Julianna Margulies and her famous wig

Julianna Margulies and her famous wig

It’s never easy writing a finale, especially on a series that’s well-loved. Everyone hated the finale to Dexter. People are still scratching their heads over the last episode of Lost. And remember when fans were up in arms over the pathetic ending to How I Met Your Mother after investing nine seasons of watching the sitcom?

So, when it was announced that The Good Wife would end its successful run after seven seasons, the question on the minds of the fans was: “Will we be disappointed by yet another ho-hum finale?”

Julianna Margulies, who plays the titular character Alicia Florrick, says viewers can expect an open ending, following the concept of the drama series throughout the years.

“What I love about how they’ve finished the series – and how they did most of our episodes – was they don’t leave everything tied up in a neat bow,” says Margulies in a phone interview from New York.

“They allow the audience to think and feel instead of shove something down their throat.”

At the beginning of the series, Alicia was a stay-at-home mum who left her career as a lawyer to take care of her family. But when her husband Peter (Chris Noth) – Illinois’ State Attorney – was sent to prison after a sex and corruption scandal, Alicia was forced to join the workforce again … as a junior attorney in a firm owned by her former flame, Will Gardner (Josh Charles). From that moment on, she became a lawyer to be reckoned with.

Leaving a show after a long run is nothing new to Margulies. The 49-year-old actress starred as nurse Carol Hathaway in six seasons of ER before leaving the series in 2000. That role won her an Emmy award.

After starring in two long-running dramas, Margulies confesses she would love to try out something new given the chance.

“I would very much like to explore comedy. I have not shown that side of myself. And I think it’s a much easier schedule for half-hour comedy (than one-hour drama). I would love to embrace that other side of myself that the public hasn’t seen yet,” says Margulies who took home a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Alicia Florrick.

Julianna Margulies as betrayed wife-lawyer Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife.

Julianna Margulies as betrayed wife-lawyer Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife.

1. One of the surprising things I found out about The Good Wife is that you wear a wig throughout seven seasons. Was it one of the best decisions you made at the beginning of the show? It really cuts out time spent on hair and makeup.

Yes. There were a few factors in that decision. One factor was I had a brand new baby and they wanted me to have straight hair to emulate Silda Spitzer; she’s one of these political wives who stood behind her husband when he fell from grace in office.

And I agreed with them. I wanted her to look WASP-y and I have very curly hair.

So, that would have meant spending two hours every morning getting my hair blown out. And I said I can’t. I can’t work 14 hours a day and come in two hours early for my hair.

And it ended up being a tremendous asset to the show, because we did so many flashbacks. So they could go from a new haircut and then flashback to Season One where I had the old wig.

It ended up being a real blessing on many fronts. And they didn’t realise that at the time. Neither did I. I was just doing it mostly for time and convenience. But I tell you, I don’t think I’ll ever do another job again without a wig.

2. So, you have to put that in your contract! Speaking of another job, you have starred in two long-running series, six years in ER and seven years for The Good Wife. What’s next for Julianna Margulies? Are you ready to star on another series?

That’s a great question. I’m not quite ready. I’ve been reading a lot of scripts that are coming in and I’m incredibly flattered.

I’ll tell you this. When the right script comes along (I’ll do it) and as long as it’s cable and not network, because I can’t do 22 (episodes).

It’s just that the time and the energy it takes, it just leaves you so depleted. I will embrace any great role that comes that’s 13 episodes or less. But I’m going to take my time and I’m going to be very selective.

3. Most of the storylines touched on sensitive topics and current events. Looking back, was there a season, a storyline, maybe an episode even, where you thought to yourself, this is an important show as it explores such topics.

Absolutely, (storylines) about equal rights and gay marriage, about gun control.

Remember Reese Dipple (Oliver Platt) hired Diane (Christine Baranski) to do a mock trial of a florist who refused to provide service to a gay couple getting married?

What I found fascinating about that, and it actually taught me a valuable lesson in life, is that there are two sides to every coin.

I’m a liberal and I think everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, gender or sexual preference. And yet hearing that florist on the stand explaining that she felt put upon by the request. There was something I think that went beyond just trying to defend gay marriage, but trying to understand why people don’t embrace it.

What I think is so important is the series shows all sides of the story. And that’s what I love about it and what makes me most proud to be a part of The Good Wife.

4. What have you learned from playing Alicia Florrick?

She said it in the pilot actually; she tells her client don’t read the newspapers, turn off the TV. Let things roll off you like a Teflon pan. Be true to who you are and know what the truth is. That’s all that matters.

Alicia was constantly in the limelight when she didn’t want to be, where everyone judged her. Yet, she forged ahead.

I don’t read anything about myself; you live a better life when you stay true to yourself.

5. How emotional was it on the last day of shoot?

After seven years – seeing these people 14 hours a day, five days a week, 10 months out of the year – you’ve all witnessed each other at your best and at your worst. And through deaths and births and marriages. We’re a family. And so that was hard. I’m not going to lie.

There was a lot of tears and they were good tears.

The finale of The Good Wife airs in Malaysia on May 9 at 9.25pm on Diva (Astro Ch 702).




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