When former Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon officially declared her candidacy for governor of New York last month—challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo—some onlookers wondered if shes qualified for the office. But according to her longtime co-star and friend Sarah Jessica Parker, Nixon has all the skills, the heart, and the passion she needs to do the job right.

“Shes a born and raised New Yorker. Shes a product of our public-school system—Hunter College. She was raised by a mother that cared enormously about her community and the larger community that surrounded them. Shes been an activist her whole life,” Parker said Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of her latest film, Blue Night.

Parker also said that though Nixon doesnt have previous elected experience, shes highly informed on social issues: she has advocated for an increase in funding for public schools, championed rights for women and the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and has actively promoted breast-cancer awareness.

“There is policy that matters to her. Shes concerned about where our dollars and how are dollars are being spent. And like many formidable women, she decided now was the time to talk about those things,” explained Parker. “Its exciting. I think its good for our city to have those conversations. Its always good to have a challenger. As we know, great candidates deserve great challengers.”

Parker, who initially took a few days to throw her support behind Nixon, added that shes impressed by Nixons willingness to give up her prolific acting career and shift her life toward politics full-time.

“Im enormously proud of her. I think shes got a lot to say,” said Parker. “Weve been friends since we were 11 years old. So Im really proud of her.”

Besides endorsing Nixon and talking politics, Parker showed up at the Tribeca Film Festival to debut her French New Wave-inspired drama, Blue Night. In the film, she plays a successful soul singer who receives life-changing information during a doctors visit that turns her world upside down. While struggling from the devastating news, she finds solace in the streets of New York City, where she reflects on her past and her future.

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Blue Night marks Parkers first film in three years, as well as her first major singing role in a movie. She shows off her vocal talents by belting out an original song written by Rufus Wainwright during a pivotal scene, and performs an a cappella cover of Tiffanys hit 1987 tune “I Think Were Alone Now” over the end credits as well. Though she has a rich background in Broadway musicals—she performed in 1995s revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Once Upon a Mattress in 1996—Parker said she still experienced nerves, and some joy, while singing.

“It was all of it. Its nervous-making and theoretically terrifying,” Parker admitted. “But Rufus Wainwright had offered this beautiful original song, and its a song that has a story. And sometimes thats easier to focus on than singing well. You can be a good interpreter—I think sometimes that makes whats scary easier.”

At the screening, Parkers vocals earned glowing reviews—but she cautioned against anyone calling her a seasoned, professional singer.

“I havent focused. Other people who are real singers spend their life, every day working on it,” she said. “So Im an interloper!”

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