These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch its all-new #nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
In many ways, Cynthia Nixon, 47, is very much like the character that catapulted her into our collective consciousness. Like Miranda Hobbes on "Sex and the City," Nixon is a fiery redhead, a hard worker, a staunch supporter of causes she believes in and one of the smartest women in Hollywood.
Recently, Nixon joined forces with the National Rosacea Society, as she is a sufferer from the skin condition herself. "It was important to me to help increase awareness for rosacea because 16 million people have it, but only 80 percent of people know what it is," she says. "It's an inflammatory condition that causes flushing, redness, pimples, visible blood vessels on the face and thickened skin. I would have saved myself so much stress, frustration and physical discomfort had I known about rosacea sooner."
For Nixon, being a spokeswoman isn't just about raising concerns but also about pointing to a solution. "The good news is that rosacea is very treatable by going to the dermatologist and getting prescription treatment," she says. "I'm on a prescription pill and gel, which helps my skin stay under control. I also am mindful of my triggers -- red wine, spicy food, stress, hot weather and sunshine, which cause my skin to flare up."
Nixon was also game to take on another challenge -- our #nofilter questionnaire:
What is the one piece of advice you want to be sure to pass on to your child [Nixon has a daughter and two sons]?
I think it's really important to speak up if you don't understand what's going on or if you don't like what's going on. My kids are very well behaved and I'm proud of them for it, but I don't want them to ever prioritize obedience if it means they aren't speaking up for what they really want or need.
Who do you look up to for inspiration -- who's your role model?
I have so many people I admire, sometimes I think the world is so full of role models that what I really want is to take a piece from a thousand different men and women from what I admire.
The first person I can think of when I think of role model (other than my mom) is Blythe Danner, who is Gwyneth Paltrow's mom. I did my first play with her when I was 14 and I simply worship her. She is such an amazing actress, such a beautiful woman, and always seemed to me like such a great spouse and mother. It seems to me then and now that she struck the perfect balance between her professional and personal lives, and that's something that is very, very important to me.
Do you have any tattoos?
What is the silliest thing you've ever read about yourself, something that wasn't true?
I don't know how silly it is, but I have read over and over again that I live in Brooklyn. People that I don't know and even people that I know and haven't seen in a while, often reference this fact to me. It's completely plausible that I would live in Brooklyn, but I don't and never have, and I'm amazed how this rumor persists. The first time it was in the paper, my wife's mother actually called us and said she didn't realize that we moved to Brooklyn. We said "Of course we didn't move to Brooklyn, you would have known about it before you read about it in the paper!"
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
I would say, "Don't play it so safe." Don't be afraid to take big risks. You only live once; what's the worst that's going to happen? Maybe you'll fail. It's better to try and fail than be too intimated to try it all.
What's your secret/hidden talent?
I have an almost encyclopedic roster of memorized show tunes in my head.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
I really love cheese. I can have cheese all day long every day. Pretty crazy about salted caramels as well. Also, toffee.
What would people be surprised to know you've never done?
I've never eaten egg salad. I can't bear the smell.
Living or dead, who would you invite to dinner?
Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc and Virginia Woolf.
What's your biggest peeve?
I have so many. Something that drives me crazy about public transportation is that I can't bear people who don't move to the back of the bus or who stand in the doorway when you're trying to enter. But the worst is people who think their bags deserve an empty seat on the crowded subway and glare at you when you ask them if they can move it so you can sit down.