She may have left ER more than a year ago, but Julianna Margulies still is not immune to outlandish rumors. Case in point: Recent gossip suggested the upcoming star of TNT's female-empowerment miniseries, The Mists of Avalon, paid a visit to Manhattan's notoriously Neanderthal go-go bar, Scores. Crazy, huh? "I did," she confirms. "I wanted to see what it was like — not that I'm researching anything. I was interested because I had never been."

So what was the former TV nurse's evaluation of the lowbrow establishment? "I'm sad to say I was there for [only] 20 minutes," she sighs. "I felt bad for the girls; it just depressed me a little bit."

Well, if it sounds like Margulies has a little time on her hands, that's because she does. Since checking out of ER, the 35-year-old New York native has kept herself busy with theater work, most recently starring in Jon Robin Baitz's off-Broadway stage drama Ten Unknowns. "I finished that, and now is the first time that I've had any free time — because my whole [post-ER] year was already set," marvels the actress, adding that unemployment is "just strange."

While Margulies hasn't settled on her next gig, noting that "for the first time in seven years, I don't have a plan," she admits having her eye on one particular project. "I'll be excited to watch ER in reruns next year," says the Emmy winner, who hasn't caught a single episode of the medical drama since she discarded her pink scrubs. "I was just too close to it. It was such a good experience for me; I was sad leaving.

"It was my family for six years, so I didn't really want to [taint] the memory of it — because now it's a new ER, obviously," she adds. "I was so happy to go off into the sunset with George [Clooney] that I sort of want to keep thinking that that's where [Carole] is."