Julianna Margulies on Confronting Jen Aniston in Season 2 – The Hollywood Reporter

[This story contains spoilers to episode nine of season two of Apple’s The Morning Show, “Testimony.”]

Within the penultimate episode of The Morning Present, Jennifer Aniston approaches Julianna Margulies with a query that has been plaguing her character all through the whole season: Why don’t you want me?

The question elicits a scoff from Margulies, who performs veteran anchor Laura Peterson and who was introduced in to upset the steadiness between the starring anchors in season two. On the Apple TV+ morning information drama, Laura’s success has made her knowledgeable menace to Aniston’s Alex Levy. (In the meantime, she has turn out to be a love curiosity for Reese Witherspoon’s Bradley Jackson, who has been having her personal popping out journey this season.)

As viewers have heard Laura inform it, she was outed as homosexual within the ’90s and was subsequently fired from her job as a lead morning present anchor. The supply of the knowledge, Laura has all the time believed, was Alex. Now, a long time later, the present Morning Present star takes possession of her actions. After two seasons of dealing with her personal complicity and complex relationship with Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), a sexual predator, Alex involves Laura after being rocked by Mitch’s loss of life within the episode prior. And the confrontation brings their lengthy dormant drama to the floor.

“It was gossip. Everyone talked about it. Boy, gossip appeared a lot much less vicious again then,” says an apologetic Alex. To which Laura replies, “Effectively, that’s as a result of no one was gossiping about you but.” Finally, the 2 well-known girls attain a stage of peace by the top of their dialog.

Margulies, who has defended her casting and spoken out in opposition to making assumptions about an actor’s sexuality, notes right here that the message behind this scene was an necessary one, which is why she says she approached the complexities of Laura with care and thought. “I’ve simply seen it time and again the place peoples’ lives are actually overturned by somebody’s careless little snippet of gossip,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “You see this ripple impact and what it does, the injury it does to peoples’ lives, [you see] that it’s as much as them to resolve whether or not they need folks to know their sexuality.” Including, “Let’s be conscious of how we deal with one another.”

In talking to THR forward of the season, Margulies mentioned that scene, in addition to Laura and Bradley and what their future would possibly maintain: “I actually love their relationship and I feel that even the little bit that you simply see [between them] will change Bradley.” Learn the chat, beneath.

What attracts you to the tv roles you tackle at this level in your profession and what attracted you to Laura Peterson?

That’s an opportunity in a lifetime to be on a present I used to be an enormous fan of to start out. After I watched the present when it first got here out, it didn’t cross my thoughts that I’d really sooner or later be on it. After which they supplied me the function of Laura Peterson and confirmed me the define of who she was. Kerry Ehrin, the showrunner, had achieved this unbelievable, huge, intensive background on who Laura Peterson is — which may be very uncommon, particularly in TV world; every little thing is transferring so quick and also you don’t get that. And I discovered her to be such a compelling, attention-grabbing character. If you meet her, she’s already gone by way of the hearth and has come out the opposite facet. She’s snug in her personal pores and skin, there aren’t any skeletons in her closet and he or she is totally at a spot in her profession that’s on the prime. She needs from nobody. She’s solely having fun with her life and who she is on the planet.

When viewers first meet Laura, she’s launched as a brand new UBA anchor. However then, spoiler alert, she turns into Bradley’s love curiosity and an enormous a part of the season. How did that arc make the function extra attractive?

After I watched Bradley that first season, she’s spiraling uncontrolled. You watch her with the characters round her and also you notice that nobody actually has her again. Perhaps Cory [Ellison, played by Billy Crudup] is searching, however he has ulterior motives; he’s falling in love together with her — is he actually there to assist her, or solely to assist himself? And Alex’s character is totally solely in it for herself. If something, Alex is likely to be beginning to get threatened by Bradley. So I felt like this character of Laura, who’s so calm as a result of she’s so snug in her personal pores and skin and in who she is, is available in and permits the viewers to form of watch these characters that they’ve identified for a season by way of her eyes and see the loopy. And Laura is ready to be that lifeboat for Bradley whereas she’s happening, and for Bradley to form of cling to her in that mentor means.

Additionally, I feel Bradley is all the time on the lookout for love as a result of she didn’t have it from her mom and father. Though Bradley loves her brother, everybody is just too preoccupied with themselves. And right here is that this lady, Laura, who’s so snug and calm, that you really want Bradley to seek out refuge. It virtually felt extra like a secure haven of a relationship. From Laura’s standpoint, it’s a complete lot of enjoyable. However Laura’s not eager about chaos and drama; she lived that already. She’s a truth-teller and he or she says to Bradley, “I don’t dwell chaos. Your life doesn’t should be [chaos], you will have decisions.” And I feel that’s form of a revelation to Bradley. She doesn’t notice she has decisions. This lady has not had the appropriate mentorship and steering.

The function evolves as viewers study Laura’s expertise of being outed earlier in her profession, after which watch her come again to morning TV solely to have her relationship with Bradley then be outed. What did you need to deliver to taking part in her when it comes to the complexities and sensitivities of Laura’s historical past?

The necessary factor to me was that the traces I used to be saying rang true. There’s this ripple impact. I’ve the nice scene within the ninth episode with Jen’s character the place she is available in and says, “Why do you hate me?” And my character goes, “Actually?” As a result of this lady ruined her life, or what she thought was going to break her life by outing her with none care on the planet. She wasn’t even pondering. “Somewhat little bit of gossip. Laura’s homosexual!” After which that ripple impact, which finally ends up costing Laura her job and in the end forces her to rebuild her life. Looking back, that was a silver lining, as a result of if you’re stripped right down to nothing and also you construct your self again up, you construct your self again up stronger and with out all the luggage of the previous. So now she’s an open e book and he or she doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

Lazy loaded image

Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) and Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) reuniting behind the Morning Present desk in “Testimony.”
Courtesy of Apple

It was additionally a really totally different time. Again within the late ’90s [when Laura was outed] was simply earlier than Ellen [DeGeneres] got here out. I keep in mind pondering how courageous Ellen had been when she got here out and what an enormous deal everybody was making about it. As a result of I had identified Ellen; I knew she was homosexual. What’s the massive deal? It doesn’t imply you’re a special comic. It doesn’t change what you prefer to eat for dinner. You’re the identical particular person. You simply love the identical intercourse. I by no means understood the massive deal about it. However then if you see this ripple impact and what it does, the injury it does to peoples’ lives, [you see] that it’s as much as them to resolve whether or not they need folks to know their sexuality.

I don’t stroll round speaking about my sexuality and but I’ll drop “my husband” and never even give it some thought. And to suppose that at the moment I couldn’t have stated, “Effectively, me and my spouse, blah blah” with out it exploding. So I needed [on The Morning Show for it] to be very tempered and dealt with with child gloves within the sense that it’s actually necessary for all of us to be respectful of different human beings’ privateness and once they resolve to let the world know who they’re. I took it very significantly as a result of I’ve simply seen it time and again the place peoples’ lives are actually overturned by somebody’s careless little snippet of gossip, with no thought. Let’s be conscious of how we deal with one another. How would you are feeling? And so I beloved that final scene that I’ve with Alex the place she lastly realizes simply what an asshole she’s been. How self-centered. She was like, “It was simply gossip.” And I have a look at her and I am going, “Actually? I received fired.” For folks to take duty of their actions and to be conscious, I feel is a extremely necessary message.

On this episode, Bradley takes to coronary heart Laura’s recommendation about placing herself first together with her household and her brother’s dependancy points. And although Laura is leaving for Montana because of the pandemic, the 2 solidify their relationship. How do you view Laura’s affect on Bradley heading into the finale?

I don’t suppose Laura thought the connection with Bradley was going to go a lot additional after [their first kiss]. That it does is a bonus. However I feel, because it goes additional, it turns into rather more intellectually intimate as a result of Bradley begins to indicate all her wounds. She’s a wounded animal and I feel Laura is excellent at licking these wounds as a result of she is a caretaker. However she’s additionally superb at figuring out boundaries. So it’s a extremely mild form of dance that she does with Bradley. I like their relationship, I actually do. I don’t know the place it’s going to go [beyond season two], however I actually love their relationship and I feel that even the little bit that you simply noticed will change Bradley, whether or not or not Bradley is together with her or not.

This interview has been edited for readability.

The primary 9 episodes of season two of Apple’s The Morning Present are actually streaming.

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