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Cynthia Nixon on swapping roles with Laura Linney

Larry King NowApr 14 '17

Cynthia Nixon discusses the challenge and excitement of switching off roles with Laura Linney in ‘Little Foxes’ on Broadway, and why Laura was instrumental in Cynthia taking on the parts.

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Larry King: The idea of switching roles, was that it from the start?

Cynthia Nixon: No, Laura was set to do ‘The Little Foxes,’ it hadn’t been announced yet. But she and I knew each other a bit, and she had remembered that I had always said I had wanted to do Regina, which I don’t remember saying to her, but I have always wanted to do Regina. And I think both of us also loved the smaller role of Birdie, which is a really, really delicious kind of virtuosic role. So it was completely her idea, because she wanted to do the play, but she thought-

Larry King: So when do you switch off, night after night, or matinee to night?

Cynthia Nixon: It’s a mixed bag, we often do 2 or 3 performances at once, sometimes we just do a lone one here and there, but they’ve mixed it up-

Larry King: So the audience doesn’t know who’s playing?

Cynthia Nixon: No the audience does know, because if you go on the website to buy tickets, you can look at a schedule, and her performances where she’s Regina and I’m Birdie are blue, and the opposite are green, when I’m Regina and she’s Birdie.

Larry King: Is it more difficult to do that?

Cynthia Nixon: To switch off?

Larry King: I think it’s very tricky, but I think two things. I think the hard thing about it is when you’re playing a character and you really want to inhabit that character fully, it’s like bonding with a child. You just want to completely focus on that child. This is almost like, I don’t know, being the mother of twins or something. The good part about it is it works a whole different set of muscles, so you give yourself a break, but the hard part is not being able to fully immerse yourself in that one person.

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