Action! Cynthia Nixon, Ian Somerhalder and more TV stars have taken on more than one responsibility while filming their shows.
Nixon revealed in October 2021 that she directed an episode of And Just Like That, the Sex and the City revival set to debut on HBO Max later that year. “It’s been a complete dream to work with my beloved co-stars and crew in this new role,” she captioned a celebratory Instagram post at the time. “I have truly never felt so supported in my life. (And don’t worry, Miranda is still going to be in the episode — it was surreal to do both at once!) #AndJustLikeThat.”
Costar Kristin Davis commented that it was “so much fun” to see Nixon take charge on set. “Effortless and insightful and exciting all at once. Hopefully the first of many….🙏,” she added in an Instagram Story.
The actresses previously worked together on the original HBO series for six seasons from 1998 to 2004. They joined OG star Sarah Jessica Parker for the revival, which follows the trio of friends as they navigate New York City in their 50s.
While it was Nixon’s first foray into directing her own work, the career move has been popular among plenty of other series regulars. Somerhalder took on directing while starring on The Vampire Diaries — as did his onscreen brother, Paul Wesley.
“I’m really grateful that I get to be with my fellow actors who are like my family, and really dig deep and try to find those moments in their characters that mean something to them, not just from a directorial place. This is my show, too, and I want every frame of it to be great,” Somerhalder told Collider in 2016. “I’m just super thankful to the studio, the network, to Julie [Plec] and Kevin [Williamson], and to the guys who made all of this happen.”
The Anomaly actor acknowledged that creating more than 20 new episodes each season was a “formidable” task for everyone who was involved in the process.
“With 22 episodes, you’re shooting almost 200 days a year. How do you maintain crew morale, integrity and energy at that level, at that speed, all the time?” he continued. “I think we’ve done a pretty damn good job. This show, despite the fact that it’s a teen vampire soap opera, is one of the best looking shows on TV. I watch other television shows, that are huge television shows that are very large in size and that do well, and at least our show looks so beautiful because we work so hard at making it feel like a film. It’s a film experience, and that’s what you want.”
Somerhalder was particularly grateful for the opportunity to see a different side of the series he worked on for so many years. For Sophia Bush, getting to direct one of the final episodes of One Tree Hill was also an emotional milestone.
“I burst into tears and acknowledged what an amazing honor that was to be trusted with that,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. “Everything was really important and everything was really valuable. Because I knew that it was the last chance that I was going to have to tell these stories and to honor these characters and to really show their relationships. It just felt supremely important.”
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