Huffpost TV
Chris Harnick Headshot

'The Good Wife': Graham Phillips Stirs Up Trouble

Posted: Updated:

It's time for another round of Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) vs. Jackie Florrick (Mary Beth Peil) on "The Good Wife." The catalyst? None other than Alicia's son, Zach.

"You can definitely see a little bit of Peter's manipulating ways coming across," Graham Phillips, who plays Zach, told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. "You might be seeing a future politician coming across a little bit in him. It's kind of funny."

So, why all the scheming? Girls. Nisa (recurring guest star Rachel Hilson) returns to Zach's life in a big way in "Bitcoin for Dummies," the Jan. 15 episode, and that's not sitting very well with the Florrick women. "She comes back and it's established that we've been dating for a long time," Phillips said. "She starts coming over to the house a lot and Alicia starts getting a little concerned. [Nisa] is starting to say, 'I love you' and we're kissing each other goodbye, so Alicia's like, 'Maybe you guys should slow it down.'"

Zach goes behind his mother's back and takes Nisa to his father's apartment where they run into his busybody grandma. "We think no one is going to be there, but of course Jackie is, as she always is everywhere you don't want her to be ... She starts sort of giving off a lot of backhanded comments about Nisa and her not approving."

With both his mother and grandmother not fully supporting his relationship, Zach does the normal teenager thing: plays them against each other. As viewers know, Alicia will do the complete opposite of what Jackie suggests just to prove a point, so when Zach tells her Jackie also disapproves of the relationship ... "[T]he next scene, let's just say is me calling Nisa and being like, 'Yeah, no problem. Come on over.' It's funny to see Zach play his mom and grandma against each other."

The last time Zach was seen hanging out with a girl, it was with Eli Gold's (Alan Cumming) daughter, Marissa (Sarah Steele). Phillips said he was never given a clear answer on whether or not the two characters were dating, despite the on-screen chemistry. "She'll definitely be back. I think the chemistry there was undeniable," he said. "She's so funny and witty and I think that she challenges Zach in a very entertaining way. I'd certainly like to have her back. I think that she's really hilarious."

Phillips, who can be seen in the indie film "Goats" opposite Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") and Keri Russell ("Felicity"), said working on "The Good Wife" has been a great learning experience.

"The caliber of actors I'm getting to work with and learn from on a daily basis is phenomenal for me as a developing actor," he said. "I'd eventually love to go into directing -- it's always been a passion of mine -- so getting to have different directors almost every episode has been sort of like taking a survey course on directing. It's been extremely exciting for me."

But it's not all learning on the set of the CBS legal drama. Phillips said when there's time for joking, which there rarely is, series star Julianna Margulies has the quickest wit.

"[Julianna] has a really funny sense of humor. She's always joking about her kid Kieran and the funny things that he's doing. She has this accent for him. I don't know where it comes from. It sounds like it's Ukrainian or something, even though he's born and raised in Manhattan. She does this Kieran accent which is like, 'Are you a herbivore or an omnivore?,'" Phillips said with a laugh. "It's always funny."

Around the Web

The Good Wife on CBS.com

'The Good Wife' Season 3: Rita Wilson To Return

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, House ...

'The Good Wife' Season 3: Rita Wilson To Return

CBS defends 'Talk' firings, 'Good Wife' time slot

'The Good Wife's' Alan Cumming Marries Grant Shaffer

'The Good Wife' cast and creators chat about the series at TimesTalks event