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Julianna Margulies Says She “Became Alicia” to Negotiate Josh Charles’ Good Wife Contract

Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Will's (Josh Charles) in The Good Wife
Julianna Margulies negotiated with Good Wife costar Josh Charles to keep him on the show into season 5.

There's never a good time for Will Gardner to leave The Good Wife, but, true to form, Alicia Florrick made sure he did it the right way. After last Sunday's shocking twist in which Will (Josh Charles) is shot and killed by his client (Hunter Parrish), Good Wife fans flew into a frenzy as one of the show's most beloved characters exited for good. 

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To help Willicia-shippers come to terms with the painful news, Charlie Rose invited the cast to attend a private screening of the episode and to talk about Charles' decision to leave the CBS drama forever. 

"I just want to clarify because I think it's an important distinction," Charles said during the panel discussion. "I didn't ask to be let out of anything. My contract was up, and it was time to be thinking about the people close to me. I did a lot of soul searching. I think it's a very long season doing a network television show, and somewhere in year four, I just felt burnt out. I was ready for something different. That's no reflection for how I feel about the show, it's just more of what I want to do with my life."

When the show's star Julianna Margulies heard the shocking news, she immediately embodied her character. 

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"My head started spinning, and I said, 'Well wait, did you see if he would do less episodes, did you offer him directing credits?' I became the Alicia-lawyer kind of thing, how can I negotiate this contract?" she recalled. 

She ended up personally called up her longtime friend, begging him to stay on the show for at least 15 more episodes into season 5. 

"I gave him terrible Jew-guilt," she admitted. "I knew he was about to get married, and I'm good friends with his wife, and I said, 'Josh, how about this. 15 — wait, think about it — money in the bank for 15 episodes. Do you know how expensive it is to have a kid in New York City?' I went right to the kid thing, and it was disgusting! We were looking at schools for our kid at the time, and I said, 'Do you know much private school is?!' And I went through this whole thing about kids and family, then he said, 'Well 15, let me think about that!' And I said, 'And 2 directing spots!'"

PHOTOS: Julianna Margulies at the Emmys

Though the newly-married Charles is yet to be expecting his first child, Margulies' speech enticed him to stay on and give his character a proper send-off. 

"He's been such an integral part of the show, and such an integral part of my character," the Golden Globe winner said of her former love interest. "So I said if this is going to happen, lets do it right."

Tell Us: Do you think Will had a proper exit from The Good Wife?

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