The Good Wife has lost a lot of key players over the last couple of seasons. Chief among these is the smart-as-a-whip character Kalinda Sharma, played by Archie Panjabi, who left the show during Season 6. In recent weeks, an odd scene that was shot between Kalinda and the show’s lead Alicia Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies, has attracted questions about whether the women filmed it separately. As it turns out, behind-the-scenes drama between the two actresses is probably the culprit for that and perhaps for her exit from the show.
Here’s what happened. While Kalinda left the show earlier in Season 6, she did return for a brief scene during the finale, as pictured above. The only problem was that the conversation between Kalinda and Alicia made it seem as if they had not even shot the scene together. In fact, if you’ve been watching, the two characters haven’t really spent time in the same room at the same time since Season 4—around the time when Kalinda’s role became a little spottier on the series (she even missed out on the “Thicky Trick” video). All of this could be blown out of proportion, of course, but unfortunately, if the rumors are to be believed, Julianna Margulies did have a feud on set with Panjabi and may have refused to shoot scenes with the actress.
The rumor mill is indirectly stating that the two actresses have avoided one another on set for years, and it may have been Margulies' choice as producer to keep herself away from Panjabi on set. In an interview with US Weekly, Panjabi indirectly confirmed the two had problems on set, noting that she was not the one to make the decisions regarding her character on the series:
It’s not fair for me to answer those decisions. As much as I want to. But those decisions are made by the producers. I'm not privy to those decisions. All I do know is I'm very grateful to the Kings for making the decision to cast me.
What’s interesting about this rumor is how different it is from the spin surrounding Kalinda’s exit early after it was announced. At the time, Panjabi had signed a development deal with Twentieth Century Fox and was fielding offers for pilot season. Honestly, the actress is a fan-favorite on The Good Wife and is skilled enough that she could headline another series. However, leaving to pursue other opportunities might only be one part of the truth relating to Kalinda’s big exit.
It would be incredibly difficult to write scenes for a character who couldn’t interact with the series lead, other than by phone. Although no one is expressly admitting that the Kalinda and Alicia friendship was dampened after on-set problems, it is clear the two characters hadn’t shared a scene for years until the Season 6 finale, and they couldn’t even be bothered to fake it for the short time it would have taken to shoot the scene in the same room, leading to the wonky cut.
There’s one thing for certain. The crew on The Good Wife is extremely tight-lipped. First, they kept Josh Charles’ startling exit a secret and now this. Kudos to them.