It's hard to imagine a world where Julianna Margulies isn't a household name. The Good Wife Emmy award-winner has been slaying the game in Hollywood for as long as I can remember, but even though the talent is all hers, Margulies says she owes her career to her ER co-star, George Clooney.
Clooney and Margulies have remained close friends since their days on the medical drama.
"He is truly one of the most awesome human beings I've ever met," Margulies gushed of Clooney, "He's smart, he's down-to-earth…He treats everyone with respect, no matter whether you're sweeping the floors or the head of the studio. He's just one of those guys."
But even great friends have their limits.
"He is my go-to person for advice on pretty much anything — except marriage," Margulies joked.
Their friendship started on the set of ER, and Margulies says the most fun she had on the show was with Clooney.
The most fun we used to have was when we would get to go to Chicago to shoot exteriors. After shooting a cold, cold night, we'd all go back—Chris Chulack, our director, me, George, the camera crew, and we would just sit in the hotel lobby and drink and eat and have fun. He would tell stories and we'd howl with laughter.
Margulies was recently on Late Night With Seth Meyers where she talked about attended Clooney's recent AFI Life Achievement Ceremony.
The actress said she got emotional at the event because she owes so much of her career to her former co-star, because one hunch changed everything.
I seriously owe my career to George Clooney, because my character died in the pilot of ER. And I was about to sign on to a not-very-good sitcom, because I came back to New York and I needed a job.
He called me out of the blue, kinda put his neck out on the line for me, and said, 'I overheard that your character tested well (in the pilot). If I were you, I wouldn't take another job because I think they're going to bring you back to life.'
Margulies took Clooney's advice, and waited to hear back from the executives before taking another role. Clooney's hunch paid off, and the pair would go on to become one of TV's most beloved couples.
Even though the show has been off the air for years, Margulies says that she's still stopped on the street because of her character, Carol Hathaway.
So, I left ER 18 years ago, and for the first, I would say 10 years after the show I would get stopped on the street, 'Oh, ER. Carol Hathaway.' And then it died down, except if I went to Europe, it would rise up again.
What's been amazing is this next generation coming up...it's been almost 20 years and now I'm getting stopped on the street for Carol Hathaway and I can't believe it. It's all young people.
My nieces are now watching it. They were too little to see it when I was on it, and I love that this whole new generation gets to see this show that was really—that show was a revelation for television, I think, in that it was so huge and nothing like it had ever been done.
I'm just thrilled that Hulu is airing it constantly…streaming it.