Tomorrow is the first day of shooting for season 3 of CBS’ The Good Wife, and what better way to welcome the cast back than with nine Emmy nominations — including nods for the series, actors Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, Alan Cumming, and guest star Michael J. Fox, as well as casting director Mark Saks and director of photography Fred Murphy? Charles, who’s celebrating his first-ever Emmy nom, returned to New York last night after two-and-a-half weeks out of the country. (“Obviously, when you’re walking around Jerusalem or in the Dead Sea or Masada, it’s not really necessarily the place where people are expecting to see someone that’s on a TV show they like,” he says, “so I always get a kick out of seeing people go through that process in their brain of figuring out if what they’re seeing is correct.”) Jet-lagged, all he was thinking about this morning was getting himself to the cast’s annual pre-season photo shoot on time.
“I was headed to get into the car to come to this photo shoot, and one of my best friends texted me. Just said, ‘Emmy.’ That was it. I was like, ‘Oh.’ It wasn’t super-exciting,” he laughs, wishing he had a better story. “And then I just got hit with a barrage of emails, texts, and calls from people. Honestly, one of the best parts of it is just seeing how happy it made a lot of my friends and family and my fellow actors. It’s a hard business and I’ve been in it a long time, and I feel like I have really good friendships with actors — people who I’ve worked with or people I’ve just been friends with over the years — and we all really have each other’s back. It felt good to have them all reach out and feel their happiness for me.” That includes his good friend Peter Dinklage, who also earned a supporting actor nomination for Game of Thrones. “I’ve been trading emails and texts with Peter, back and forth, and we’ve been ribbing one another and having some laughs. All of our friends are joking with us that we should fight it off,” Charles says. (Another memorable reaction: “One of my other best friends is in Greece for his brother’s wedding, and he said he was screaming and scared people on the beach,” Charles adds. “That made me laugh.”)
Next on Charles’ agenda — aside from continuing to down caffeine — is learning his lines for Friday. He’s tight-lipped on what happens with Will and Alicia in the season premiere, but as the show’s writers have already spilled on Twitter, we’ll pick up the day after the two finally had “good timing” in that hotel room. The tentative title for the episode is, in fact, “The Next Day,” Charles says. “Our creators care a lot about the dynamic between these two characters. Whatever happens between them, in whatever form it takes, I think the characters will be closer together because of this experience and this deepening of their relationship.” He also needs to decide what episode to submit for Emmy voters. “I honestly have no idea. It’s an odd thing to think that it’s just really one episode that people view to judge it. I’ll ask around, you know. I’m taking suggestions,” he says. Feel free to help him out in the comments section.