WG: I remember I worked with Alan Arkin once and he had said — and he's now won an Oscar and he didn't say this in his speech, but he said — "If I ever won an Oscar I was gonna say, 'I've always hated these awards and everything they've ever stood for, and secondly, this is the happiest day of my life.'"
It's been a great couple of years for TV. Let's talk a little bit about the shows and the seasons and what drew you each to the roles that you're playing.
JG: I suppose — well, first Chuck Lorre approached me about playing Jim Parsons' role before he ever met Jim. Before they had anything written, actually. And he said, "Can I fax you some pages in a couple of weeks once we have something written," and I said, "Of course, absolutely." And I just — I felt — it was really the love story or at that point the potential for a love story for the character of Leonard that really attracted me. And I said, "I think I'd rather play the other guy."
Let's talk about "The Killing¸" which is possibly the darkest show ever made. I love it. But it was like, oh, my God, does it ever not rain? Michelle, your role is so — I mean, I just can't imagine how difficult that was. It's just such raw sorrow and rage. Were you intimidated, nervous about going to a place that was so dark?
MF: No, I wasn't intimidated about going to that place. That's an actor's dream, really. And of course the joy of what we do is we get to do that within a safe environment. And that it isn't real in the end. We have to make it real in that moment, and then you have to trick your brain into believing it's not real at the end of the day. It wasn't a pleasant time. I missed "True Blood" because it was like going from the best party ever to a mental hospital.
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I remember when Glenn Close started doing "Damages" and she said that TV is so much harder than film because with film you know where you're going and why and then you can do your back story. And with TV you don't know where your character's going. And with your character, Walton, with Boyd, he's crazy in seven different ways.
WG: Yeah he's still an enigma to me, to be quite honest with you. We're now into the second year of this experiment and this guy. ... So coming into this season and kinda the pain that he's carrying over, I didn't know how he would be in a suit. I didn't know how he would sit in a suit. I didn't know how he would kiss a woman. I didn't know how he would, certainly, sit with the CEO of a coal mining company. But I knew he was a poet. I knew he was a poet, and I knew that he was smart.
JG: Yeah, I wrote out, as I always do, a back story for the character. And you're right; when you're doing a film and you're doing a play, that's a wonderful blueprint to rely on. But by the end of Season 1, I wasn't referring to it at all, because I didn't — you find things out and, like, in Season 5 that, oh, really, I'm adopted? You couldn't have thought. And I didn't know until Season 2 where my character was from. I asked, and Chuck Lorre would say, "This isn't 'Lost.' We don't know. We're making this up as we go every week."
But with you guys, your characters, you also have the good guy/bad guy.
How is that to deal with as a performer?
JC: I deal with it because it doesn't — to be frank it's like I don't look at it in those terms. So when people say to me, is your character good or bad, I don't even know what that means. He's everything. He's good and bad. I mean, he does it all. He's a flawed, complex human being, so he has a little bit of everything. I'm not interested in having it all figured out. And certainly not put labels on a character whether they're good or bad.
It is called "The Good Wife," though.
JC: But you'd be surprised how many people take that so literally, you know what I mean? I've had people say, well, she can't have something with you because she's the good wife. I don't think the title was meant to be that literal.
What are you guys going to do — do you have plans? Are you going to party beforehand?
JG: I don't even have a suit.
Do you have people that you want to go up and talk to?
WG: Oh yeah, Ty Burrell. Like all of those guys. They're just a number of people that I'm looking forward to approaching. Jon Stewart. I'm gonna tackle him.
MF: Or John Hodgman ….I sort of accosted him last year at the Emmys, and it was one of those things that just sort of died. … It's, like, "Don't you understand? I love you!"
Well, thank you guys for coming, and I wish you all the best of luck and I hope you have a lovely evening. I will be sitting here in the office reviewing the show, so when you win, make sure your speeches are really good so I can say something nice about you. Thank you. That's a wrap.