is certainly different from its predecessor. The Daily Beast, for one, declared it "nothing like 'Sex and the City'— in the best way." There are, of course, new characters to learn about — and one character to miss — as well as new themes to be tackled, such as grief, going back to school to change careers, and making new friends as an older adult.

As it turns out, some of these changes are due in part to Nixon herself, who insisted on them before signing on for the revival. So what was Nixon's impact exactly?

Nixon wanted to see more diversity

When the idea to bring back the characters for a revival was first pitched to her, Cynthia Nixon was hesitant to join. While speaking to Herald Sun, Nixon said, "It was a very hard decision. I really didn't think I was going to do it – I was very reluctant. But the more I talked to Sarah Jessica [Parker], [writer-creator] Michael Patrick King, and Kristin [Davis], about the things that I couldn't go back without — a real sea change in terms of the lack of diversity in the original series, they were on board."

As Nixon points out, it's no secret that the original "Sex and the City" was in dire need of diversity. The new series moves beyond an all-white cast by including two Black women, Nicole Ari Parker and Karen Pittman, who play Lisa Todd Wexley and Dr. Nya Wallace, as well as Indian actor Sarita Choudhury who plays Seema Patel. Additionally, the series added its first nonbinary character in Che Diaz, played by nonbinary actor Sara Ramirez.

These changes are showing up in the series' storylines as well, such as Charlotte's child, Rose (Alexa Swinton) confiding in her mother that she doesn't "feel like a girl." Further, Miranda has developed an attraction to Che and seems keen to explore it. We will likely see both storylines develop over the season.

Nixon added to the Herald Sun, "I was floored by how hard everybody listened, and how collaboratively we worked together to, not just redecorate the house, but to build a whole new house — that had us in it but new characters, too."