Julianna Margulies On Why She Didn’t Reprise Her ‘Good Wife’ Role On ‘The Good Fight’: “CBS Wouldn’t Pay Me”

In February, The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies revealed to Deadline that she almost reprised her role as Alicia Floreck on the current third season of the spinoff series The Good Fight on CBS All Access. She said she “really wanted to do it” but “the deal didn’t happen.”

The Emmy-winning actress is now opening up about the reasons the deal did not come together. “CBS wouldn’t pay me,” Margulies told Deadline on Sunday while attending The Contenders Emmys event to promote her new Nat Geo miniseries The Hot Zone. She had addressed the issue at the Series Mania festival in France last week where she was quoted as saying, “The showrunners had found a nice away to reintroduce my character, a story that was to span three episodes. I was really excited about the idea, but CBS refused to pay my (ask).”

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She elaborated to Deadline that she had not asked for more than her regular fee, which I hear was in line with what Margulies made on The Good Wife. I hear what she was offered was a Good Fight guest star rate.

“I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,” Margulies told Deadline. “I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay. if Jon Hamm came back for a Mad Men spinoff or Kiefer Sutherland wanted to do a 24 spinoff, they would be paid.”

Margulies, who won two Emmys for her role on The Good Wife, talked to Deadline about discussing a three-episode arc with The Good Fight co-creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King, who also created and executive produced CBS’ The Good Wife. Both series are produced by CBS TV Studios.

Back in February, Robert King confirmed that bringing Alicia back was considered, and he shed some light on her potential storyline.

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“We thought maybe about making a big episode where she would be at the resistance, Diane (Christine Baranski) and her face each other,” he told reporters. “But that would be the end of the story. It felt like an asterisk.”

Also back in February, Margulies talked to Deadline about keeping a very close personal connection to Alicia. “I think about her all the time,” she said. “I think about how she would answer a question. I could be in the middle of a conversation and I wonder, ‘How would Alicia answer this?’ She’s just so much smarter than me. I do think about her. I miss her and I love her.”

After the deal fell through, Margulies rules out a possible stint on future seasons of The Good Fight, which she said she loves. She praised the quality of the storytelling and the cast, sharing her regret she would not be able to work again with Baranski and Cush Jumbo, her co-stars on The Good Wife and who are her friends. She also said that she regrets she would not be bringing back Alicia for the fans who had been asking for the character’s return to The Good Fight ever since the spinoff was announced.

Margulies today echoed some comments she made last week in France. “To be perfectly honest, I was shocked. I was more surprised than hurt. I thought, what are you worth? If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what’s the point?”

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