Christine Baranski’s Emmy nomination for The Good Wife’s Diane Lockhart is her sixth for the role –that’s one for every year she’s been on the show–an experience that’s left her feeling “touched,” she says, “because I didn’t go into it considering myself a dramatic actress. I’ve had a learning curve and I think I’ve gotten better at it.” In addition, this year marks Baranski’s third Emmy nom for her guest spot as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. She has, she says, really loved working in both comedy and drama between the two shows, saying, “the legal stuff is wonderful, but on the set of The Big Bang Theory, you have to just stand there and wait for the laughs to die down, they’re so huge.”
Of The Good Wife‘s imminent season, and the latest on star Julianna Margulies’ role as Alicia, Baranski says, “Alicia is, of course, not running for office, but having a great deal of ambivalence about having to be the wife of the man that’s running. Because of the political scandal she was involved in, with all the recounted votes, and her reputation tainted, now she’s trying to get back to a more essential part of her being, which is just really loving the law. So it starts with her in bond court. And of course, good old Lockhart Agos Lee, as it’s now called, has its share of internal turmoil, and Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) is always lurking in the shadows, wreaking havoc.”
Season 7 of the show will see an influx of new cast members. “We have marvelous new actors,” Baranski says, “and they stand to make a huge contribution and freshen up the show. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Peter Gallagher are two guys on the show, we needed some male energy in the mix, and of course Margo Martindale and this marvelous young actress Cush Jumbo–I think they’re all just completely different and a wonderful contribution. We lost our Archie (Panjabi) and Josh (Charles) along the way, but in the course of many years, there’s going to be change in a show. In the case of this season, people are going to sit up in their seats and be very excited about the new talent we have coming on.”
Dipping in and out of comedy and drama for Big Bang and Good Wife is, Baranski says, a fulfilling experience that keeps things fresh. “Having done so much comedy in my career, it really is wonderful. It’s the same network, and each show is prestigious in its own right. Each show will go down in history, and I happen to be in both of them–it’s just such a gift.”
With two Tonys to her name for the Broadway production of The Real Thing in 1984 and Rumors in 1989, the Juilliard-trained Baranski’s career has comprised musical theater, film and television and includes performances in Chicago, Mamma Mia and Into The Woods. “I was used to just going from one thing to another,” she says, “and being undaunted by not sticking to my own personality, and I think it’s been a great asset in my own career–it’s made for longevity because I’ve done so many different kinds of things. I continue to learn. You know, even in season 7 of The Good Wife I’m still learning to simplify and have a better relationship with the camera and what the camera can pick up. So it’s one of those careers where I think I really did get to do it all and I’ve really had a great deal of pleasure in all of it.”
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