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Julianna Margulies opens up about refusing to take a pay cut to show up for The Good Fight

Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

Although it lacks the big, flashy spaceship battles that mark the success of that other CBS All Access draw, streaming legal drama The Good Fight has quietly amassed a passionate following for itself, drawn in both by its pulled-from-the-horrible-screaming-headlines nature—this is a series where a major plot point involves tricking Donald Trump into tweet-firing one of the heroes’ enemies—and the joys of watching Christine Baranski casually rip people to shreds.

One thing it hasn’t had in its corner as of yet, though: An appearance by Baranski’s former co-star from the show’s parent series, The Good Wife herself, Julianna Margulies. Given that Baranski is not, apparently, on the list of that show’s cast members that Margulies eventually outright refused to be in the same room as, you’d think she might pop up on the All Access series. Indeed, she was apparently slated for a three-episode run on the show at one point—presumably addressing, at least in passing, the ending of the original show, in which she and Baranski’s Diane Lockhart had a pretty definitive parting of the ways—but it was scuttled when CBS refused to pay her appearance fee.


Per Vulture, Margulies opened up about the interaction during a Sirius XM radio interview this week, accusing CBS of trying to blame or shame her into showing up on the series for significantly less than her asking price. (Which was reportedly on par with her per-episode fee for the original series, rather than the guest star money she was being offered to re-take the role.) “I started talking about it and said I wanted to do it,” she told interviewers. “They were twisting it that I didn’t want to be on the show and that I didn’t think it was good enough. I watch the show; I love the show! But I’m not a guest star.”

Margulies made it clear that she sees this less as a matter of her own finances, and more about setting a precedent for working actresses: “You have to value your worth. For the people who get angry when they hear me say, They weren’t paying me what I’m worth,’ think a little harder because this really isn’t about me at all. This is about every other actress who doesn’t have the voice or power to be able to say that.”

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