The reason for Will Gardner’s unexpected death is out.
Charlie Rose interviewed The Good Wife co-creators Robert King and Michelle King, Julianna Margulies (Alicia Florrick) and Josh Charles (Will Gardner) after a CBS screening of Episode 15, “Dramatics, Your Honor,” in New York on Wednesday night, and immediately asked why Will had to be killed off.
The Kings said that the show moved in that direction because Charles didn’t want to renew his contract after Season 4. The 42 year-old wanted to do some thinking about his future, and was then also proposing to his wife.
“Look, it’s a very long season doing a network television show, and somewhere in year 4, I kinda felt burnt out,” Charles told Rose. “Michelle and I had a long conversation about it, and I just felt a little fried and that I was ready for something different for me. That’s no reflection on how I feel about the show, it’s just more about what I want to do in my life.”
The Kings and Margulies managed to persuade Charles to stay for 15 episodes so that they could seamlessly weave his departure into the show’s storyline, and further develop Alicia, the show’s central character.
“It kind of meant his character was going to just disappear or someone was going to just talk about him leaving,” Margulies said.
“I couldn’t accept that. I thought, you know, he’s been such an integral part of the show, such an integral part of my character and I felt like if this is going to happen, let’s do it right.”
Michelle King added: “It felt like anything else would have been a little bit too easy. And would have stayed out there. We all would have wanted Alicia to have Will had he been only across the country or disbarred.”
“What this also is it was something more interesting for Alicia. To see the next step for Alicia, which is really what this show is always about,” Michelle said.
Fans have expressed sadness, shock, and sorrow at Will Gardner’s shock death on Twitter.
Charles has responded with some gracious Tweets of his own.
Sending out all my love to #TheGoodWife fans! Playing Will Gardner was an honor and a pleasure. Thanks for all of your support & kind words!
— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) March 24, 2014
I have the best fans ever. I love you all and, aside from a few cray crays, have been blown away by your sincere and thoughtful tweets.
— Josh Charles (@MrJoshCharles) March 25, 2014
The Good Wife will return to CBS, Sunday, March 30, 9:00 p.m. ET.