TV

Matt Czuchry's 'Wife' Lessons

by Jarett Wieselman 9:39 AM PDT, April 22, 2012
Photo: CBS

The Good Wife has devoted a lot of time recently to showcasing just how much Cary Agos has grown since he first fought with Alicia Florrick for that junior litigator job in season one. Personal growth is something that Matt Czuchry is endlessly fascinated by -- and not just in his character, but also within himself. That's one reason why he recently collaborated with his brother, Mike, to write Brothers on Life -- a journey into the mind and soul told through personal reflections, childhood photographs, and the stories of two brothers.

Czuchry recently chatted with ETOnline about his first literary endeavor, while also teasing what's to come in the final two Good Wife episodes of the year.

ETOnline: This has been a very important season for Cary -- what have you enjoyed about his ascension in The State's Attorney's Office?
Matt Czuchry: On a personal level, I've really enjoyed working with Chris Noth and creating the dynamic between Peter and Cary where they lean on each other for advice. I loved the storyline when Cary stepped up and admitted to Peter that he had been seeing a co-worker. That's not something we would have seen him do in the first season. So I think that growth and maturity and strength and power that he has now in season three has been a big growth arc.

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ETOnline: Promos for the final three episodes revealed that Cary returns to Lockhart/Gardner -- something I felt was a pretty big spoiler. Were you surprised they teased that twist so publicly?
Czuchry: I was surprised -- sometimes it's beneficial to leave those moments as a complete surprise and other times, it's important to tell people an event is coming up so they don't miss it. In this particular case, Cary's been gone from Lockhart/Gardner longer than he worked there. I think there is a value to say, "Hey, this storyline that’s been building for two years is about to get a payoff." One of the things I love about our show is that all the storylines have resolutions to them. At the end of this season, Cary comes back to the firm with all this growth under his belt, so it becomes all about how that changes the dynamic at Lockhart/Gardner.

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ETOnline: Diane has been very vocal about wanting Cary back at the firm, but how does everyone else react?
Czuchry: For as many people that are excited to have Cary back, there are a lot of people who are not excited to have Cary back. Diane is certainly in Cary's corner. She has always maintained a lot of respect for Cary, but Will is the opposite of that. I mean, Cary just tried to have Will disbarred [laughs]. There's tension there because Cary has been working for the other side, he has beaten them in court and that's going to make the start of season four especially exciting.

ETOnline: Alicia and Cary have seemed to find common ground since he left, but does his return threaten their detente?
Czuchry: That competition will still be there, but it's one rooted now in mutual respect as opposed to animosity. They've both seen the growth in the other – they came in as individuals fighting for the same job and have become people who can truly hold their own. Plus, Alicia still has a soft spot for Peter and Cary's been working for Peter.

ETOnline: Alicia has her eye on a partner seat -- something I would imagine Cary also wants. Is it safe to say their competition for the same job might be reignited?
Czuchry: Cary's ambition is still there, so yes, he's looking to become a partner, so it'll be fun to watch them play on a higher field. But unlike the first season when he wanted that junior job and didn't have the chops to win, he is much more worldly now. He's learned a lot at The State's Attorney's Office, so I think it will be interesting to see Alicia go up against this new Cary, someone who does have the tools necessary to win.

ETOnline: Speaking of winning, as a function of the show, going up against Lockhart/Gardner meant Cary had to lose a lot. Are you excited for him to get some victories under his belt now?
Czuchry: [laughs] I think so. I'm excited to see him contribute to those victories as he brings his knowledge from the State's Attorney office to the law-firm. I look forward to finding out what Cary brings to these cases now that wasn't there before. I love when the personal and professional worlds blend on our show, and Cary coming back to Lockhart/Garnder really does that.

ETOnline: You also blended the personal and professional by teaming up with your brother to release an inspirational novel. Where did that idea come from?
Czuchry: My brother Mike and I are incredibly close, but we look at life from two different angles – he's 9 years older than I am and he's a psychology professor. So with these different perspectives on life, we thought we could share our experiences which touch upon a lot of universal themes that others could tap into. That's what the book is about: those universal themes we all face in life.

ETOnline: The stories reflect a lot on your childhood, is it safe to say this has been a lifelong project?
Czuchry: Absolutely. In many ways, it has been a lifetime of work. My brother and I shared a bunk bed and we told stories from a very young age. This project took 10 months to put together, but a lot of the pieces date back to when we were kids.

ETOnline: Is that why you included photographs from childhood?
Czuchry: The photographs are trying to capture a specific emotion about the joy of life; living in the moment. Celebrating life and I think that's especially crisp in your youth. We wanted to include the pictures to accent that "Living in the Moment" feel and crispness of life and imagination. It's another access point for the reader to tap into.

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS and you can buy Brothers on Life here.

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