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Julianna Margulies on 'Good Wife,' Emmys and 'insane' awards [video]

August 2, 2011 | 12:28 pm

Julianna margulies

All Emmy eyes are on Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) in the race for lead drama actress. Last year, after early victories at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, she was a heavy favorite to win the Emmy next, but Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) pulled off an upset. This time, Sedgwick isn’t nominated, but Margulies faces a tough challenge from Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”). Over at Gold Derby, most site users (56%) predict Margulies will prevail, but Moss leads among the site’s editors (55%) compared with 45% for Margulies.

Curiously, Margulies’ first encounter with the Emmy Award is what put her on the Hollywood map back in 1995 when she won best supporting actress in a drama series.

“When I won for ‘ER,’ I was a recurring” character, she recalls in our webcam chat. “I was the lowest paid on the totem pole. I was barely in the press the first year of ‘ER.’ I won the Emmy and it catapulted me to a point where I was finally acknowledged as a cast member. They had to make me a series regular. They had to up my payroll and take me a little more seriously.”

After that, Margulies lost six Emmy bouts, but now she’s a favorite of many prognosticators thanks to the strength of the episode she chose to submit to Emmy judges -- “In Sickness” –- in which she responds to the news that her husband once had an affair with her best friend. It includes a powerful scene where she must discuss the messy situation with her children, who are not completely sympathetic to her point of view.

“That episode was a real showcase for a lead actress because it was completely and wholly my story,” Margulies tells Awards Tracker. “In terms of dramatic, roller-coaster emotions, it was the best showcase I had for the entire year. The scene with the children … was one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever done.”

-- Tom O'Neil


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Photo: Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife." Credit: CBS