Playing a lesbian on the second season of Apple TV’s The Morning Show isn’t the first time that Julianna Margulies has taken on a gay role.She and Kyra Sedgwick played a couple in the 2000 indie What’s Cooking? However, that was years before there was …
Playing a lesbian on the second season of Apple TV's The Morning Show isn't the first time that Julianna Margulies has taken on a gay role.
She and Kyra Sedgwick played a couple in the 2000 indie What's Cooking? However, that was years before there was a push for LGBTQi+ actors to be cast in LGBTQi+ roles.
During an appearance on this week's episode of the Just for Variety podcast, Margulies was asked if she had any reservations about playing gay on The Morning Show.
"Who's to say I haven't had my own gay experiences?" Margulies said. "We're making assumptions."
In The Morning Show, Margulies is an out television news reporter who ends up dating Bradley, played by Reese Witherspoon.
"You've got Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon playing these two very strong characters, and in the second season instead of bringing a man in to upset that balance they brought in a woman. Hats off to that, because the truth is women are more afraid of women," Margulies said.
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"They dress for women. We don't dress for men. We dress for each other. We want to impress each other much more. ... It made so much sense, and I thought, 'Ah, a show that gets women. This is great.'"
Margulies acknowledges that there was some talk that her casting could get blowback. "I know there was some trepidation of 'will lesbian actresses be angry?' and I can tell you I would never, ever be angry if a lesbian played a straight woman," Margulies said.
Showrunner Kerry Ehrin provided Margulies with a written backstory for Laura which detailed her career being derailed 20 years earlier after she was outed.
"It's rare to get such a rich 20-year history of who this character was before you get to play her," Margulies said. "That's usually the homework I do on my own."
By the time viewers meet Laura, she's not only made a comeback but she's thriving in the cutthroat business of broadcast news. As drama unfolds around her, she proves to be one of the most level-headed characters on the show.
READ MORE: Julianna Margulies reveals why she left ER after being offered $34.5 million to stay
"I really love that she's 100 per cent comfortable in her own skin and has no ulterior motives. She doesn't have a hidden agenda," Margulies explained. "She is probably the only character on that show that has no hidden skeletons in her closet ... I view her in the midst of all this chaos that's going around and all these secrets people are trying to keep it's like all she has to do is stand still just to make a difference."
"It's almost like she's the lens of the audience and the audience gets to watch these people absolutely spiralling down in front of your eyes but you sort of see it through Laura's and Laura's done all the work on herself to get completely comfortable with who she is in her sexuality to have gone back to fieldwork in journalism and really earned her stripes the right way to get to where she is in her career, which is at the top," she continued. "It's sort of a wonderful place to play, to watch people squirming and to say, 'Your life doesn't have to be this hard. You're making it much harder than it needs to be.'"
A third season of the show has yet to be given a greenlight. "If they want me, I would be back," Margulies said. "I would be back in a jiffy."
Margulies laughed when mentioned 2021 marks the 15-year anniversary of Snakes on a Plane. She co-starred in the action camp classic with Samuel L. Jackson.
READ MORE: Julianna Margulies recounts incident with Steven Seagal: 'He made sure that I saw his gun'
"Samuel L. Jackson had in his contract that he had to be 25 feet [eight metres] away from snakes at all times. I was like, 'Yeah, I'm with the him,'" Margulies remembered. "So he and I never actually went near real snakes ever. They scare me to death. I think it's just because they're not cuddly. I just don't understand them. So I remember that the most was that I was on a movie called Snakes On A Plane and I never once had an encounter with a snake. A few fake ones I did, which was kind of fun, but not real ones."
She also recalls studio executives trying to convince Jackson to change the title of the movie: "Samuel said, 'No fucking way. I signed up to do this movie because it's called Snakes on a Motherf---ing Plane and that's what we're going to call it.'"
Margulies has no regrets. She said, "It's not a great movie, we can say that. But I know people love it."
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