Julianna Margulies Reacts to Criticism of Her Playing a Gay Character on 'The Morning Show'
By Paige Gawley
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Julianna Margulies is addressing criticism of her latest role. The 55-year-old actress appeared on Monday's episode of CBS Morningsand reacted to those who've questioned her decision to take on the Morning Show role of Laura, a gay reporter, when she herself is not gay.
The actress has been married to Keith Lieberthal since 2007, and the pair shares a 13-year-old son, Kieran.
While Margulies said that she "can understand" the criticism, she noted that they're "all making assumptions as to who I am and what my past is and what all our pasts are."
"I understand 100 percent that I can't play a different race, but I am an actress and I am supposed to embody another character. Whatever their sexuality is doesn't matter to me, the same way watching a gay person play a straight person [wouldn't]," she said. "Are you telling me that because I'm a mother, I can never play a woman who has never had a child? Or if you've never been married that you can never play a married woman?"
"You have to be careful on where you're drawing the line there. We're actors. We're supposed to embody a character, regardless of their sexuality," Margulies continued. "When it comes to race and gender, that's a whole different story and I 100 percent agree with that. That's my stance on it."
While she differs from Laura in her sexuality, Margulies said that she relates to her character in important ways.
"It could be my age now, maybe, but you get to a place in your life, and I think the same thing happened with Laura, where you go, 'This is who I am. Take it or leave it. I am not interested in pretending. I have no skeletons in my closet. I'm not hiding. I'm telling the truth, and if you don't like it, then you're not in my orbit,'" she explained.
Viewers have likewise connected with the role, something Margulies credits to the writing on the show.
"I think there's something about Laura where the way they wrote her... so openly and honestly, it's refreshing," she said. "I aspire to be more like her in just living your truth."
On the second season of the Apple TV+ series, Margulies' Laura develops a relationship with Reese Witherspoon's Bradley. When ET spoke with Margulies, she praised Laura for being "completely comfortable in her skin," before quipping, "I think she’s the only character who has no skeletons in her closet."
As for Witherspoon, she gave more insight into her character's unexpected relationship.
"Not getting too much into my friend’s history, but I have a girlfriend who in her 40s became very curious about her sexuality and started to feel not encumbered by other people’s opinions of her," Witherspoon told ET. "So I thought it would be kind of an interesting idea for Bradley to be curious and also more open."