“The Good Wife” is consistently one of television’s most surprising and empowering series. From the beginning, when Julianna Margulies‘ Alicia Florrick slapped her cheating husband backstage after his on-air confession to infidelity, it was clear that this was going to be a show about a strong woman with an identity of her own.
In the latest episode of “The Writers’ Room,” hosted by Jim Rash and airing on Sundance Channel, the creative team behind that pivotal moment talked about the inspiration behind the now-famous slap. In fact, the moment exemplified the whole driving impetus behind the creation of the show.
“There were a whole bunch of these sex scandals that seemed to cascade at one time,” said series co-creator Michelle King. “We were looking at them, and what was most interesting — I mean, these poor women got dragged onto stage next to their husbands. And you would look at these women, and so often, they were extremely smart, accomplished, and oft-times attorneys. And you kind of wondered, Okay, what’s going on there? And oft-times, the marriages would endure.”
She and her husband/writing partner, Robert King, wanted to explore what happened next. “It started right in the pilot with Julianna going backstage with Chris Noth and slapping him right across the face,” Robert King recalled.
They then laughed a bit about that moment. Because it had to be authentic, actor Chris Noth took quite a beating to get the final take. Luckily, he said he had plenty of experience with getting slapped, thanks to his role as “Mr. Big” on “Sex and the City.”
The full episode of “The Writers’ Room,” featuring the creative team behind “The Good Wife,” airs Monday at 11 p.m. ET on Sundance Channel.