Cynthia Nixon Discusses Playing "Evil" in World Without End
Posted 10.16.12 by Ryan
The premiere of the first episode of Reelzchannel's upcoming 8-part mini-series World Without End is only a day away (the drama begins tomorrow at 8p ET/5p PT), and will let Sex and the City fans watch actress Cynthia Nixon in a whole new kind of character: a villain. "I am pretty evil, and I can tell you, I don't reform," said Nixon to THR about her character Petronilla. "I only get more and more evil [after the first episode]; you haven't seen nothing yet."
Based on author Ken Follett's bestselling novel, World Without End is the sequel to The Pillars of Earth and is again set in the fictional English town of Kingsbridge, only 157 years later. With historical events like the Hundred Year War and the outbreak of Black Death looming over the proceedings, Petronilla is the cunning mother of the scheming Godwyn (Rupert Evans). Nixon admits that she's "never played anything quite like" Petronilla.
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It's such a wonderfully juicy part and also such a departure. I've never played anything quite like this. I might have played a couple slightly villainous people in my time, but I've never playing anyone this evil yet seemingly sweet and helpless on top of it. I haven't murdered a lot of people in my roles — and for her to be so feminine and helpless in one role — she's terrible.
Nixon called the role "a challenge" particularly because she had to gauge how much of Petronilla's villainy to reveal "episode by episode."
I would say the most challenging thing was making sure to plot carefully what was happening to Petranilla episode by episode and chart that out in my own mind. I had to make sure it would build, so all of the character of Petranilla would really evolve and change. I didn't want to be completely a dastardly person at the beginning.
World Without End airs tomorrow, October 17th, at 8p ET/5p PT. Charlotte Riley (The Duchess, Wuthering Heights), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Young Victoria), and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line, Me and Orson Welles) co-star in a production directed by Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy, This Boy's Life, Beyond the Gates) and produced by Ridley Scott (Prometheus) and the late Tony Scott (Unstoppable).