Sarah Jessica Parker: Cynthia Nixon Is a "Formidable" Candidate for N.Y. Governor

SJP Tribeca 2018 Getty - H
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At the Tribeca Film Festival, Parker explained her history with Nixon, whom she has known since age 11, and revealed that she knew one month before everyone else that Nixon was going to run.

Sarah Jessica Parker knew Cynthia Nixon was going to announce her bid for governor of New York ahead of time, and now that Nixon is off and running, Parker thinks her friend and former co-star is already improving the primary race.

"[Cynthia] shared with me that she was going to announce about a month before. I was incredibly excited. I'm proud of her," Parker said of her Sex and the City co-star during a Friday night event at the Tribeca Film Festival. "I think she's already been good for the conversation. This is what's exciting about primaries — people can inspire an incumbent to reconsider a policy, or just have a robust conversation."

Parker was being interviewed by sports broadcaster and former tennis star Mary Carillo during a packed Tribeca Talks event in downtown Manhattan. The New Yorker had premiered her new film, Blue Night, at the annual festival earlier that week and, after discussing her work and ability to juggle many roles — including actor, producer, wife and mother — Carillo asked Parker about Nixon's March 19 announcement of her candidacy and battle against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Parker explained that she and Nixon have actually known each other since they were 11 years old, when they would go up against each other for roles. "She got most of them," Parker said to laughs. 

"We've been auditioning opposite each other since we were little girls," explained the star and producer of HBO's Divorce. "Right when I left Annie and did a Movie of the Week, Cynthia played my older sister. Before that, we did a record of Little House in the Big Woods, she played Mary and I played Carrie — that's when they used to do records."

Of her longtime friend, Parker added: "She's formidable, she's incredibly bright. She's really brave. She's excited about this race. It's challenging, but she seems enormously energized and it's good for us. I think a competitor is always good. A challenger is always good. I'm proud of her."

Despite the advance warning, Parker admitted that she didn't necessarily predict that the actress would be making the move to gubernatorial candidate. But once the cat was out of the bag, it all added up.

"I always admired her. I didn't know that she would run for governor. But she has been an activist her entire life. She is incredibly bright," said Parker. "She loves this city. She's been involved in conversation about policy, it's been really important to her for the last many years. Education, public schools, housing — there is a whole host of things she has spent her time participating in advocacy. The subways, among many things that affect people in the city, but also the larger issues that are in conversations that affect us here and upstate as well."

Shortly after Nixon made the announcement, Parker had to clarify a vague statement that had first been put out, drawing the attention of SATC fans on social media. "A mother. An activist. An advocate. A fighter. A NY'er. A dear friend. Running for Governor of our great state. My sister on and off screen, you have my love, support and vote," Parker later wrote, in part, in her Instagram endorsement.

Fellow SATC co-star Kristin Davis also publicly endorsed Nixon, while Kim Cattrall was more reserved in her backing. Nixon has said that all three of her castmates have been supportive of her run.

The Democratic primary will be held Sept. 13. Cuomo — a potential presidential candidate for 2020 — is running for his third term as governor.