'Good Wife' Final Scene: Julianna Margulies Insisted on Really Being Slapped

Just hours after the finale aired, the show's creators, Robert and Michelle King, opened up about their decision to bring Will Gardner back from the dead and have Diane Lockhart smack (yes, really smack) Alicia Florrick.
Courtesy of CBS
'The Good Wife'

1. Leading to the final scene, Alicia (Julianna Margulies) reunites with her late lover, Will (Josh Charles). “I’ll love you forever,” she says, to which Will responds: “I’m OK with that.” Per Michelle, “That’s exactly how they’d communicate in Alicia’s fantasy.” Adds Robert, “It was shot fairly late at night, and unlike most times when people go off the set to grab a bite or go to their dressing rooms, everybody wanted to hang around because it felt like the closure to something really cool.”

2. They considered several characters to deliver the slap. “I’d say every other character who’s ever been on the show,” says Michelle, with Robert noting the other top candidates were Peter’s mom, Jackie, and Alicia and Peter’s daughter, Grace. “But the slap needed to have credibility … and Diane brought that.”

3. “The stunt coordinator kept telling the actors, ‘Fake [the slap],’ and then Julianna said to Christine: ‘No, you’re not faking this. That’s the only way I get there emotionally is to do this,’ ” says Robert, who adds of Regina Spektor’s “Better,” which played multiple times: “[The song] needed to start in romance and make a turn in the lyrics to be about friendship and female camaraderie.”

4. The Kings always planned to begin and end with a slap.* Alicia slapped her philandering husband for betraying her in the pilot; Diane (Christine Baranski) slaps Alicia for betraying her in the finale.

This story first appeared in the May 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.