Were The Good Wife stars Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi feuding for the past two years, culminating in Panjabi’s departure from the hit CBS drama with the Season 6 finale that aired on Sunday night? An analysis of their final scene together, after the two actresses had not appeared together on screen for the past two years, says yes.
Also saying yes, or at least examining the possibility that the two actresses can’t stand to be in the same room together, was a Washington Post article this week nothing that, while there has never been any confirmation of the rumored feud between the 48-year-old Margulies, who also serves as a producer on the show, and the 42-year-old British-born Panjabi, rumors that the Good Wife star and co-star hate each other go back two years.
As loyal Good Wife viewers know, the characters played by the two actresses — lawyer Alicia Florrick (Margulies) and private investigator Kalinda Sharma (Panjabi) — were established early in the series as best friends. Their after-work drink became a staple recurring motif on the show, and the two characters would often confide personal feelings and secrets more like sisters than work colleagues.
But in Season 4, Episode 14 — something happened. That episode almost two full years ago included the final scene in which the two actresses actually appeared together.
The storylines of the show, however, never really abandoned the idea that the two characters were friends. The show did include several scenes in which the characters speak on the phone, but of course, telephone scenes do not require performers to be physically in each other’s presence, and could even be filmed hours or even days apart.
So, were the two women feuding?
“I’ve been reading that, too,” said The Good Wife co-creator Robert King in an interview this week, who neither confirmed nor denied the rumors. But he added that fans will “be happy with the last episode — the last episode goes there.”
But did it? Yes, the finale on Sunday finally contained a scene featuring the two actresses face-to-face, but a closer look shows that the scene could easily have been filmed without the two actresses actually in the same room.
— joyce eng (@joyceeng61) May 11, 2015
As TV Guide noted, after a brief two-shot, the actresses are filmed only from behind the other’s head — shots which could easily be accomplished with stand-ins. As for the two-shot, the magazine points out, the two characters ever actually look directly at each other, and their hand never touch or even cross.
In addition, the backgrounds behind each charater are different, suggesting the possibility that the quick shot of the two together was in fact, a composite, filmed by each actress separately.
Finally, Panjabi’s seeming relief as expressed in a recent interview at her departure from The Good Wife seems uncharacteristic of any actress — especially one who is not a major star — at leaving a high-paying job on a hit network show.
Though Panjabi said she felt “sad” to leave The Good Wife, she added that, “every bone in my body was like, ‘this just right feels right.’ So I guess I felt very calm.”
[Image: CBS TV Press Photo]