Interviews: Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on THE GOOD FIGHT

The final episode of The Good Fight is now streaming on Paramount Plus.

By: Nov. 13, 2022
Interviews: Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on THE GOOD FIGHT

After six seasons, the final episode of The Good Fight is now streaming on Paramount Plus.

The final season of The Good Fight tackled current issues that the country currently faces, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade, voting rights, and gun violence. The lawyers of Reddick & Associates begin to wonder if the violence that they see all around them points to an impending civil war.

Throughout its six years, the series has featured an impressive lineup of Broadway talent, from regulars like Audra McDonald, Christine Baranski, and Sarah Steele, to guest stars like Bernadette Peters, Brenda Braxton, Danny Burstein, and more.

Ahead of the final episode of the series, stars who have appeared on the show gathered to celebrate the premiere of the finale. BroadwayWorld caught up with them on the red carpet to discuss working with their theatre colleagues on the series, the lessons they will take away from their experience on the show, and more.

Throughout the series, there was such an amazing lineup of Broadway talent featured as guest stars and regulars. What was it like working with so many theater actors on the show?

Christine Baranski: Well, so many of them, they'd come on the set and we would just have a reunion like Steven Lang and Mandy Patinkin. I mean, just name anybody. It was always like a reunion for me because if I hadn't worked with them, I had seen their work. I always thought this show was rather like a theater company and certainly during Covid, we were able to employ all these actors who weren't working in the theater and just give them a safe place to work and to be as wonderful as they are and we had the most amazing guest actors.

Some of them only did one episode and only had a few scenes, but they brought all their skill set, their theater skill set. So, I mean, we just see gems of performances all over just sparkling through all of the seasons.

Audra McDonald: Every time a script would come out and you'd read the script, but then you would know it was cast and they'd show up on set and you'd be like, "Ah." So half the time it was like, "Oh my gosh, I missed you." And, and other times it was like, "I've always worshiped you." I remember the day Joanna Gleason came on as one of the judges. I adore her and her Baker's Wife is burned in my brain. When she stepped on set, I remember getting a little tongue tied, just being like, "Oh, she likes me." So it's always exciting.

Bernadette Peters: Well, I'm with Christine and with Audra and it's just the writing is so good and I'm so proud that they were using all these great Broadway actors and I hope that when they do their next show, they'll continue to use all the talent that's in New York. It's, it's really great.

Alan Cumming: It was so nice actually because you often didn't know who was coming in until the day of but when you're in it for week, months and months and months, suddenly you look at a call sheet and you're like, "Ah." So I really liked that and it was always lovely because it would always be people that you felt connected. Theater people get each other. It's a way of working and sort of a discipline and just a sort of a community, a sense of community. I think that The Good Fight had a sense of its own community.

Brenda Braxton: You know what's interesting, I didn't get to actually be with a lot of them because we had different scenes. Like Bebe [Neuwirth] is a good friend of mine and she played one of the judges. That's my Chicago family. But we didn't have any scenes together. So I didn't get a chance to see her, but I just like the fact that The Good Fight employed so many Broadway performers. There was a time when, oh, Broadway and then tv and then movies, you know, you stayed in your own little bubble. That's changing now and I think shows like The Good Fight helped with that change.

Sarah Steele: It was wonderful for me because, of course, I've always felt much safer in the theater. It's just kind of where I'm comfortable. So I've been sort of reluctant to like sign a six year contract to do a big TV show. But I had done The Good Wife and I knew from them that that's what they work with. They work with all of my theater friends. I was just so thrilled to have the opportunity to do that and of course I'm working with titans. I had no illusions that I was at their level. But I mean, Audra McDonald has more Tonys than like any human being on Earth. I just felt like these are gonna be people that are gonna be down to earth and real. People who are grounded in the theater I just tend to feel really comfortable with.

Michelle King, Showrunner: It was like being surrounded by the gods. I mean, there was days you couldn't believe it. You'd walk in, it's like, "Oh, and there's Ben Vereen and there's Mandy Patinkin, and, of course, there's Audra McDonald and Christine Baranski." One vibrated with excitement.

Interviews: Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on THE GOOD FIGHT
Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald, and Bernadette Peters at the premiere of the final episode of The Good Fight

Is there one experience or memory that you're going to take away from this?

Christine Baranski: Oh, to stay awake, to stay present, to look at the time you're living in and show up. As hard as it is, just try to keep your balance and take some deep breaths and keep fighting the good fight.

Audra McDonald: Every minute I got to spend with the entire cast, especially Christine [Baranski], both on and off set. I'm thinking about it and as comfortable as I am with her and as much of a pal as she is to me, I think I would still get nervous in scenes with her because I just respected and loved her so much that I wanted her to think that I was doing a good job. So, all of my time with Christine.

Bernadette Peters: You look forward to the script and you look forward to the writing and working with the other actors cause they're such great actors. So it's just all good.

Alan Cumming: Many. The Good Wife was such an incredible thing for me. I'd never done episodic television like that before. I couldn't understand why they cast me. No, I couldn't. I said, "Why, why the cast me? He's a middle-aged guy in a suit." And then I thought, "Well, I'm a middle-aged guy if I put a suit on, boom." But I was mostly just making great friends and also just realizing in retrospect, the standard of writing was so superior to the vast majority of stuff that you get on television, even on cable and streaming. Things are so excellent and we just were very lucky to be a part of something that was so brilliantly conceived.

Brenda Braxton: The memories are just working in an environment like that, it was just so professional all the time. When we had the shut down for Covid, we were all devastated because it's like a family. No matter how many times you leave and come back and leave and come back, it's still like a family and it's just so professional and they take good care of you. I'm gonna miss that.

Sarah Steele: Honestly, just that a six year contract can actually go really fast. I think I've always been terrified of it. I've been terrified of that commitment. Now it's over and I'm like, "It's over? What?" But like that went like that. I feel less afraid of those contracts. I used to be really afraid of them. You just have to pick the right one and then you're going to be glad to be locked in.

Andre Braugher: Well, you know, it's been an incredible ride working with Audra McDonald. She's quite a superb actress. I learned a lot from watching and being with her and observing her work. I would have to say, part of the pleasure really is that political in fighting and running the law firm with Audra, it's been just an absolute pleasure. She's a consummate professional, which has been demonstrated countless numbers of times, you know what I mean? I laugh to myself when I found out she has six Tony Awards. She's good at what she does, you know what I'm saying? And there's a lot to be learned. So I would've to say that's been the highlight of the season.

Mike Pniewski: Just a whole lot of gratitude. This has been an extraordinary show and the writing on this show has always been so good. Plus, it's a fabulous company. They treat people right. They give you a great creative environment to work in. Then the other actors have just been tremendous. I mean, every time you gotta bring your A game or you'll get steamrolled because they're all that good. So it's been a lot of fun and I'm just very grateful to have been a part of this company because I've been playing this character ever since THE GOOD WIFE in 2010.

Interviews: Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on THE GOOD FIGHT
Alan Cumming, Sarah Steele, and Brenda Braxton at the premiere of the final episode of The Good Fight

Audra, we're seeing you back on Broadway very soon. What are you most looking forward to while coming back to the stage?

Audra McDonald: Being able to help be a part of Adrian Kennedy's Broadway debut at the very young age of 91. I mean, it should have happened years ago but I'm honored that I get to be a part of witnessing that and be part of this production and telling this beautifully haunting story and shining some light.

What was it like transitioning from the stage to the screen?

Brenda Braxton: It was difficult because I didn't always like the way I looked on film and after a certain age I was like, "You know what, if I don't start doing it now, then I'm never gonna do it." So I said, "Okay, I'm just gonna kind of click off that and just go for it and see what happens." I's funny because when I auditioned for The Good Fight, it was just for a little, a little thing and then they were like, "Oh, they want you to come back." I was like, "Okay. I can come back." And what, three, four years later with a last name, I always joke about Madeline now has a last name. So if you get a last name, you know I'm staying.

Interviews: Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on THE GOOD FIGHT
Audra McDonald, Christine Baranski, and Alan Cumming at the premiere of the final episode of The Good Fight

This series tackled so many political issues that our country currently faces. What was it like adressing those through the series?

Andre Braugher: Well, I had a chance to do a little bit of research. I was particularly fascinated by the episode, maybe it was the third episode, about the football players and CTE. You know, it gave me a chance to look at that and sort of explore the history of NFL ownership and black players over the years, from the time black players were allowed to be a part of the NFL through today. It's been a rocky road at times but it allowed me to do some research, to learn more about that long, complex history.

Watch the trailer for the final season of The Good Fight here: