Julianna Margulies Shuts Down Potential for ER Reboot: 'Only Going to Be Embarrassing'

Julianna Margulies played nurse Carol Hathaway on the hit medical drama for six seasons

Julianna Margulies is putting Carol Hathaway firmly in the past.

The actress, 55, shot down the idea of an ER reboot in a new interview with WSJ. Magazine for the publication's Men's Fall Fashion issue out Saturday. While Margulies played Hathaway — a nurse on the hit medical drama — for six seasons and returned for the series' final season, she isn't keen to reprise her role for any future ER revivals, she insists.

"What kind of possible reunion can you have with people 30 years older than they were when they first started out?!" she told the magazine.

Margulies added, "I guess it's only going to be embarrassing as far as I'm concerned."

Margulies "was thrilled," however, to join in for an ER reunion that took place over Zoom this past April, per WSJ. Magazine. The virtual gathering was part of the daily series Stars in the House and raised money for the Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit focused on clean water.

Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Margulies was joined by Gloria Reuben (Jeanie Boulet), George Clooney (Doug Ross), Noah Wyle (John Carter), Laura Innes (Kerry Weaver), Anthony Edwards (Mark Greene) and more as they looked back on their time on ER and answered fan questions.

Margulies revealed during the reunion that her character was supposed to be killed off, but she stuck around longer than planned after getting a tip from Clooney that the network wanted to keep her on.

"George called me. He said, 'If you're thinking about taking a job, I urge you not to. I think in the next couple of days, you might be offered a series regular role,' " she said. "And I was like, 'But I died! How does that work?' He was like, 'I don't know, but I think it's going to work.' "

Clooney corroborated the story, adding, "There was no way they were going to kill her off."

ER - Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies on ER. Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
ER. Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

While Margulies appeared on ER from 1994 through 2000, she eventually walked away from the series. NBC offered her $27 million to stay, she told Oprah in April, but she still declined.

"I felt very alone because I had already planned what I was going to do before they had offered me that money. I had my life planned," she said. "I was going back to New York to go and do this play and then all this money came up. Everyone I asked said, 'You'd be crazy [not to]. Take the money, take the money.' "

After stopping in a book store and purchasing Awakening the Buddha Within, Margulies found her answer in the pages.

"I brought it home and I said nothing. I walked into my bedroom, I opened the book, I closed my eyes and I [pointed to a line in the book]. And I opened my eyes and the line was, 'I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more,' " she recalled.

After leaving ER, Margulies went on to star in The Good Wife and appear on shows like The Sopranos and Scrubs. Her latest role is in the Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, in which she plays the love interest of Reese Witherspoon's character.

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