Carrie Preston is back on "The Good Wife" and she's ... on a treadmill.
Preston returns to "The Good Wife" for the Sunday, Oct. 20 episode as Elsbeth Tascioni, the kooky lawyer who's become the go-to attorney when Lockhart/Gardner find themselves in times of need. See for yourself above.
The "True Blood" star recently took home an Emmy for her work on "The Good Wife" and told The Huffington Post she didn't think she'd beat out the likes of Jane Fonda and Margo Martindale to take home the award.
"I honestly didn't think I was going to win," Preston said in a phone interview. "At the Creative Arts, they don't give you very much time to give the speech and my award was way, way into the ceremony, so I was sitting there going, 'Oh my gosh, if I do happen to win, I better be brief.' People were running down the aisles to get up on the stage to say their speech. I was kind of thinking, if I win, I hope I'm going to be able to get through this without the scary Emmy music. When my name was called, I was just in complete shock. Linda Cardellini was sitting in front of me and I was so expecting it to be either her name or Jane Fonda's name. I was just beside myself. But I got through it! I got through my speech without getting the scary Emmy music."
The Emmy is now next to her husband's, "Lost" alum and "Person of Interest" star Michael Emerson, for his 2001 guest appearance on "The Practice."
Read on for more from Preston on her "Good Wife" return, whether there's more in the future and the end of "True Blood."
Tell me about the treadmill. [Seen above]
[Laughs.] I haven't even seen how it turned out. When I first read the script, I was like, "I can't believe they're giving a clown this gift." They have me at a treadmill desk.
A treadmill desk? It's not even working out on lunch break, it's an all-day thing? That just sounds wonderful. Last year you were running down a track with clothes in your hand.
What brings Elsbeth back?
Someone in the firm -- one of the employees is suing the firm. They bring me in to represent the firm.
Can we expect you to have scenes with anybody you haven't had scenes with yet?
I have scenes with Rita Wilson. That was really fun. Doing scenes with her and getting to know her. What a wonderful person and such a great character she has. These are women who are quite different going head-to-head -- it was quite fun.
And what about more episodes?
No offers are on the table, but I'm hearing rumblings that there might be one more. We're running out of time because "True Blood" starts shooting again in January and I can't work on "The Good Wife" while I'm shooting that show. I'm hoping!
I don't know if you've been watching the show, but tensions are building and about to boil over.
Yes, I know! It's been, like, really tense. Elsbeth adds a little levity to the proceedings.
I talked to Julianna Margulies a little about this -- she said the storyline has changed the mood on the set at times. Could you feel that as a guest star?
I could a little bit, but my stuff was really self-contained. It didn't cross over into what's going on with the firm. I love the set. We had one day where we were shooting and on set that day it was Julianna, Rita, [guest star] Tracee Chimo, myself and Archie [Panjabi]. I think Matt Czuchry was there for one scene. So it was all women and we were just having so much fun. [Laughs.]
What do you do during the scene breakdowns? Do you just pal around?
Yeah, sometimes you'll work on the scenes. A lot of times once you've got the scene down and you know what you're doing and you're waiting for them to light, there's just a lot of -- in that case we were all just talking, swapping stories, laughing, having a good time. It was just a really joyous day on set. I didn't feel any of the other stuff. This was just like ladies who lunch.
Are there any traits of Elsbeth's that you wish you had yourself?
Oh, wow. She is so brilliant. I would love to be able to have a brain that just captures everything. Everything that goes in seems to stay. She doesn't even know how she keeps it in there. It comes in handy. It would be nice to have that encyclopedic mind.
You mentioned "True Blood." Were you surprised by the announcement that it's coming to an end?
No, I wasn't surprised. It was a bittersweet moment because we suspected it was coming. Our contracts were only negotiated for one year. We thought, "Hmm, OK, well maybe they're just going to only do the one year." Normally when you go into re-negotiations you give them at least two. We sort of suspected something might be afoot. The writers felt like they have 10 episodes to really tell a very strong story. We're going to go out on a high instead of stringing it along and keeping something going that maybe wouldn't have been as good if we kept it for an eighth year.
Were you surprised Arlene made it to the end?
I guess you never know because that show, anyone can go at anytime. I think that as they kept gaining supernatural characters, it became more and more important to hang on to some of the human characters. Making the choice to lose Terry was devastating for the show, but also I think it strengthened the relationships of the show again. I think it brought it back to the human elements again. Arlene is very much representative of the human world.
And you have "The Following" coming up?
Yeah, that was cool. I'm in three episodes ... it was really cool to be on that set. I really liked the cast. My character ... it's something sort of similar to some of the stuff I've played in the past, but at the same time she has a different profession.
What's next for you?
We're in the final [days] of our Kickstarter for a web series that I directed -- am directing -- it's called "Darwin." It's about a life coach whose life is falling apart. It's very fun, quirky and cool. We shot the first two episodes and those are online. We're using those to get supporters. We're getting very close to our goals!
"The Good Wife" airs Sundays, 9 p.m. ET on CBS.