Christine Baranski Taught Julianna Margulies How to Avoid Fan Selfies at the Met

Say cheese! Photo: Splash News/Corbis

One of the biggest difficulties of being famous — or what Christine Baranski would call a “Champagne problem” — is the prospect of smartphone-wielding fans asking for selfies. This headache is compounded when you are, say, Julianna Margulies with your Good Wife co-star at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “One of my favorite moments with Christine was this past May,” Margulies said in her onstage tribute to Baranski at the Manhattan Theatre Club's fall benefit Monday night. “She and I decided that we would go to the China exhibit at the Met, and of course neither of us thought what the consequences of that could be, the two of us together looking at spectacular clothes in a public place. And lo and behold, there was The Good Wife’s demographic, meandering around the museum and ogling us like chimps in a zoo.”

As Margulies recalled, the crowds began to close in, which produced two very different reactions. “I get very flustered in these situations,” she said. “I get red and I stutter, and I never know what to say when someone comes and asks for a picture because I want to hide, and then I don’t want them to feel bad, so I say, ‘Yes, let’s just, could you just be quick?’ hoping that no one else will see and I can go about my day. But not Christine. Let me show you how Dame Christine handles oglers at a zoo.” Margulies took a step back and put on her best yokel accent. “‘Oh my God, it’s Alicia, it’s Diane! Oh my God, can we have a picture? Can we do a selfie?’” Cue the spot-on Baranski impression: “‘Oh no, darling, don’t be silly.’ Then she walks away. Just like that, she just walked away, and they looked stupid for asking! And they felt bad! And I was in awe.”

Still, Margulies noted, not everyone can pull it off with quite as much panache as Baranski. “Let it be noted that when I tried to say that on my own one day,” she laughed, “I truly just sounded like an asshole.”