'I'll look good when I'm 80'

The Good Wife’s Ju­lianna Mar­gulies’s se­cret to stay­ing young

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Ju­lianna Mar­gulies is sur­rounded by a li­brary of leather-bound le­gal tomes in a board­room on the Brook­lyn set on The Good Wife.

It’s the place the award­win­ning ac­tress has called her sec­ond home, the site of high drama for her char­ac­ter, Ali­cia Flor­rick, since 2009.

With her hit show now in its sev­enth sea­son, Mar­gulies talks about what au­di­ences can ex­pect from the le­gal drama.

“We find Ali­cia at the bot­tom of the bar­rel af­ter be­ing in such a place of power from win­ning the State At­tor­ney elec­tion and then of course things went south with the Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee,” she says, smil­ing.

“Ali­cia is at her best when she’s climb­ing out of a bad sit­u­a­tion and what’s hap­pened to her through that process is re­ally in­ter­est­ing. I think there comes a point in some­one’s life, es­pe­cially as a woman in her 40s who has spent her life yesing peo­ple, where she’s now on her own, she doesn’t have any­one to an­swer to, and she’s found an incredible sense of free­dom in that.”

Mar­gulies clearly rel­ishes the evo­lu­tion of her muchloved char­ac­ter.

“She gets a lit­tle sassy and I love that about her. She doesn’t care any­more about what peo­ple think. She’s gained a cer­tain ma­tu­rity and she’s lost her naivety.”

The show wel­comes two new cast mem­bers this sea­son — Cush Jumbo, who plays Lucca Quinn, a bond court at­tor­ney, and pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Ja­son Crouse, played by Jef­frey Dean Mor­gan.

Mar­gulies laughs, and says with­out much prompt­ing, “Who doesn’t have a crush on Jef­frey Dean Mor­gan?”

The show’s drama, mean­while, has not been re­stricted to bat­tles on­screen but off-screen too.

One of the most com­pelling sto­ry­lines on the show had long been the friend­ship be­tween Ali­cia and Kalinda Sharma (Archie Pan­jabi), an­other pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

Sharma, it tran­spired in a long-ago sea­son, had slept with Flor­rick’s screen hus­band Pe­ter (Chris Noth), a rev­e­la­tion which nat­u­rally strained their friend­ship. Pan­jabi left the show at the end of last sea­son, fol­low­ing a “sign-off” scene with Flor­rick where the pair said good­bye over cock­tails. Ex­cept that ea­gle eyes no­ticed that Mar­gulies and Pan­jabi were not to­gether in the same frame, but had been filmed sep­a­rately and spliced to­gether in the edit­ing suite.

Bad blood be­tween the two ac­tresses had long been ru­moured, ever since Pan­jabi won the Emmy for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress in a Drama in 2010, a year be­fore Mar­gulies won her own for Best Ac­tress in a Drama (she also won in 2014).

Asked about the sup­posed spat at the New York Film Fes­ti­val last month, Mar­gulies brushed off the re­ports as noth­ing more than ru­mour, not­ing that Pan­jabi was at work on her new show The Fall which caused a sched­ul­ing con­flict.

Pan­jabi im­me­di­ately fired back on Twit­ter, not­ing that The Fall was not even in pro­duc­tion at the time “and I was in New York ready to film the scene.”

Pan­jabi fans, and there are many, were de­lighted. Mar­gulies is yet to re­spond.

Back on set in Brook­lyn, a pro­duc­tion as­sis­tant scur­ries into the room to let Mar­gulies know she’s needed in makeup.

Mo­ments later, Chris­tine Baranksi, who plays Diane Lock­hart, en­ters the room.

The co-stars chat hap­pily for a brief mo­ment be­fore Baran­ski turns to me and of­fers a firm hand­shake, be­fore groan­ing. “Oh, we sat here at this ta­ble un­til mid­night last night, and for the last three days we spent 14-hour days straight in here with cam­eras cir­cling us.”

Baran­ski is en­gag­ing and an­i­mated. “In this sea­son you see Ali­cia and Diane want­ing to get back on track but be­ing in di­rec­tions that com­pro­mise their in­tegrity and their moral­ity. I love that this show is not about crazy women who are out of bal­ance. It’s women who are very in­tel­li­gent, well-ed­u­cated and ac­com­plished.”

The award-win­ning drama has been good to Mar­gulies, who has earned a Golden Globe in ad­di­tion to her two Em­mys. She and hus­band Keith Lieberthal, who is a real-life lawyer, also have a son, Kieran, 7.

Sounds like when it comes to hap­pi­ness she can tick all the boxes. “I have a great kid, I have a great job, I love the city I live in, New York, and I’m happy,” she shrugs.

And what’s the se­cret to her look­ing at least a decade younger than her 49 years?

“I’m in a happy mar­riage. I mar­ried a man six years younger and I take care of my­self. So I’ll look good when I’m 80 and he’s 74.”

“She gets a lit­tle sassy and I love that about her”



Ju­lianna Mar­gulies is in a happy place, per­son­ally and ca­reer-wise;

(above) with co-star Chris Noth.

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