LOS ANGELES – Cynthia Nixon never really liked Nancy Reagan.
“I was not a fan,” the “Sex and The City” alum told FOX411. “Her inner sense of panic and need for control…would drive her to do things like consult astrologers about every last thing. She had a very problematic relationship with her children, particularly her daughter. I think that was coming from the same thing: a need for total control.”
Nixon, 50, will portray the former First Lady in “Killing Reagan,” a two hour TV movie based on the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly.
She appears along with Tim Matheson (Ronald Reagan) and Kyle S. More (attempted assassin John Hinkley, Jr.)
To prepare for the role, Nixon read numerous books about the “Just Say No” champion.
The written accounts didn’t change her negative opinions, she said, but allowed Nixon to have more “empathy for who she was and what she accomplished.”
“I don't think that Ronald Reagan would've ever been president or maybe even governor without her as his partner.
“I think the hand that she was dealt, in terms of how her childhood, and through sheer tenacity, she was able to create this unbelievable life for herself and, you know, create a president. I mean, I think she really did that.”
Nixon was just 15 when Hinkley tried to gun down the 40th president of the United States on March 30, 1981.
“I remember being in my room alone and being really frightened that the president of our country had been shot,” she recalled. “I knew my family was not a fan of his, but it didn't seem to matter. It seemed truly scary to have the president shot and his life hanging in the balance.”
In 1982, Hinkley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental institution. He is scheduled to be released to the custody of his parents on Aug. 5.
“I don't know what to think about it,” Nixon said. “It's been an awfully long time and I feel like locking people up and throwing away the key…it’s hard to know what the good would be in that. So people who have been following him and paying attention to him, if they feel he's all right to walk out now, I hope and assume that they're right in their judgement.”
“Killing Reagan” premieres Oct. 16 on National Geographic Channel.