Julianna Margulies Insisted on Wearing a Wig For Her Role in ‘The Good Wife’

Julianna Margulies is TV royalty. The actor has been a star in some of the biggest TV productions, having begun her rise to fame with the medical drama ER. After leaving the show, she starred in other productions and again found more favor with CBS’s The Good Wife. Margulies insisted on wearing a wig for her role in The Good Wife for a good reason.

Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in 'The Good Wife'
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick | Paul Sarkis/CBS via Getty Images

Julianna Margulies starred as Alicia Florrick in ‘The Good Wife’

The Good Wife focuses on a housewife who returns to the corporate world as a high-power lawyer after her politician husband has a public sex scandal. Throughout the show, Alicia Florrick, played by Margulies, deals with different circumstances and cases as she navigates her new life while balancing a career and raising children.

While it’s difficult to imagine any other actor in the role, Margulies was, unfortunately, not the first choice for Alicia. As Good as It Gets actor Helen Hunt was the original choice for Alicia, but she turned it down. The part was then offered to Ashley Judd, who passed on the opportunity because she wasn’t looking to return to TV.

The final option was Elisabeth Shue, who is popular for her dramatic roles in movies like Leaving Las Vegas. Shue was offered to play Alicia, but she rejected it, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family. Frustrated, the showrunners of The Good Wife invited Margulies to audition, and she landed the part.

Julianna Margulies insisted on wearing a wig to play Alicia Florrick

Although Margulies was almost a last resort for The Good Wife, she ensured they played by her terms. According to Variety, Margulies had a very costly stipulation written into her contract that producers had to follow if they were to continue with the project.

The publication notes that Margulies demanded that she wear a wig to play Alicia. For the show’s pilot, a wig had to be flown to Vancouver, where the pilot was shot, from London, where the wig was made.

Margulies said she wanted to distinguish between her ER and The Good Wife characters. In 2015, she expounded on the issue while appearing on The David Letterman Show. She told the host that she is naturally curly-haired and the role of Alicia was written for someone with straight hair.

The actor reasoned that she would have wasted significant time in the stylist’s chair since her natural hair can be very unruly. She said, “I thought, ‘Oh My God! 22 episodes a year, 14 hours a day, and if the weather changes, my hair starts growing like a Chia pet, depending on the humidity.”

Margulies stated that it always takes her about an hour to straighten her hair, and since she’d just welcomed a baby, she wanted every extra minute to go to her child. The wig was a welcome help since “it takes 10 minutes” to put it on.

Here’s why Julianna Margulies’s ‘The Good Wife’ wig looks so realistic

Watching Margulies play Alicia, it’s difficult to imagine that she isn’t rocking her natural hair. It turns out that there are two reasons why the wig looks so realistic. According to Glamour, Margulies’s wig looks so believable because it was made from real human hair and tailored around her exact hairline.

Margulies has a slight widow’s peak, and the designers ensured to account for it. If you were wondering how much you’d have to fork out for such beauty, the wig comes with a $10,000 price tag. Interestingly, there isn’t just one wig. Margulies said she got a new wig every season, which made it easy for stylists to work around, especially for flashback scenes.

RELATED: ‘ER’: Julianna Margulies’ Character Was Supposed to Die Early on in the Show