The Emmy winner, 55, addressed potential critics of the show during a Monday, October 25, appearance on CBS Mornings.
“I can understand that,” she said, answering a question about whether an LGBTQ actor could more accurately portray the character. “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. I understand 100 percent that I can’t play a different race, but I am an actress, and I am supposed to embody another character. Whatever their sexuality is doesn’t matter to me, the same way watching a gay person play a straight person.”
The ER veteran went on to ask where the distinction might end, noting that it would be “a whole different story” if she tried to play a character of a different race or gender.
“Are you telling me, because I’m a mother, I can never play a woman who’s never had a child?” she continued. “Or, if you’ve never been married, that you can’t play a married woman? I mean, you have to be careful on where you’re drawing the line there. We’re actors, we’re supposed to embody a character regardless of their sexuality.”
The debate over whether heterosexual actors should play LGBTQ characters has been making headlines for a few years now, with Darren Criss announcing in 2018 that he would no longer play gay roles. Benedict Cumberbatch, meanwhile, defended his decision to play a gay character in the upcoming film The Power of the Dog.
“It wasn’t done without thought,” the Sherlock alum, 45, said during the Telluride Film Festival in September. “I also feel slightly like, is this a thing where our dance card has to be public? Do we have to explain all our private moments in our sexual history? I don’t think so.”
Season 2 of The Morning Show premiered last month, with Margulies making her debut during the October 1 episode. The New York native plays Laura Peterson, a reporter who was once fired after her sexuality was made public. When she returns to the show’s fictional UBA network, she embarks on a romance with Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon).
Though Margulies differs from her character on the Apple TV+ in many ways, she does think they share an ability to tell it like it is.
“It could be my age now, maybe, but you get to a place in your life, and I think the same thing happened with Laura, where you go, ‘This is who I am. Take it or leave it,'” the actress explained. “I’m not interested in pretending. I have no skeletons in my closet. I’m not hiding. I’m telling the truth, and if you don’t like it, I guess then you’re not in my orbit.”
New episodes of The Morning Show are available to stream on Fridays via Apple TV+.