Christine Baran­ski


Christine Baran­ski has been a familiar face to view­ers since the 1980s in projects as di­verse as Cy­bill, The Big Bang The­ory, Cruel In­ten­tions and Mamma Mia! Nom­i­nated for an Emmy five years in a row for play­ing Diane Lock­hart on Ten’s The Good Wife, a wi­nis not yet hers.

Are you as tough as Diane? I think she might be tougher than me. I like to think I’m very strong and re­silient, but to run a law firm, to get to the point where you’re a woman at the head of a law firm … I found it chal­leng­ing as an actress.

You were very vo­cal re­cently when Sea­son 5 didn’t get the Emmy nom­i­na­tion ... There was a bit of back­lash for the fact that we didn’t get nom­i­nated. I’ve read many ar­ti­cles this year say­ing, it’s the best tele­vi­sion show on the air pe­riod. It’s not like Sea­son 5 was our high point and then it’s like, oh, well, now we’re go­ing back­wards. If any­thing I think Sea­son 6 is the strong­est the show has ever been.

What’s the def­i­ni­tion of be­ing a good wife to you? Well, you know, I just lost my hus­band in May (ac­tor Matthew Cowles from All My Chil­dren who died from heart fail­ure aged 69) and I was mar­ried for 30 years. It kind of brings tears to my eyes ... it takes two peo­ple to make a great mar­riage, so it’s not just if you’re a good wife you’ll have a good mar­riage. You need a good man and I had a good man ... he was such a unique hu­man be­ing and such an orig­i­nal. Do you have any fa­mous women in your mind while play­ing Diane? No one in par­tic­u­lar, although I have to say the body lan­guage in the women that I liked to ob­serve for my char­ac­ter were women in me­dia or women who run cor­po­ra­tions. They don’t need to shout. Any­one with real power can talk very qui­etly and ev­ery­one will lis­ten.

In the pi­lot Diane was the an­tag­o­nist but has de­vel­oped quite a lot over the sea­sons … In the pi­lot you could just smell off the page that this was go­ing to be the fe­male boss that would be the bitch. I al­ways wanted to show that Diane, when she had to be strong she was strong and some­times she was hard but she was also like re­ally ap­pre­cia­tive of who Ali­cia was. She in many, many ways nur­tured Ali­cia.

Do other women see you as a role model be­cause of the show? You know, I was at the Em­mys this year and I fin­ished the red car­pet la-di-da and a woman ap­proached me who is a law pro­fes­sor and she said, I just want you to know that my law stu­dents look to you as a model and I thought, “Okay, I don’t need an Emmy”. I can’t tell you how many women come up to me, pro­fes­sional women and say, I’m so happy to see a women who ac­tu­ally is like so many of us. The show, I think, has re­ally been ground­break­ing and will go down in his­tory.


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