Spin-offs in TV can be very hit (Frasier) or miss (Joey) and it makes sense to use characters who still have plenty of story to tell. With The Good Wife it became very clear in the final season that there wasn’t much more to say about Alicia Florrick and when they announced the seventh would be the end of the road during last year’s Super Bowl it felt like a relief.
Now comes The Good Fight which will see the continuation of characters that do have more story to tell such as Diane Lockhart and Lucca Quinn; I couldn’t be more thrilled especially with each new promo and interview. Speaking to Zac Posen for Interview Magazine, Christine Baranski goes into depth about what we can expect from the new show as well as her feeling about playing a character like Diane Lockhart for such a long period:
“I said to my manager, because I was in my fifties, “It would be really great to do a dramatic role and play someone elegant and intelligent. There aren’t that many roles out there, but …” I have a kind of remarkable ability to, for want of a better phrase, get what I want. I kind of project. I guess it’s called dreaming.”
In terms of the current political climate/shitstorm* the pilot for The Good Fight was written before the election and they had filmed some of the pilot prior to this; including lines as if Hillary Clinton had won. Like a lot of us the Kings and Baranski thought this was a given “In fact, they wrote a line in the first episode where I announce that I’m retiring to the entire law firm at this beautiful, huge circular table, and I say that there are no more glass ceilings to break. I think that we’re going to have to loop it and they’re going to have to amend that line.” And Baranski reveals some details from the changed pilot (light spoilers ahead) explaining that we will see Diane watching the inauguration and how she feels distraught, but she is moving on with her life and then she loses everything financially. Her reputation also takes a very big hit.
*The Good Fight seems set up to tackle what is going on right now in this nightmare and I wonder how many rewrites they have done in the last week and a half.
This parallels with Alicia Florrick’s story at the start of The Good Wife and how she is finding it hard to get hired (as we saw with Alicia in “A Few Words“). Baranski explains that the only place that will hire her is Chicago’s only African-American firm “So this show will have the opportunity to address not only the feminist issues, ageism, and sexism, but it’s going to address racism in the workplace.” I view this latter aspect with caution as The Good Wife had a habit of exploring racism in the workplace on a very surface level and then dropping it. Hopefully the Kings have learned from experience and will go deeper. And I also hope this is a sign that Lucca Quinn will be just as front and center.
It is not surprising in an interview conducted by Zac Posen that fashion is a topic that comes up especially as Diane Lockhart is one of the best dressed characters on TV (the statement necklaces!) and Baranski always great IRL style.
“The power of fashion, and the power of what you present visually. Women would come up and ask me about a piece of jewelry, a brooch. People are really watching. And Michelle [King] came by. She loves fashion. She will wear Nina Ricci, and she just loves Alexander McQueen. She said, “The one thing we’re not giving up, even though you’re going bankrupt, is the way you dress, because that’s what women expect.” My first fitting was fantastic. Her fashion evolution—there aren’t a lot of power suits, there are a lot of dresses.”
Interview Magazine always gives great photo shoots and this is no exception. From the sequins and sunglasses rooftop delight in the first photo above to the leopard print charms of this one.With The Good Fight there will be a slight change in style “because of her evolution where she’s about to retire, there’s a whole softening of her look.” As long as there are still brooches, necklaces and blazers I’m all good.
How Baranski escapes in real life is to head to her house on the lake and how do I get an invite to this?!
“I have had many famous actors on my dock, because we put wood in the fire pit and bottles of wine, and Cherry Jones and Allison Janney and Mark Rylance and his wife and lots of nude swimming. I got Meryl there.”
Circling back to the kinds of characters you get when you hit a ‘certain age’ and how she thinks this is changing in terms of both her career and others:
“I’m really having my cake and eating it, but what I mean by beauty as a shelf life, in terms of a woman’s life in front of a camera, you can be that beautiful woman. I do think the rules are changing. Witness Isabelle Huppert and her amazing career and this latest movie, but what I’m getting at is if your career is not predicated on just your physical beauty, you’re able to project a sophistication. You can take sophisticated to your grave. You can be that worldly woman, that woman who looks beautiful dressed up. Diane Lockhart walks in a room and she commands space.”
Read the whole interview here and The Good Fight premieres Sunday, February 19 on CBS All Access.