Carrie Preston, who plays fan favourite Elsbeth Tascioni in CBS’ The Good Wife has revealed that she didn’t know much about her character before signing on for the season.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the star said that prior to taking up the role, she didn’t know anything about her character, she was only told to keep her schedule free. She also went on to speak about her favourite scenes, and how hard it was to learn some of her lines in French.
She said: “Not much. I guess it was three episodes total and they have to plan those things ahead of time. They have to make sure your schedule is free to do them before they’ll write them. I knew that they were going to bring me on, and we kept hearing from casting that it was going to be really good. So I was definitely getting talked up waiting for the script. When I read that first script where she was in jail, I thought, “Wow! This is going to be so much fun to see what it is like when Elsbeth can’t go anywhere. This is a person who is incredibly busy. What is it like when she’s confined? What happens to her brain?” That was a really exciting prospect. Then when they brought on this Josh Perotti character and it was being played by Kyle MacLachlan, I just thought, “What else could they come up with that could be better than that?” I was pretty thrilled to see what Elsbeth was like with the opposite sex. Especially, someone that she’s attracted to—although would never say it. The case is more important.”
Speaking about her favourite Elsbeth scene or moment in season four, she said there were “several” as she “had such a wonderful arc” on the show. However, she added that it was a “toss-up between the scene [in episode 12] with the psychiatrist where she’s giving me that test to see if I am stable enough to be released from prison,” and “the scene in the sports arena where I had to come running down the center line. That was very funny. When I showed up for the scene, I didn’t realize we were shooting in such a huge track, nor did I realize that they were going to have me running down the track”.
As fans of the show will know, Elsbeth actually failed the psychiatric evaluation. Preston joked: “She did fail the test! [Laughs] I just feel like sometimes when the stakes are that high, maybe she gets a little flustered. I think she’s best left alone because then she can surmount any obstacle in her way. But she was being too closely scrutinized and became very self-conscious, which of course led to a lot of levity to the proceedings”.
Preston had to learn some lines in French, in which she said she had a friend who speaks French, so she made her friend tape her lines and she learned them that way.
Speaking about whether she may return for season 5, she added: “I will say they have reached out to see if I’m available for a particular episode ahead of time. If I’m available then they will write for me, but it’s not any kind of formal offer yet. I haven’t seen any scripts. I think they’re just now getting back to work. So it would be for something that we would shoot a couple of months from now.”
The Good Wife returns on Sunday, 29September at 9pm on CBS.