Julianne Margulies Interview: The Good Wife gets personal
hollywoodnews.com: When The Good Wife started, Alicia Florrick stood by her husband as he publicly admitted his infidelity. A lot has happened in the last year and a half, so Julianna Margulies is back to talk about playing Alicia. At the Television Critics Association winter press tour today, Margulies shared her thoughts on the show, her Golden Globes trip this weekend and personal health. The Good Wife airs Tuesdays at 10 on CBS.
Q: Has the role changed for you from what you thought it would be in the beginning?
Julianna Margulies: It changes daily. It does. That’s why I’m so happy playing this part. I think the difficulty of television is this sort of getting in a rut of the same old, same old. Of course, you’re going to do a series for hopefully five years at least, that’s going to happen. What’s happening with the writing is I never know how Alicia’s going to react to something. Also she’s growing and finding herself as a woman so it’s changed immensely and it’s quite challenging as an actor I find it.
Q: Human beings change, so why shouldn’t characters?
Q: Do you ever really disagree with a decision Alicia makes?
JM: I think the hardest part of playing this character is holding back the emotion, because she is such a tightly wound, I hate to say WASP, but she is. So she isn’t used to tears and tantrums. For me personally, when I even do a scene with just my brother where we’re talking about something that’s very affecting, it’s very hard. I constantly have to hold back tears.
Q: If you had to choose between Will and Peter, who would you choose?
JM: You know, I don’t know. Honestly, that’s a great question but it’s hard because you have to really look at it. Peter is the father of her children and when you see him with them, you can understand why she would choose him. On the other hand, Will is unbelievably dashing and handsome and in love with her as she is with him I think. So what do you sacrifice? I don’t know.
Q: Has legal and political terminology replaced all the medical jargon in your memory reserves?
JM: No. If I had any of that medical dialogue left in my memory, I wouldn’t remember any of my lines for this show. I’m of the school where you learn a line, you say it and then you let it go out the other ear because you have to learn the next line. Otherwise there’s too much in my head.
Q: You seem like you’re having so much fun.
JM: I am.
Q: Have you always had that attitude at work?
JM: I’ve always wanted to work but it hasn’t always been this fulfilling.
Q: Is it hard to go to a dark dramatic place then?
JM: No. No, not at all. It allows me to get into my demons without hurting anyone else in my own life.
Q: Can you turn it off between takes?
JM: Oh yeah. Yeah. It depends on the day. It depends on the scene. If it’s something that I have to really hold in my heart, I’ll hold it for a few days but that’s what you do as an actor.
Q: What are you wearing to the Golden Globes?
JM: I can’t tell you what I’m wearing, not yet. Apparently, I can’t. Mums the word.
Q: Have you chosen it yet?
JM: Yes, of course. I brought it on the plane last night. I had to schlep it over here. You know, it’s a day that’s really fun. It’s a fun party. This is my eighth time I’ve gone. For me, you have breakfast, you go for a walk, I’m hanging out with my husband and then get ready.
Q: How are you preparing for the big day? Not starving yourself like some actors.
JM: Yeah, listen, I have to show up every day and do a job so I learned a long time ago to exercise and eat well and not be crazy. I think everything in moderation. I got blessed with those genes honestly that I can do that because I’m sure there’s a lot of people that aren’t eating today but that’s not going to help you on Sunday.
Q: Are you right back to work on Monday?
JM: Monday I’ll fly back.
Q: What do you do to unwind after a stressful day?
JM: There’s not a lot of time in my day to luxuriate because as any working mother knows, those moments that you have down time are spent with your family. So honestly, there’s a great nail place that opened up around the block. I go and I get a pedicure. While they’re drying, I get that 20 minute massage in the chair.
Q: What do you do with your son?
JM: My favorite way to unwind is reading him a book. That’s what we do.
Q: What book?
JM: Every single book under the sun. All he does is read. Right now it’s Richard Scarry’s books. They’re great, all of those books.
Q: Do you have any special plans for his birthday?
JM: It’s his third on Monday. Yeah, we’re going to go party.
Q: Are you environmentally conscious?
JM: We actually have the first passive solar set I think in the country. It’s 60% run by solar party.
Q: How do you go green in your own life?
JM: I always grew up recycling. I was in the first town, New Hampshire was the first recycling town in America. I just try and not waste. I try to do my part and I think it’s all our jobs to teach our kids that.
Q: Your skin is stunning. What do you do to keep it so healthy?
JM: You’re very sweet. Okay, I’ll tell you my secret. Every morning when I wake up, I drink hot water and lemon before I put anything else in my body. That is what I do. I notice a difference when I don’t. Then I’ll have my cup of coffee because I’m a big coffee drinker. Throughout the whole day, my snacks are salmon, almonds, blueberries and hot water and lemon. I know it sounds boring. If I need an extra shot of caffeine in the afternoon, it’s green tea. Anything with antioxidants, it’s what I do. I don’t do anything excessive. I think if you do anything excessive, your skin can pay for it.
Q: We know you should drink lots of water, but heating it and putting lemon in helps?
JM: Well, hot water and lemon is very, very good for your digestion and your whole system in general. You don’t have that problem here but in New York it’s so cold that I started realizing I wasn’t drinking enough water unless I was working out. So you need to be hydrated. I thought well, it’s still water, even though it’s hot. I started doing that and I noticed a really big difference.
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