In Nationanl Geographic's Killing Reagan, out actress Cynthia Nixon plays the first lady, Nancy Reagan.
The Reagan presidency is known as one of the most infamously homophobic spans of American politics; while the AIDS crisis raged, Ronald Reagan waited years to even mention it by name. And Nancy is known to have called homosexuality a "sickness" and "abnormality."
In a clip from NG, Nixon talks about stepping into the complex role and finding the motivation in her character.
"Nancy Reagan is a fiercely devoted champion, lover, guard dog of her husband," Nixon explains in the clip. "She's a political person, not so much in that she's an 'issues' person, but that she feels the temperature in the room. She can feel who's on her side and who's on her husband's side."
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Nixon talked about playing a character whose morality might be vastly different from her own.
"Let's say you're playing a character that you disapprove of," she said. "One of the dangers is that you condescend to that character and you do a more caricature-y version of them because you don't respect them."
Check out the behind-the-scenes clip for Killing Reagan, and the trailer, below. The film comes to National Geographic Channel on October 16th at 8PM EST.