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Emmy contenders: Behind the scenes with 'The Good Wife's Josh Charles

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Good wife 
Upon occasion, we here at Awards Tracker will check in with a show’s cast members to get their responses to some random questions. Today we spotlight CBS' "The Good Wife," in which Julianna Margulies plays Alicia Florrick, a woman who returns to the law career she abandoned after her politician husband is jailed in a scandal. She joins the firm run by her former classmate Will Gardner (Josh Charles) and his partner Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). She befriends the elusive investigator Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) and squares off against opposing lawyer Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry). Released from prison, Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) takes another run for office with the help of his obnoxious campaign manager, Eli Gold (Alan Cumming).

Here, Charles offers his insights into the "Good Wife" set and his castmates.

What has been your favorite scene to shoot so far?
I love doing scenes when we are in the judges’ chambers. Getting to do scenes with Denis O’Hare, Linda Emond and Jane Alexander is really a joy. While researching the role, I found it fascinating to hear how differently lawyers and judges behave when they are behind closed doors and I think our writers do a wonderful job of showing that dynamic. I always enjoy any scenes with Julianna, but the scenes in the finale were really special to film.

What is your favorite off-camera moment on set?
When we all get the giggles and feel like naughty school kids while the crew patiently waits for us to get it out of our system. When F. Murray Abraham was with us, he told dirty jokes in between takes and kept us in stitches. I’m as bad as anyone: Around Halloween, I walked into a scene between Christine Baranski and Michael Boatman wearing a full Baltimore Ravens football uniform (with pads). Their reaction was priceless.

In what way do you hope your character grows?
Oftentimes, TV lawyers are portrayed as moral angels — always trying to do the right thing and sweating over the details. Will isn’t like that. He wants to win, he’s passionate about his clients, and he has shown that he is willing to do just about anything to win — from dumping a gun to going after a judge. At the same time, though, he’s been struggling in his personal relationships. I hope that we get to see Will pay a price for his choices — something that hits him hard and rocks his approach to the law or to his relationships. Clearly, Will’s sexual relationship with Alicia will change things and it will be interesting to see how Alicia’s relationships and passions impact Will. I also hope that as we uncover Will’s past, it will shed some more light on why he behaves the way he does.

Tell us something about one of your cast mates that most people don't know.
Well, Christine Baranski is a huge sports fan and loves the Red Sox and Patriots (as well as the Bills, since she is from Buffalo.) Also, Matt Czuchry is one of the best pingpong players I’ve ever seen.

What's your favorite legal or political drama of the past and why?
I’d have to go with "The Wire." True, it’s not a legal drama but the show was one of the most poignant indictments of city politics to ever hit the air. It doesn’t make a difference what season you watch: Each one stands as some of the best political TV ever.

[For the record, 11:20 a.m. June 15: A previous version of this post referred to Josh Charles as John Charles.]


Emmy contenders: Behind the scenes of 'The Good Wife' with Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry

Emmy contenders: Behind the scenes of 'The Good Wife' with Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming

Emmy contenders: Behind the scenes with 'Modern Family's' Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

--Elena Howe

Photos: Julianna Margulies and Josh Charles in "The Good Wife." Credit: David M. Russell / CBS

Comments () | Archives (5)

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Dreamboat doesn't even begin to describe it. First I was angry that the network kept showing clips of Josh and Juliana kissing because I was thinking that was going to be the big reveal to end the season. Now I am angry because I have to wait until September to find out what did happen!!

If they turn this into a dream sequence, I'm gonna have to kill someone.

I know this is the Emmy board but this cast is the front-runner for the SAG ensemble award already.

My dad is a voter so i get to help him every year and i really loved these 3 stories about the good wife. i felt like i really got a chance to see how these actors see their characters and i think i found it interesting because i always assumed that the actors had a really clear idea of where their character was going and it doesn't seem as though josh really knows specifically where will is going with alicia or with himself. i think it must be hard just playing the script in front of you and not know exactly where things lead. the best best best part of the season comes down to 2 episodes that feature alicia and will. the finale and the last 10 minutes in particular and the episode where will had to figure out how to work in a military court. hope they are both listed when the envelopes are opened.

I'm an actor by trade and an admitted fan of the show and will be clear that Josh Charles' performance is one of the many reasons I now tune in. He isn't doing the flashy bits, chewing up the scenery. Here's a terrific actor that consistently brings the goods to the table, week after week. I started watching because I really like Juliana Margulies, but Josh Charles actually made me want to know more about Will because of what he DIDN'T do. He worked the silences and the small beats and he kept bringing me in. I can't speak to what us on the page when the script arrives, but nuance is tremendously difficult to play on a network show, and he nails it. I actually rented his season from In Treatment to see if this work was a fluke. It isn't. Now, with that said, he roots for the wrong team. Ravens? G-Men, baby!

Charles' publicist should give it up already. It's getting ridiculous. Ever since the finale, he's been all over the place. The problem is publicity is no substitute for talent. His only talent as far as I'm concerned is to be able to get any woman to believe he's a "dreamboat". Quite a miracle actually.

Josh Charles is such a dreamboat. I love that he really enjoys any scene with Julianna because their chemistry is really palpable!

I am very excited to see where their "exceptional moment" leads their personal and work relationship too. I am hoping this leads to an official relationship by Season 3 end!


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