October 31st, 2011 by thetvchick
The Good Wife is one of my absolute favorite shows on television right now. I love the way they are able to shed the procedural mold and focus on the cases and the characters. I also think the show chooses cases that are interesting and culturally relevant. I recently had the chance to talk to Josh Charles (who plays the super great Will Gardner) at an event for Human Rights First, where he was presenting the Sydney Lumet Award to show creators Robert and Michelle King for the show’s coverage of various human rights issues. We talked about what it means to present the Lumet award, how human rights factors into The Good Wife, and of course, Will and Alicia (my favorite relationship on the show).
What does it mean to you to be presenting the Lumet award at the Human Rights First event?
When I heard that they were naming it in honor of Sidney Lumet, I was very touched. It’s a really nice honor. I have gotten to know the folks at Human Rights First through my friend Jill, who works with them, and also helped organize this event. Just hearing them talk about Elisa [Massimino, President and CEO of Human Rights First] and why she likes our show and when she saw the episodes that dealt with Human Rights and what an episode like that, about a particular subject can mean to their fight, their cause. It really opened my eyes just having lunch with her, and realizing that holy shit, we have a tremendous amount of power in what we do. And of course I knew that already on an intellectual level, but to actually hear it from someone who runs such a fantastic organization like Human Rights First, and what they do for Human Rights across the globe, was pretty humbling and eye-opening for me. So when I was told that they wanted to give the show the award based on some of the episodes we had done showcasing human rights cases, I was really touched and then got to share the news with Robert and Michelle [King] because of my connection with Human Rights First. I had dinner with them last season, took them out and shared with them the good news. So I feel really flattered and really touched, and also a real sense of responsibility — and thankfully I work for people like Robert and Michelle King who are really interested in telling those stories. So I think that will continue on our show.
How do you think human rights factor into The Good Wife and television in general’s responsibility to tell these stories?
Well, it’s a good question. And it’s hard because you can’t really tell anyone else what to do or how to do it. But again, just hearing the people from Human Rights first tell me that our episode about human rights in China and internet freedom, which is a big issue that they work on, that an episode like that, the millions of people that it reaches, and what that can do for them and all the hard work they do, in one hour of television. You’d be blind to not feel a sense of responsibility to that. At the end of the day, we’re also making a program to entertain people. But I think while entertaining people, you can also enlighten people in the world we live in. I think our show does that really well. Sometimes it does it with a more satirical edge, sometimes it’s more dramatic, sometimes more comedic.
Switching gears a little bit. Fans are pleased with what’s going on this season between Will and Alicia (laughs).
(laughs) They are?
I think so!
So it seems from a couple episodes ago that maybe Alicia has always been Will’s endgame?
I don’t know. I hate talking in those sort of absolute terms like that, because I don’t — I just think they’re two characters who really love one another. And what that means necessarily as far as endgame or not endgame, I really don’t know. I don’t necessarily see them as that, but I see them as being really bonded with one another and deep, deep friends. And certainly now their intimacy level has risen, and we’re going to see where that journey takes us this year. But I just have a lot of faith in the Kings and how they’re writing, that it will feel truthful, and connect with the rest of the show.
Are there going to be any bumps in the road for Will and Alicia?
Sure. I think that’s safe to say without giving away any spoilers — major ones.
What about Celeste? How will she factor in?
She’s more of a trickster. It doesn’t really strike me, at least in what we’ve seen in these few episodes, it’s not necessarily a romantic foil, as opposed to more just sort of an emotional trickster in sharing information about Will’s past and bringing it to light.
Obviously this cause is close to your heart. Is there anything that you’ve heard about or read about that you wanted to see addressed on The Good Wife?
This was one of them. I had nothing to do with it. But realizing what a big deal that is: internet freedom. When we talk about things like Facebook — and I understand Facebook and the power of it — but I had my own issues with the privacy when I use Facebook, and I barely use it anymore, but just however I use it, it frustrates me. And that worries me when you put that in context, where it could be in certain situations, in certain countries, if not handled correctly, where it’s more than just an inconvenience. It could actually mean someone gets put in prison. So I think it’s a very real issue and I’m glad that our show dealt with it. There’s so many. (laughs) There’s a database, as this organization would attest to, and what they fight for all the time. My hope is through the show receiving this award and Robert and Michelle connecting with Elisa and this organization, they’ll have access to more and more stories that maybe will spark their imagination. But I know there are more stories that deal with human rights issues that will come up. When exactly, I don’t know.
The Good Wife airs Sunday nights at 9 PM on CBS. For more info on Human Rights First, click here.Tweet