The Good Wife's Jess Weixler on Playing the "Wild Card" Robin to Kalinda's Batman
There are a lot of burning questions about Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) these days on The Good Wife (Sundays at 9/8c on CBS). Did she murder her husband?! Did she sleep with Cary (Matt Czuchry)?! Such questions make now the perfect time to introduce a second investigator at Lockhart Gardner to watch Kalinda's every move, and, natch, annoy the crap out of Kalinda while doing it. But will the very green Robyn (Jess Weixler) also pull a Blake Calamar and uncover Kalinda's deepest, darkest secrets? "I'm not giving anything away," Weixler tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. However, Weixler was happy to discuss playing the Robin to Kalinda's Batman and which Good Wife fan favorite Robyn is most like. Plus: Which team, cough cough, does Robyn play for? Read on to find out:
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TVGuide.com: Were you a fan of the show?
Jess Weixler: Oh yeah. I had seen every single episode. I'm legitimately a fan so when they asked me to do it, they didn't even have to get out the whole sentence before I was like, "Yes, I'll do it."
How was Robyn first described to you?
Weixler: They described her to me as very accessible. Especially since they wanted to contrast the way Kalinda is. Kalinda is quite secretive and reserved, and I think my character is quite secretive, but at least has the quality of being accessible and really approachable. Kalinda's got this sexy aura of mystery, and I'm just like, "Hey guys! What are you doing?"
What was it like coming in and playing opposite a fan favorite like Kalinda?
Weixler: It was great and in a way, it kind of worked for who my character is. The fact that I'm a fan and personally excited — it helps that my character is so excited to be given a chance and a job. She has no qualifications. She is sort of Alice in Wonderland herself like "Who is this magical Kalinda woman? Tell me everything you know!" She has no real reservations. I think she's just so curious. She tends to poke at Kalinda without being totally aware that Kalinda may or may not like to be poked.
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Have you gotten any feedback from creators and showrunners Robert and Michelle King?
Weixler: I don't talk to them but I'm told that they like the dynamic that it's creating. This is like a haphazard wild card thrown into what is a more serious tone for the most part. I feel like Robyn is closer to Carrie Preston, who plays Elsbeth Tascioni. What's really fun about it is the Kings have a way of making these [lighter] characters, but keep them based in reality. Even though it can be kind of kooky, which is super fun to do — to play somebody a little bit kooky — but in a very real world so it doesn't like fly off into shtick.
Kalinda is not very receptive to having to work with Robyn so far. Will Robyn win her over? How will their dynamic evolve?
Weixler: I don't want to say how it's turning out but I will say Robyn is definitely trying to win Kalinda over. I think Robyn just thinks Kalinda is the coolest girl ever. And she's one of those people who might kind of notice that Kalinda can be stand-offish, but Robyn is just going to keep trying. She just adores her, and is going to try to wean as much wisdom from her as she can for her own investigations.
How much will we see Robyn and Kalinda working together on investigations and when will see Robyn start to go out on her own?
Weixler: It happens. It does happen. But I think that, at least for now, they definitely want it to be like new girl in training. I'm like her little idiot savant. I'm the Robin to her Batman.
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Kalinda is also very much known for her accessories, like her boots of justice, her leather jackets, and also her baseball bat. Does Robyn have any signature accessories or tools we should be watching out for?
Weixler: She has some tools which are not physical objects. I think Robyn has some specific tactics. But as far as wardrobe goes, like in that first episode, she is a fish out of water so she's trying to play catch-up. You see her slowly trying to learn and pick up on maybe how she should be dressing or when she will eventually get paid enough to buy a jacket. She seems like she doesn't make money yet so she can't look as high-end as the people that are in this office. The reaction my character has is the reaction I have while watching this show like, "Whoa, you must have money for clothing. These clothes are so sharp and stylish." ... I feel like I'm a bit more like the everyman at this point. Like the audience, or like how a normal person would feel walking into a situation like Lockhart Gardner.
What will her relationships be like with other members of the firm? Is there anyone in particular you've shared a lot of scenes with?
Weixler: I've shot scenes with most people in the firm. At first, I think everybody's just like let's see what happens when we throw this wild card into it. I don't think anybody really knows what's going to happen, if Robyn is going to be any good at this at all. She might have a set of skills to be able to spy, but she is clearly not going to be a spy like Kalinda. She's sly and sexy and that's a little different than Robyn.
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A lot of those investigative scenes take place out of the firm, but will we still see Robyn finding her footing within the firm?
Weixler: It's definitely both. I have to say it didn't occur to me that — because the investigators spend so much time outside — how difficult that was or how cold it was. I never thought about that. Oh my God, Kalinda is always in skirts. What kind of hell is that? At least my character wears jeans and pants, but poor Kalinda is tough as nails to be out in a skirt all day in the winter.
Is there any cast member in particular you haven't shot scenes with yet that you would like?
Weixler: I've always been a crazy fan of Alan Cumming. He's such a good actor. But I haven't even met him yet. I can't wait to just pass him in the hall and have a little freak-out session on him. I do also hope that I get to do something with the Elsbeth Tascioni character because she's so funny. ... The stuff she had with Kyle MacLachlan was hilarious.
Is there anyone that will catch Robyn's eye in that kind of way? Will we see that part of her personal life?
Weixler: I don't know yet. I've been wondering that too. I think for a hot second in the beginning they were establishing that I might be bi[sexual] also .We were shooting at a horse farm on the coldest day of the year, and they had this poor girl that my character was supposed to be checking out in five-inch heels and a sequined vest at a horse farm and she had just gotten off a horse. The costume designers on the show are incredible so this is not making fun of them, but I just have a feeling that it looked so crazy to have Robyn checking out a girl at a horse farm in stilettos that that just went away. It's for the best. I think if she starts sleeping with people, that's a bad sign. I mean it works for Alicia; I guess she's gotten away with it. But it would definitely put Robyn into trickier territory. My character is just trying to keep her job right now.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS. What do you think of Robyn so far?