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Indie film actress Jess Weixler made her debut appearance on The Good Wife last night as new Lockhart Gardner investigator Robyn Burdine, or, as Cary Agos called her, Robin to Kalinda’s Batman. (“I don’t know if protégé is the right word,” Weixler says. “It’s more of a partnership.”) The actress was a huge fan of the show prior to landing the gig, but is trying hard to contain her excitement and not geek out too hard. “The one person I haven’t met yet is Alan Cumming,” she said. “That’s all I want! I just want a little chance encounter, and then I can have my little freak-out on him, and then he can go on his way and be like, ‘That girl freaked out on me.’” In lieu of Cumming, Weixler geeked out with Vulture, giving us a call to chat about her group activity plans for the cast, dorming with Jessica Chastain, and having a crush on Mark Wahlberg.
Will Robyn be Robin to Kalinda’s Batman?
Yes! No one is really as good as Kalinda — she’s an amazing superhero of a woman — but I have my own specialties. Without giving too much away, I’m constantly watching Kalinda for cues, what kinds of tactics she uses, scare tactics, that could be helpful to me.
Does Robyn help bring out your nerdy side? Do you have more of a license to be nosy now?
Actually, yes. [Laughs.] I’ve noticed in my real life whenever something seems questionable to me, I now start to pry into it. When people are being vague, I’m more inclined to be like, “What do you mean? Give me an example!” I’m just a little bit nosier. Plus, I feel like being a nerd is making a huge comeback these days. It’s a sea of nerds out there. We are just swimming in it. Everybody loves Game of Thrones, right? Who couldn’t like it? I don’t have a party planned for the third season premiere as of yet, though. Are you having a party?
A friend of mine usually does. She makes medieval-themed food, and we all eat, drink wine, and watch the show.
Oh my God! That’s awesome! Maybe I can rally the troops on my end and do something like that, too. Wouldn’t that be amazing if all my new friends from The Good Wife came over to my place for my Game of Thrones party?
They might be into it. Julianna Marguiles was Morgaine in The Mists of Avalon, so she’s got a nerdy side in there.
I think that would make me officially cool if they came over. It would probably be too much for me. I would burst into confetti. [Laughs.]
Or you could burst into song. That’s my nerdy dream for The Good Wife, since there are so many great singers in the cast — Christine Baranski, Alan Cumming — and lots of Broadway folk play judges. I guess Josh Charles doing the Growing Pains theme song last night is the closest we’ll get, though.
You know, Christine does walk around the set singing. Like basically off-camera, it’s Good Wife: The Musical. [Laughs.] I will suggest doing that on-camera, if I ever have any power. I can’t wait to see Alan’s Macbeth. Field trip! I’m just going to make all these people be my friends! We’re all going to hang out, play games, dress up, make food. It’ll be great.
So when you were shooting Somebody Up There Likes Me, I heard Nick Offerman did something to help you get comfortable with your nude scene.
He was like, “Why don’t I just do a scene first, and you can do one after me?” Which is the gentlemanly thing to do, I suppose, in that situation. I think it takes me a second to get comfortable, and so it warmed me up to it. So we had a pool party, and not everybody got naked, but Nick got naked, yes. He just kind of ran through the pool area.
At one point in the story, she admits to fantasizing about Mark Wahlberg “for a second.” Did you have any say in which actor she picked?
[Laughs nervously.] I think we got to suggest actors! So yes, I’ve given something away. I’ve always had a massive, massive crush on Mark Wahlberg. He was Marky Mark! And he’s still gorgeous. The man never gets un-hot. And he’s also very funny — he’s a dream in I Heart Huckabees. And Date Night! He’s just so funny and sexy at the same time, it’s remarkable. It’s a gift. I apologize to his wife for saying that. She must be okay with it at this point. It must manifest itself by pride: “Yes, my husband is wicked hot.” Like Megan Mullally, I feel like she would be like, “Yes, tell the girls. He’s sexy. Any girl would be lucky.”
Your other films coming out are The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, the His and Hers double feature. You’re playing Jessica Chastain’s sister, but you guys were actually roomies at Juilliard, right?
Yeah! It was a beautiful thing to get to play sisters after basically acting like sisters for a lot of our lives. We were in every single play together at Juilliard, which is rare. We moved out of the dorms with another girl from our class, and so there were three of us living in a place nearby. She had more of the big sister role, and I was like the little sister, sort of like my Robyn character on The Good Wife — a little playful, a little distracted, but will definitely get the job done.
Did you keep any mementos from that time?
There was this chair. The Pottery Barn around the corner used to throw out the furniture that had been their display furniture, and we knew which night they would do this — I don’t want to make it seem like we were Dumpster diving or anything like that — but we got this incredible chair, and I still have it. It’s made of thick wicker, and it was a beautiful chair, because it was garbage to them. They had scratched it up so it couldn’t be resold, but we were like, “We have no idea why Pottery Barn is getting rid of it! We’re taking it!” And we lugged it with all of our strength back to our apartment, which wasn’t necessarily that close, considering how heavy it was. So we earned that chair.