Alexa Swinton talks fashion and identity on ‘And Just Like That’

Photo credit: Brandon Leger

Alexa Swinton is just as iconic in real life as her character Rose Goldenblatt on ‘And Just Like That.’ We got to chat about the season, her and Rose’s fashion and Rose’s groundbreaking moment from last week’s episode.

The series will follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.

Check out my interview with Alexa!

Photograph by Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max
When you first got booked for the show, had you seen any episodes of ‘Sex and the City’? 

Alexa Swinton: So I definitely knew what it was about, I don’t think anyone doesn’t. But I hadn’t watched the show and I still haven’t. It might be a tiny bit mature for a 12-year-old. I am 12 and I’m still kind of in the ‘Friends’ era of things where we don’t see anything. So, it’s not like I watched the actual show, but I have seen a bunch of YouTube clips about the fashion. It’s such a huge show, everyone knows what it was and it was revolutionary for costumes. So, I still knew what it was and I definitely knew about all the drama with Carrie and her shoes. That was something that I’ve known since I was given access to YouTube and fashion.

Speaking of costumes, Rose’s costume, especially at the end of episode one is fantastic, did you get any say in those?

Alexa Swinton: So, actually Molly, the costume designer, and the entire costume team, they obviously are not my age and they’re not really Gen Z, but my character is. I’m on Tik Tok, obviously, and so I have a bunch of like, younger tastes, I guess you could say. My character is my age and I think it’s important to realize that sometimes the younger generations have a bit of a different style and so they definitely worked with me to create something that might have been younger and fresh but still fun and interesting because the character couldn’t have just been wearing like, what someone that would be walking down the street going to school would wear because that’s not the show. It was really a team effort of making something that would be comfortable and cool for me to wear but also something that makes a lot of sense for my age.

Photo credit: Brandon Leger
How does that compare to your own personal style?

Alexa Swinton: So my own style consists of many band T shirts, really just baggy stuff. It’s really comfortable and I’m into skateboarding, so I guess you could say it is kind of like skateboard girl style. I love jewelry and makeup so I play a lot around with accessories and stuff, which is always really fun. My style consists of a bunch of accessories, oversized band tees and baggy jeans, and also a really fun shoe. I’m in love with shoes, It’s like my biggest thing in life. My mom and I both love them and so sometimes we’re just like walking down New York and we’ll see one shoe and we’re just like, ‘oh my god. We have to get this!’ Actually think our texts are consistently me like, ‘I just saw these shoes at Urban Outfitters. They’re really cute, Christmas gift maybe? Or Hanukkah gift?’

What was it like coming into a cast that has already known each other and worked together?

Alexa Swinton: My character, in the second movie, people were calling her ‘trouble child’ from the first time they saw the first outfit of Rose’s, from that one night where she was wearing the dress with an oversized shirt. And so I learned quite a bit about my character and how she was already involved with the show despite the fans being like, ‘Oh my God, she seems like she’s another trouble child like she was previously.’ It was funny because everyone there is like a family because they’ve been together for so long and it was such a big important part of their lives and it was really great to see the bond they had because it was really sweet, like, you could just tell they really cared for one another and it is nice to be a part of that family now. It’s really great.

Kathy And, Kristin Davis and Alexa Swinton in ‘And Just Like That.’ Photograph by Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max
You got to work pretty closely with Kristin Davis because she’s Rose’s mom. What was that like?

Alexa Swinton: I love Kristin and my entire family on the show is absolutely wonderful. Kristin is my absolute- she’s like the most perfect stepmom you could have. She always helped you when you needed to run your lines, if you had any like questions about anything she could definitely answer and she was just so sweet. It was really easy to work with her because I had like a family connection with her and Kathy (Ang) who plays my sister Lily and Evan (Handler) who plays my dad. It did feel like a real family on set and we could always feel comfortable talking about like our own lives and just conversing which is really, really great. And Kristin even gave me and Kathy the sweetest wrap gift on our last week, because we all wrapped at the same time together. It was just incredible. We had delicious macaroons on set and it was just so exciting to be there for that day and she gave us a small Miu Miu purse, and I just love her. She’s absolutely incredible and so sweet.

Episode Three was a pretty big episode for both you and Kristin. How did you prepare for that moment with her?

Alexa Swinton: So my preparation wasn’t really preparation. I live in a time where people of my age, my generation, are starting to realize that gender isn’t just a specific thing where it has to be very binary. I think that I’m living in a world currently where everyone is more comfortable finding out who they are. And so I think Rose is just showing like a portal into the world and 12-year-olds today. I would even say really ranging from 10 to 16, even 18 and way beyond that as well. People are becoming more comfortable with just learning about the fact that they don’t have to be anything specific and I think we’ll learn more about that because I personally, my friends and I, we all know that it’s not just like a girl means you have to wear dresses, or a boy means you have to not cry. We are learning that there’s no gender conforming things. I think it’s really important that we understand that this journey with Rose is going to be learning about how you can just be yourself and how you can learn about yourself working with your mom, working with your siblings and just teaching each other about those important things.


Photo credit: Brandon Leger
What does it mean to you to be able to do that for other Gen Z’ers?

Alexa Swinton: It’s actually really important to me because I’m really, really, really interested in this topic. I think that it’s one part of human rights that I really stand for. And I think it’s a big issue with some parents that don’t want to deal with this and they think that it’s just a trend, or that it’s not important, or that it’s just something that’s happening because they’re confused. And I think that some parents just turn it down and say, ‘it’s not right.’ And I think it’s really incredible that we have a character like Charlotte who’s just willing to work with Rose, and so for me, it’s really important that I get to represent that so maybe people that are watching the show are going to be like, ‘you know, maybe it’s okay to talk with my child and learn more about this.’ I think it’s really important that you do that and that it’s not just a journey with one person in themselves, because if you keep that all to yourself, you’re never going to learn more. So I think it’s really great that we have a character like Charlotte, and a sister and a father who are just willing to really be there for the character because I think in real life it’s really important that people know that that is okay.

What is something that you’re most excited for viewers to see as we go further into the season?

Alexa Swinton: I think you’re gonna see a lot about just learning who you can be as yourself. Even though you’re 12, that does not mean you don’t know who you are, or that you can’t go on a journey of finding out who you are, which you think is really important. I think you’re gonna see a lot more about family, and how they work with each other on that topic. And the costumes, I think everyone should be excited for the costumes. The costumes are gonna be great. 

What’s your favorite costume piece that Rose gets to wear?

Alexa Swinton: You’re gonna see an outfit later on in the show that is very, very cool. And it’s gonna be part of the big storyline and you’re gonna love it. It has the coolest pair of Gucci shoes. I’m just super excited for it and I think everyone should be as well.

Is there anything else that you want to say about Rose or ‘And Just Like That’?

Alexa Swinton: You should watch the show. There’s gonna be so much more to come and I’m super excited to see it… It’s really been updated for recent times and talks about a lot of current issues and it deals with them and I think I’m really excited for viewers to see that as well… It gets really, really great. I’m excited. Every main character on the show, they have an entire storyline that everyone gets to see and I’m really excited for all that.

Kristin Davis, Evan Handler and Alexa Swinton in ‘And Just Like That.’ Photograph by Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max
For more of Rose and Alexa, be sure to catch ‘And Just Like That’ when it drops new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.