In the series, Charlotte York's youngest changes their name to Rock as well as their pronouns.
Alexa Swinton took on a big task when she accepted the role of Charlotte York's child, Rock, on the new Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That. The 12-year-old actress had yet to be born when SATC first aired or even when her character was born in the 2008 film.
In And Just Like That, Alexa plays a preteen finding their place in the world after changing their name from Rose to Rock and adopting they/them pronouns. This depiction of a child grappling with their own gender identity is a responsibility that Alexa takes very seriously.
"I've just been so happy with it. So many people have reached out just to say thank you," Alexa tells ET of taking on the part. "You don't see 12-year-old non-binary people or gender queer people ever on television, wondering about their gender identity. So I think for people that are experiencing that at a younger age -- even not just 12, but I would say anywhere from the ages of eight to 16 really -- seeing a character that's something like them or experiencing similar things might make it more easy for them to deal with it so they can feel like it's not a wrong feeling."
Though Alexa does not identify as non-binary or trans herself and uses she/her pronouns, she does have people in her life who are going through the same experiences as Rock.
"My friends -- I have a lot of friends who are going through this -- are just happy to see someone on the screen who is like them, who is experiencing the same things as them, that's not making them feel like it's just a random thing that shouldn't be happening," she shares.
Alexa is aware of the criticism that one can face being a cisgender actress playing a non-binary character, or a role like Rock, who is still figuring out their gender identity. It was important to her that when Rock decides to cut their hair off halfway through the season, that Alexa do the same.
"I was so on board for it, especially because for the integrity of the character, it would make it feel like it wasn't just an entire facade," she explains. "It's a special character and not everyone is so on board with having a cisgender person play that and so I wanted to make sure that it didn't feel like I was just playing a random role, that I actually care about it because I do. And I think that cutting my hair definitely added to that rather than wearing a wig."
Alexa praises her fictional mom, Charlotte (Kristin Davis), for how she handles her child's journey.
"I would say she's handling it really well because a lot of the time there's families that don't think it's a real thing and that it's just a trend and their feelings aren't actually real," she says. "And so while Charlotte is a little bit surprised, she's so open to the idea."
As for Kristin, Alexa has nothing but kind things to say about her on-set mom.
"Kristin is such a lovely person. She instantly made me feel welcome and it was an instant connection," she says. "And when you have that instant connection, it's so much easier to play their child because you really do enjoy spending time with them."
Ultimately, she's very happy with Rock and their family's journey this season.
"I think that it's an incredible journey that they go through with their family," she shares. "And you'll see the last episode, it's really just, they all love each other so, so much, even though they may not understand each other so well, Charlotte still loves Rock with all of her heart, the entire family does. And I think it's so exciting."
Alexa jokes that she hasn't gotten the chance to watch much of the original series "because of the fact that I'm 12," but adds that she is definitely familiar with the impact it has made on pop culture.
"I know those small things from Reddit and from Instagram... to be part of such a culture changing show, like, Carrie made tutus. People wear tutus because of Carrie!" she gushes. "The reason I know what those things are is because of her. So it's pretty cool I got to meet and work with her."
In regard to her own style, she says she's still exploring -- understandable considering she hasn't even hit high school yet.
"I think for my personal style, I definitely just like to go with the flow for what event or what I'm doing for the day," she says. "Sometimes I put on a full outfit with my Dr. Martens just to grab a drink from Starbucks."
Alexa adds that she's "crossing fingers" for a second season of the HBO Max series, and plans to be back "one thousand and ten percent" if it comes.
New episodes of And Just Like That air Thursdays on HBO Max.