IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Before ‘The Gilded Age,’ Christine Baranski played Cynthia Nixon’s mom in a Broadway play

The accomplished actors are reuniting for a new HBO series set in the 1800s.

Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon star as sisters in the new HBO series “The Gilded Age,” but this isn't the first time the actors have played family members for a project.

While chatting with the co-stars on Monday, 3rd hour of TODAY co-host Sheinelle Jones asked them what it was like working together again after all these years, and Baranski, 69, couldn't help but smile while reminiscing.

A blast from the past: Baranski and Nixon on the set of "The Real Thing" in the '80s.
A blast from the past: Baranski and Nixon on the set of "The Real Thing" in the '80s.NYPL

“In 1984, I was playing (Cynthia's) mother in the Broadway show called ‘The Real Thing,’" she said.

Nixon, 55, chimed in at this point and playfully interrupted her co-star to encourage her to toot her own horn a bit.

"For which she won a Tony Award (for best featured actress in a play), I think that we have to (mention that)," she said.

When the TODAY crew showed a photo of the pair acting in the play way back when, Baranski instantly pointed out her co-star.

"That's the young Cynthia (on the couch), who was still going to Barnard College," she said. "So way back."

Fast forward nearly 40 years, and the two accomplished actors are now starring in “The Gilded Age,” which is set in the 1800s, as sisters who take in their niece after her father passes away. When news of the HBO drama first broke in 2019, Nixon acknowledged her history with Baranski on Twitter and said she was elated to be working with the actor once again.

Nixon also first worked with her "And Just Like That..." co-star Sarah Jessica Parker when the two were teenagers in the 1982 TV movie “My Body, My Child.”

In December, HBO released a new trailer for the 19th-century drama from "Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes and only fueled viewers' excitement for the series even more. The show features an ensemble cast including Baranski, Nixon, Audra McDonald, Denée Benton and Louisa Jacobson.

     Reunited and it feels so good: Nixon and Baranski in "The Gilded Age."
Reunited and it feels so good: Nixon and Baranski in "The Gilded Age." HBO Max

During their chat with TODAY on Monday, the two actors spoke about the similarities of sisterhood and wealth that existed in the 1800s and still today.

"There were rich people then, and there are very rich people now," Baranski said.

Nixon elaborated and said the Industrial Revolution helped fuel a lot of wealth distribution changes in the 1800s.

"The Industrial Revolution and the railroads and stuff created this class of super rich millionaires the way we have the tech movement that's created the billionaires of today, so there are a lot of parallels," she said.

2020 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski onstage during the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony March 02, 2020, in New York. Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for PEN America

The show, which premieres Jan. 24 on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. EST, explores the difference between old money and new money and also saw the actors sporting some period fashion.

"Yes, very much so, but I think it really helps you feel like the character," Nixon said, when asked if the actors wear the same layered wardrobes people wore during the 1800s.

"We have such amazing costumes and such amazing sets that just walking in wearing what we're wearing just does have to work for you," she continued.

"You can't slouch," Baranski added. "Women were literally constricted in those corsets, and they were constricted by their way of life and their manners. The clothing definitely helps you find the character."