THE GOOD WIFE
The show is set in Chicago but shot in Brooklyn, so a backdrop stands in for the Windy City. “There’s no glass in those windows,” says Phillips. “I’ll stick my hand through and tap people on the shoulder, and they’ll be so baffled.”
GREEN WITH ENVY
The kitchen’s blue-green color scheme was chosen to complement Margulies’ fair complexion. But fans are more taken with the greenery on the windowsills and write to set decorator Beth Kushnick asking what plant they are. Her answer? “They’re fake!”
When the cast gathers for read-throughs, “we sit around this island just like a normal family would,” says Graham Phillips (who plays Julianna Margulies’ son Zach).
“I stole my 9-year-old daughter’s fortune-cookie collection,” says Kushnick of the fortunes taped to the fridge. One plot-appropriate pearl of wisdom: “It’s amazing how much good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
IN VINO VERITAS
“We do occasionally drink real wine [on camera],” says Ian Gomez (who plays Andy) of the characters’ beloved beverage. But the wine fridge in Jules’ home is never stocked.
THE HOT SEATS
“We’re lazy actors. Everyone wants to sit down and not move,” he says. “But Christa Miller and Busy Philipps will rework every scene so that they can sit in these two chairs.”
THE SMELL TEST
“If you open up the refrigerator, it never smells good,” says Gomez. “There’s stuff that’s been in there for we don’t know how long. If it’s open and you have a line to say, there’s this wafting funky smell coming at you, so you try to do it without your eyes watering.”
If a costar has a notepad (like this one on the fridge, where some of Cox’s lines are jotted down), “we like to draw bad pictures of naked people on it,” says Gomez. “It’s not always women. It’s men sometimes. We like to mix it up.”
SINK OR SWIM
“The minute before a scene starts, we have to find a place to stash our phones, our gum, our scripts,” says Gomez. “Some of these drawers don’t open, and I’m always trying to pull the handle off. Worst case scenario, we dump everything into the sink.”
While the cabinets are stocked with real food, “we put brown rice snaps into a bag of regular chips so Lauren Graham can eat them on-camera,” says prop master Jeffrey Johnson.
Patriarch Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and matriarch Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) have lived in this Northern California home for 30 years. “At some point they had money problems, so they’re not big into upgrading their appliances,” explains set decorator Julieann Getman. Hence the old-school phone: “It’s not even cordless!”
The cast is encouraged to improvise, which makes for risky snacking. “Dax Shepard will eat anything in that kitchen,” says Johnson. “He’ll grab an old box of cereal that’s meant to be a prop, and I’ll say, ‘Let me get something fresh in there.’ ”
DOWN AND DIRTY
“We like it when the crew steps all over the rugs and dirties them up,” says Getman. “There are dirty sponges and half-used soap by the sink. The guys take the dish towels home, get their hands on them, wash them, then bring them back. We don’t like things to look like they came right out of the package.”
This staged snap features onscreen father and daughter Sam Jaeger (Joel) and Savannah Paige Rae (Sydney). But there are also personal pics of a young Erika Christensen and Bonnie Bedelia scattered throughout the set.