After a seven-year run on The Good Wife, three-time Emmy winner Julianna Margulies is extra selective than ever about the place she lands. In becoming a member of The Morning Show as Laura Peterson, an anchor who, after being outed within the ’90s and dropping her place on the titular present, re-emerges as one of many nation’s prime journalists, Margulies says the chance to painting an LGBTQ character on the prime of her sport was too good to go up. Here, she discusses her chemistry with on-screen love curiosity Reese Witherspoon, a powerplay with Jennifer Aniston and the sensation of portraying excessive confidence.
DEADLINE: You will be actually discerning by way of work at this level in your profession. What was it about The Morning Show that fulfilled your standards?
JULIANNA MARGULIES: One, I used to be already an enormous fan of the present. Two, I had by no means performed a personality like Laura Peterson. I believed that she was so neatly written, and it was such a privilege to play an LGBTQ character that was so achieved and assured and had this unbelievable monitor historical past of success, but additionally had gone by the wringer herself in order that she may get to the place the place she needed to be. She’s actually enjoyable to play. Also, working with everyone there. Mimi Leder occurs to be their government producer-slash-director, and she or he and I got here up on ER collectively. And the primary individual to direct the primary episode I did was Lesli Linka Glatter, who not solely directed me on ER, but additionally on The Good Wife. It actually felt like a secure surroundings to discover this type of a personality in the course of a pandemic.
DEADLINE: What was particularly interesting about Laura Peterson?
MARGULIES: One of the issues that I discover so attention-grabbing about her is, this can be a girl who actually has her life collectively. I’ve heard from quite a few individuals how a lot she means to them, in that they’re lastly seeing a personality on tv who’s LGBTQ and portrayed with such unbelievable confidence and smarts and is aware of the place she’s getting in life. She’s not a caricature. What I’m interested in and what I’d like to discover extra is, how far in does she get with Bradley (Witherspoon)? Where is that line between sexual attraction and customary sense for Laura? Does she fall so head over heels in love with Bradley that she isn’t in a position to carry herself again to who she is aware of? In creating that, I need to know, who’re her mates, who’s guiding her? We all have individuals in our lives and, in Season 2, you didn’t see that with Laura. You simply noticed her of their surroundings. I’d like to see Laura in her surroundings with different LGBTQ mates, with different individuals. I need to hear what they’re saying about this. And the place’s her household? Kerry Ehrin, when she created Laura, informed me that Laura was from a really well-educated, liberal New York household. When she got here out to them, her household was not accepting. I’d like to discover that, as a result of I feel it’s what so most of the LGBTQ neighborhood expertise.
DEADLINE: Did portraying somebody so collectively and confident affect you?
MARGULIES: It’s such a aid. (Laughs) One of the explanations I really like appearing is as a result of I really like placing on another person’s sneakers. When the traces are written for you and the character’s there, I can unapologetically be that character, whereas while you’re your individual individual in life, it’s a must to tread frivolously. You don’t need to come on too robust or too this or too that. When I get to play a personality, all of that goes out the window and I simply can dive into who the character is on the web page and create her bodily. That, for me, is freedom. I discover a great quantity of freedom in appearing, and it most likely stems from my childhood of all the time being within the unsuitable outfit, the unsuitable sneakers, the unsuitable nation and the unsuitable accent. I by no means felt as collectively as Laura Peterson does, however I additionally know that she’s human. In order to not make her a caricature, I’d like to see a number of the sides of her which are extra susceptible to issues that individuals may not find out about and the way she would deal with that.
DEADLINE: There’s additionally a mentor high quality to her, which will be good, however in a relationship additionally fairly confining.
MARGULIES: Absolutely. I imply, you don’t all the time need to be the mentor. Sometimes it’s good to have the ability to ask another person for his or her recommendation in a relationship. I do know that in my very own marriage, it’s such a give-and-take on a regular basis. What retains it balanced is that I do know I can ask my husband, “What do you consider this?” And no matter he says, I’m going to respect that reply. I don’t know with Bradley and Laura how a lot of Bradley’s recommendation Laura would take at face worth.
DEADLINE: And can one individual tackle a mothering position with out beginning to really feel like a father or mother?
MARGULIES: That’s the factor, proper? They all the time say, there’s flowers after which there’s gardeners, and that’s how individuals arrange a relationship. You’re the flower. You get watered on a regular basis. And then there’s the gardener who all the time takes care of you. I don’t assume that’s a wholesome relationship. I feel you each need to be gardeners and also you each need to be flowers at completely different instances to be able to discover the yin-yang in a relationship. Otherwise, it’s going to be one-sided, and I don’t understand how horny or enjoyable that’s after some time.
DEADLINE: How did you and Reese go about growing this relationship? In your first scene collectively, the chemistry appears so apparent on reflection, however I didn’t see the place that was going within the second.
MARGULIES: I don’t assume anybody did, particularly them. With Reese, it’s simple. She is aware of tips on how to play with different actors. I’m so grateful that it was her I obtained to do these scenes with, as a result of all of it will depend on your chemistry as human beings as nicely. You can’t make that up. It’s both there or it’s not. And I feel Reese was very excited to see Bradley go in a unique course than she had been going. I additionally assume it’s essential that this character, who’s been guided by Alex (Aniston) and Cory (Billy Crudup), who all have ulterior motives, will get to see herself by another person’s eyes. I feel an enormous a part of what made the connection work within the second season was that Laura says, “They’re not utilizing you in the best manner, you’re greater than that.” I feel that’s a lightning bolt second for Bradley, as a result of she’s listening to it from somebody who she’s revered her complete life—probably one of many causes she grew to become a journalist. So, for Bradley to listen to that from her, I feel it’s one of many largest moments in Season 2 for Bradley to maneuver ahead in who she is as an individual.
DEADLINE: Laura reveals us how far we’ve come by way of illustration and being open about who we’re, however when their relationship turns into public, it nonetheless upends Bradley’s life. What do you assume that arc says about how far—or not—we’ve are available phrases public acceptance?
MARGULIES: I feel we haven’t come far sufficient, however I additionally assume we’ve come no less than far sufficient the place you received’t lose your job over it. I feel that’s what the entire present is about. It began out with the #MeToo motion and what was occurring to ladies within the information surroundings behind the digital camera. And I feel we’ve made many steps ahead and fairly a number of steps again. But I feel what additionally makes the present so scrumptious is that this fodder for gossip. One of my favourite scenes within the present is when Alex is available in and says, “Why don’t you want me?” And my character paints the image of what Alex’s response to her being homosexual did to her—and paints it in very broad strokes so the entire viewers can perceive that. I feel it brings consciousness to what idle gossip can do to somebody’s life. Hopefully, individuals watching that may look into their very own [actions]. I actually did after I learn the scene. I believed, “Gosh, have I ever simply flippantly stated one thing only for gossip’s sake?” It makes you way more conscious of how one thing that won’t really feel essential to you may upend one other individual’s life. Words have energy, and, stated within the unsuitable manner, phrases can destroy. Especially on the planet of social media, these 40-character sentences that persons are writing off the cuff, or as a result of they’re feeling indignant, these items have penalties.
DEADLINE: That scene can be the bookend to your arc with Jennifer. There is the steely introduction of your character interviewing Alex, after which that final dialog the place the character of their relationship is illuminated. When you shot that first scene, I assume you knew why Laura is so cool in the direction of Alex.
MARGULIES: Yes. But, for me, essentially the most attention-grabbing half about taking pictures that scene is realizing that it’s a favor she’s doing for Cory. She has spent the previous 20 years making an attempt to keep away from Alex as a result of she’s not desirous about hanging out along with her. It’s not a lot that Laura dislikes Alex. It’s that Alex has nothing to supply Laura, so Laura’s simply going to remain away. What I liked concerning the energy dynamic was that I feel Alex’s character has this complete concept of what Laura’s after, however—no less than I hope that is what the viewers noticed—I solely needed Laura to do her job, which is to get the reality. It’s all about Mitch (Steve Carell) and this guide that’s popping out, and I don’t assume Laura actually cares a method or one other whether or not Alex slept with Mitch. I feel what Laura cares about is the reality and the way that impacts each girl working within the information. And by doing that, it really elevates Laura. Until Alex can simply say, “This is who I’m,” she will’t be herself, and Laura already went by that. So, it was a really intelligent manner, I believed, of the writers virtually mirroring what Laura went by 20 years earlier than when she was outed. There’s a freedom in saying, “Yeah, I’m homosexual. I’m not hiding. This is who I’m.” There was a freedom for Alex’s character on the finish to say, “Yeah, slept with Mitch. This is who I’m. Fire me.” Right there, immediately she’s free of those ridiculous, weighty lies.
DEADLINE: Playing a information reporter and a morning anchor, have been you channeling anybody?
MARGULIES: I attempted to make Laura her personal individual. People are instantly going to go to, “She’s a Diane Sawyer. She’s a Katie Couric.” I additionally felt that she had a whole lot of Christiane Amanpour in her as a result of when she obtained fired, she went again into fieldwork. She went again into the struggle zones. She went again into scary locations and stated, “I’m a journalist at the start,” and I feel that’s her reality. Laura is precisely who she is due to the job she’s chosen. It takes a whole lot of guts to be on the sector in the course of a struggle zone, risking your life to inform the reality. That’s additionally the silver lining of one thing horrible occurring, while you get outed in opposition to your will after which fired for preferring ladies to males. What it did for her was it introduced her again to herself and what she actually needed in life, and that was to be an actual journalist.
DEADLINE: Hosting a morning present appears actually difficult. At one level, you’re going by loss of life toll stats for COVID and then you definately’re singing a handwashing music. And it simply has to movement.
MARGULIES: You need to promote all of it. In the top, you’re making an attempt to get individuals to tune into your community, so it’s a must to appear to be you’re , and the one manner to do this is to have an interest. And I feel for Laura, it was enjoyable for her to go and do The Morning Show, as a result of to begin with, she’d been there, executed that, but additionally there was a lightness to it that she may take pleasure in.
DEADLINE: Laura and Bradley’s story was maybe a bit eclipsed by Covid and Mitch in the direction of the top. Is there extra in retailer for Season 3?
MARGULIES: I truthfully can let you know I don’t know. I hope so. I’ve not gotten a script but, so I can’t say something. And I’m certain even when I had gotten a script, I wouldn’t be allowed to say something. But I’m actually wanting ahead to seeing what they write for her.