On Monday’s episode of “CBS Mornings,” the two-time Emmy winner spoke candidly about joining the cast of the Apple TV+ series for its second season, which debuted last month.
Her portrayal of Laura Peterson, a veteran news anchor who was once fired for being a lesbian and begins a romantic relationship with Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon), has stirred conversation among viewers who feel queer roles are best played by actors who identify as LGBTQ in real life.
“I can understand that,” Margulies said, when asked about the criticism. “My response also would be we’re all making assumptions as to who I am and what my past is and what all of our pasts are.”
Catch Julianna Margulies’ full “CBS Mornings” interview below.
“I understand 100% that I can’t play a different race,” she continued. “But I am an actress, and I am supposed to embody another character. … Are you telling me that because I’m a mother, I can never play a woman who has never had a child? Or, if you’ve never been married, that you can never play a married woman? You have to be careful on where you’re drawing the line there.”
Margulies has been married to attorney Keith Lieberthal since 2007. The couple have a 13-year-old son, Kieran.
In an appearance on the “Just for Variety” podcast earlier this month, she offered a similar defense of her “Morning Show” casting. “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,” she told host Marc Malkin.
Margulies is, of course, one of many stars to chime in on the discourse over casting actors who may not identify as LGBTQ in queer roles.
Darren Criss, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of gay serial killer Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” said in 2018 that he will no longer play queer characters in order to make space for LGBTQ actors in the industry. Benedict Cumberbatch and Kristen Stewart, however, feel differently on the matter.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, “Morning Show” showrunner Kerry Ehrin revealed that she’d considered casting a queer actor as Laura. Margulies, she said, brought “the stature of someone who was actually the news icon of a network.”