EXCLUSIVE: 'The Good Wife' Star Julianna Margulies on 'Bittersweet' Series Finale and What She'll Miss Most Ab
By Leanne Aguilera
It's the end of an era.
For the past seven years, Emmy winner Julianna Margulies has shined as the fierce and multi-faceted lawyer, Alicia Florrick on the hit CBS drama, The Good Wife, and now it's time to say goodbye.
To celebrate Sunday's series finale, ET caught up with the 49-year-old actress on the set of The Good Wife to look back on the evolution of Alicia Florrick, the "bittersweet" final episode, and how the series forever changed the TV landscape for women.
How would you describe The Good Wife's series finale? Bittersweet?
Julianna Margulies: Yes, it's bittersweet. I mean, it's getting more and more bitter as we get closer to the end, but it feels right. It feels right to honor [creators Robert and Michelle] Kings’ vision of how the show would end and it's just a hard hill to climb right now because we're all having such a good season. We're having such a fun time and I'm going to miss everyone. We're all going to miss each other.
For the fans, what can we expect from the May 8 finale? Will we be satisfied?
JM: In perfect Kings fashion, I know there are some major surprises which I kept mum about. I haven't told a soul, not even my castmates. I can't imagine it not being satisfying. They always say to me it’s all about the education of Alicia, so I'm bracing myself for some harsh realities in that and also some great surprises.
What is the biggest thing Alicia has learned if it's the education that she doesn't need a man?
JM: That's a great question. I think the biggest thing she's learned is to be herself and whatever comes from that. Just being able to be exactly who she is it and doesn't matter who's she’s with, ultimately.
What do will you'll miss most about playing Alicia Florrick?
JM: I've always said this, the thing I love most about Alicia is that she weighs both sides before she answers -- and I wish I could be more like that as Julianna. I'm going to miss her dialogue and not just what she says out loud but what you see her thinking. I love playing her. It's been such a joy and incredible learning curve growing with the character. It's the luxury of television is to be able to peel off those layers and become a different person after seven years. I hope people do that in their own lives where we all want to grow and change and to the better. I think Alicia has in many ways, and in many ways she has a long way to go.
How fun has it been getting to play the sexier side of Alicia over these past few seasons?
JM: It's been fun! I'm not going to lie, it's been fun to see Alicia let loose and allow herself to be sexual in a way she never was before, and I think it has bled into her work life too, to in that she’s more ballsy. The whole series started with Alicia sort of timid and standing behind this man who did her wrong -- for lack of a better way to put it -- and then you sort of see how she really evolved into someone who doesn't care what people think about her. She is able to lead her life much more truthfully by not caring.
And Jeffey Dean Morgan is not a bad-looking guy either…
JM: And Jeffrey Dean Morgan he's -- I'm a lucky girl. We have a lot of fun.
Alicia has had one of the best wardrobes on TV! Will you be trying to take some pieces home as a souvenir?
JM: You know it's interesting because [The Good Wife's head costume designer] Dan Lawson constantly is asking us, "Is there anything you want?" What's strange for me is, for example, I've been wearing this fabulous blazer for eight straight days, so there are very few items I've worn on the show where I've only worn them for a second. After the first three days, you're sick of it and you never want to see it again. So as fabulous as they look on camera, in real life I feel like I lived them. There's going to be a couple pieces I'm going to ask if I could buy. I would never assume I'm given anything because there's a huge wardrobe warehouse somewhere they'll be able to pull this stuff from for other shows, so I’m going to be very selective. There's certain things for example, Alicia's office chair, I don't know if any of the audience members have noticed, but it's a little slice of heaven and that's one thing I begged them if I could buy that. There's a couple knickknacks from the set I'd love to have just as reminders and maybe a jacket or two. Someone said, "Do you want your high heels?" I was like, "Dear God no! I want to be in Birkenstocks for the next 10 years." My calves changed sizes from wearing all those high heels.
How does it feel to know that you've help change the face of network television to bring more strong female characters to our screens?
JM: I'm incredibly proud that I've had anything to do with that. It really I think is a testament to Robert and Michelle King and to CBS for putting it on the air and for having faith in a female-driven show. I'm so happy to have been a part of it and I hope we see the landscape of television -- which I think we really are -- changing because of that. That's a nice part of history to be a part of.
The series finale of The Good Wife airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.