‘Good Wife’ Star Julianna Margulies Got Dustin Hoffman’s Advice When She Was A 23-Year-Old Waitress In New York

Back in 1990, future Good Wife star Julianna Margulies knew she wouldn’t be a waitress forever. She said so in a sit-down with Interview magazine, published when Margulies was still serving tables in a New York hotspot and years before she became famous on ER. As part of its “New Again” segment, Interview this week republished the conversation with Margulies, in which she described the advice she got from one of the many stars who came into her restaurant, Dustin Hoffman.

“One of the greatest and most understated celebrities was Dustin Hoffman. It’s very loud at [the restaurant], so sometimes I lean over to take orders. He showed me the proper way to stand and seemed genuinely interested in how I was performing this task—he stood up and said, ‘Don’t lean over the table. Do you want to know what your back is going to look like?'”

At the time, Margulies was a recent Sarah Lawrence College graduate going to auditions while waitressing at 150 Wooster, where celebrities were known to frequent. The future Emmy- and Golden-Globe-winning actress said a hush came over the establishment when Elizabeth Taylor came in. She was blown away by the presence of Raquel Welch and Paloma Picasso. Margulies described Oliver Stone as “a man I’d like to know.” Richard Gere, who starred alongside Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in 1990 just as Margulies was getting her start in acting, made the waitress “star struck.”

“Richard Gere made me star struck. He’s just a beautiful man, with that silver hair, and I just went woozy at the knees bringing him his caf cappuccino.”

Four years after that interview, Margulies got her landmark role as Carol Hathaway on ER, which she would hold for six seasons. She co-starred with another breakout actor, George Clooney, who left after Season 5.

Julianna Margulies and George Clooney in December, 2000
Julianna Margulies co-starred with George Clooney on 'ER' from 1994 to 1999 when Clooney left the program. The actors are shown here in a photo from December 19, 2000. (Photo by Nick Elgar/Getty Images)

Since 2009, Margulies has starred on The Good Wife, which is wrapping up its seventh and final season next month. When the show’s cancellation was announced, Margulies called it “an absolute honor to be a part of a series that, throughout seven years, never settled on being just good… but always strived to be extraordinary.” Margulies tipped off media that the rumors of the show’s cancellation were true when she told a gathering of casting directors that she would soon be unemployed.

Richard Gere
Julianna Margulies called Richard Gere 'a beautiful man' when he came into the restaurant where she was working in New York while she studied acting. (Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images)

Last week on The Good Wife, Margulies’ character Alicia Florrick finally asked her husband Peter for a divorce. He responded by asking her for a last favor — to remain by his side as he faced the latest corruption allegations. The plot’s theme circles back to the beginning of The Good Wife, when Alicia returned to the practice of law after her husband was sent to prison amid scandal.

Although The Good Wife seems to be wrapping up the arcs of its major characters — Cary Agos announced his intention to leave the firm last episode — it’s still taking advantage of some notable guest stars. Glee star Matthew Morrison is the lawyer tasked with prosecuting Peter Florrick. Soon, Smash star Megan Hilty will play a business owner rival of Diane Lockhart’s husband Kurt McVeigh. Entertainment Weekly reported that it’s not yet known whether the stage actors will appear together, but Morrison announced Hilty’s Good Wife appearance on his Instagram account.

There are four more episodes before The Good Wife wraps up on May 8.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]