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EXCLUSIVE: Archie Panjabi Speaks on Emmy Win, Season Two of The Good Wife

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TV Fanatic spoke to our first Emmy Award winner this week.

Archie Panjabi, who steals every scene in which she's in on The Good Wife, gave us the scoop on her character and what's ahead for Kalinda on season two...

Congrats on the Emmy Award. Did you think you had a chance?
I didn’t think I had a chance at all. It was a big surprise, but such an incredible surprise because I had no thought at all about it whatsoever. It was really nice to receive.

Following such a successful first season, did you feel pressure to avoid a sophomore slump?
I guess every actor has that in the back of their mind, but there’s a certain energy on The Good Wife where everyone remains very focused and really determined to improve it, however good or however bad they feel it may go. I don’t feel the pressure so much, I was just hoping that it would keep the audience interested. I think if you start to feel that and worry about the pressure, that in itself can have a negative effect.

Kalinda

Will viewers ever get a final answer on Kalinda's sexuality?
Everything with Kalinda is complex. In season one, we were introduced to Kalinda, and there was a lot of mystery surrounding her. In season two, there are several layers to this character, and we will see a few of them peeled, and I definitely think one of them will be her sexuality.

Did you listen to Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" in preparation for that baseball-bat-to-the-car scene?
[Laughs] I’ve heard that song before, but I didn’t listen to anything before that. We had no idea where that scene would go, how that scene would go. I was nervous that the audience was seeing a different side of Kalinda that they’d never seen before. I was very apprehensive about doing that, and I felt like I was naked doing that scene because they haven’t seen that character behaving that way.

What has it been like to work with Scott Porter this season?
I think he was a great choice. When he first came on, people were like ‘he looks so sweet and so good-boy American, would he be right for this role?’ - and I think he just surprised everybody. He’s been a great vehicle for Kalinda, and for the audience to get an insight into who Kalinda is and how she operates and he’s actually a really nice guy.

When we do scenes, we don’t analyze them or take many notes and just go with the flow and see what comes out. That’s what happened in the scene that you saw the other week, we just decided to go for it, and we didn’t expect it to turn out in the way it ended up turning out. It just came out on the day, and it worked.

What is in store for Kalinda?
I think we will definitely see a few layers peeled away, so we’ll get insight into who she is, and how she operates, and what her sexuality is, which is a big question. I think Scott Porter's character will play a big part in that, and it may not be something Kalinda wants, but I think that’s what makes it more interesting. Somebody’s pushing her buttons, when it's normally her pushing other people's buttons.

Viewers desperately want to know Kalinda’s sexuality. Is there anything about Kalinda’s character you’d like to know?
Oh, everything. She’s one of the most complex characters I’ve ever played, and probably ever will play in my career. People talk to me and ask me so many questions about her and the truth is I really don’t know. With this characters, a lot of times I will play things on instinct, and watch it and learn more about her through watching what I’ve filmed, rather than having a clear idea of what I’m playing. Every time I watch an episode, I learn more about the character I’m playing. That sounds ridiculous, but that’s the way it is.

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