Who is Derrick Bond?
That's the question fans of The Good Wife were left asking after last week's cliff-hanger regarding the secret link between Bond and Will Gardner (Josh Charles). According to the man who plays Bond, Michael Ealy, fans have plenty of reasons to be suspicious about.
"You just never quite know his intentions. That's where it becomes a bit tricky," Ealy tells TVGuide.com. "He refuses to show his real self. No one knows where they stand with Bond."
After falling deeper and deeper into the red last year, Will and Diane (Christine Baranski) found the perfect fix in merging with Derrick's equally struggling boutique D.C. firm. Now, Will has his Chicago Bulls tickets back, and Alicia (Julianna Margulies) has a new mentor.
"Derrick shows her that sometimes you have to be a little bit amoral to get things done," Ealy says. "What it means to really be a lawyer, is that sometimes you have to make really hard decisions that don't make emotional or moralistic sense."
However, the merger is already causing complications.
Derrick is starting to come between Will and Diane's close partnership, and his firm's investigator, Blake (Scott Porter), is proving to be big competition (and possibly a huge personal liability) for Kalinda (Archie Panjabi).
This strain even extends to those seemingly closest to him. Ealy hints at tension between Derrick and Blake, and says not to be fooled by Derrick's peer review and mentorship programs.
"He's definitely on an island by himself, but he's constantly talking about togetherness and moving as a unit," he says. "Those are the kinds of people you have to watch."
It's that personal and moral ambiguity about Derrick that initially drew Ealy to the role. That, and the fact that his manager is an avid fan of The Good Wife.
"When I first spoke to the creators, Robert and Michelle King, I said, 'Listen guys, you showed me the set-up, now tell me where this character is going,'" he remembers. "That first episode of this season that I read, I knew this is exactly the kind of guy I want to play. He's intriguing, mysterious, he's in charge, and it's more fun to play someone who other people can't figure out."
Just like Bond, the 37-year-old Ealy has been hard to pin down these days, juggling three wildly different TV projects. Following the early end of FlashForward last May, Ealy jumped to Californication where he will play dad to actress Zoë Kravitz (daughter of Lenny Kravitz). After that, he signed on to The Good Wife, before committing to the comedy pilot Common Law at USA in August.
"I've never been more busy than I am now. I'm making more of a commitment to do different things," Ealy says. "That's where I am in my career right now, I just want to play. I just want to play different people and not necessarily lock myself into one type of role."
The Good Wife airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.