NEW YORK POST – As the lady’s maid Gwen on “Downton Abbey,” Rose Leslie captured the spirit of an independent-minded woman, circa 1912, who saved up enough money to buy a typewriter and taught herself to type. So long, place settings and candlesticks. Hello modern world.
In 2017, Leslie fully entered the modern world in terms of her TV roles. Following her smashing success as the doomed Ygritte on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the Scottish actress was cast as rookie lawyer Maia Rindell on the CBS All Access series “The Good Fight,” a 10-episode, post-Julianna Margulies extension of the long-running series “The Good Wife” — already renewed for a second season.
To film the series, Leslie moved from London to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and just like “Downton” and “Thrones,” immersed herself in a foreign world, this one marked by legalese and power suits. She didn’t have to take a crash course in the American court system. “So far, I haven’t really come across a word I haven’t been able to pronounce,” says Leslie, 30.
Maia gets a job working at a primarily African-American law firm under the tutelage of her parents’ friend, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). On camera, it’s a complicated relationship. Shortly after taking Maia under her wing, Diane learns she has lost her life savings in a Ponzi scheme apparently engineered by Maia’s father (Paul Guilfoyle). Off camera, Leslie has joined the Baranski fan club. “She is the most gracious woman I’ve come across,” she says, suddenly aware of what a kiss-up she sounds like. “That’s not just me, brown-nosing.”
While Baranski receives star billing, of course, Leslie has benefitted from one of the show’s best subplots: the young idealist realizing her family may be completely corrupt.
“Through the arc of the 10 episodes, it’s interesting to see the eroding relationship with Maia’s father,” she says. “The momentum is really gathering speed around the Ponzi scheme and it’s crashing down around her.”
The series has tackled some contemporary issues such as fake news, and plays more like a cable series with features you’d never hear or see on an ordinary CBS series (including nudity and four-letter words). Maia rarely curses, but Leslie did film some nude scenes with Helene Yorke, who plays Amy, Maia’s lawyer girlfriend. “It’s a fantastic way to see the relationship between Maia and Amy,” Leslie says. “You can observe them as two loving people. It expresses how strong they are as a unit.”
With production completed, Leslie has returned to England, and to her boyfriend of four years, Kit Harington, whom she famously met on the set of “Game of Thrones” (he played Jon Snow). She seems to know she has landed the most popular (and coveted) hunk in the medium, but all she’ll say about him is “My boyfriend is a phenomenal man.”
Their romance on “GoT” offered a welcome break from the series’ trademark carnage. Fans fell in love with the pair, putting together YouTube montages of their story, like any popular soap opera couple. Ygritte’s death scene, with her memorable last line, “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” was truly moving. Which raises the question: If every woman wants to die in Jon Snow’s arms, what was it actually like to do so?
“This is me going back,” Leslie says. “It was very emotional. The love that she felt for Snow overrode any frustration she felt. It was very painful. Ygritte was happy to be dying in the arms of the man she loved. It was a very lovely storyline to be a part of.” (source)
The Good Fight > Screencaps: S01 E06 « Social Media and Its Discontents » [+ 198]
The gallery has been updated with many additional outtakes from the photo session Rose did for W Magazine, enjoy :
Photoshoots > 2017 | W Magazine [+ 10]
CBS — The CBS All Access original series The Good Fight has officially been renewed for a second season, to air in early 2018.
« We’re only a few episodes into the first season and the reaction from CBS All Access subscribers and critics alike has been phenomenal, » said Marc DeBevoise, President and Chief Operating Officer, CBS Interactive. « This series and its characters are just beginning, and we can’t wait to see where Robert and Michelle King, their creative team, and the amazing cast take The Good Fight next. »
Currently in its first season, the spinoff to The Good Wife follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) as she and her protégée Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) are caught in the crossfire of a financial crisis and forced out of Diane’s old firm. With nowhere else to go, they join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) and Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo) at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad, where they must work their way back up to the top. (source)
A new interview and pictures of Rose for DuJour Magazine have been released a while ago on their website but we know have the scans of the written article and it comes with new lovely photos from the shoot ! Be sure to check them and read a new interview of Rose in the gallery here :
Magazines Scans > Spring 2017 | DuJour Magazine [+2]
Photoshoots > 2017 | DuJour Magazine [+2]
The Good Fight > Screencaps: S01 E05 « Stoppable: Requiem for an Airdate »[+ 138]
TORONTO SUN — Rose Leslie was a mere wildling when she first became a fan of the American network drama The Good Wife – which recently spun off a sequel The Good Fight. The Scottish actress had begun working on her three seasons on Game of Thrones, playing Ygritte, the fire-haired wildling with a “thing” for Jon Snow. “Channel 4 in the U.K. carried The Good Wife. And I kind of picked it up with my friends in Season 4, and we watched it to the end,” says the actress, who co-stars with Christine Baranski in The Good Fight. “It was a complete escape for me,” she said in a phone interview on a break from filming in New York. “I was a fan, but I was completely oblivious that there was going to be a spinoff. So I was very ecstatic when I heard.”
One of those apparently magical U.K. actors, capable of adopting a convincing American accent at will, Leslie was cast as Maia Rindell, the daughter of a disgraced Bernie Madoff-type billionaire scam artist, whose budding law career is derailed by his downfall. Among his victims: Maia’s godmother Diane Lockhart (Baranski), the Chicago law firm partner from The Good Wife, whose retirement plans are similarly scuttled by her losses (and whose reputation is in tatters because she’d convinced so many friends to invest with Rindell).
So the world we knew from The Good Wife is upside down. The first episode opens with Diane turning off the inauguration of President Trump and pouring herself a giant glass of wine. And in a news report, we hear Maia’s father described as a, “financier for the liberal elite.” For starters, that was some pretty impressive reaction to actual events. Leslie read the original pilot script, “and it started with Diane Lockhart kind of looking around at a French villa she was living in. After the president’s win they did some quick surgery. I got a few chuckles when I saw it.”
As for the “liberal elite” line, “I guess that’s what he was,” she says of her TV dad (played by Paul Guilfoyle). I think (the producers) want to make sure their show is very relevant to the political climate. And we are dealing with a liberal bubble when we are talking about (Adrian) Boseman (Delroy Lindo), and the African-American law-firm that my character and Diane go to.” (At the end of the pilot, Maia and Diane are jokingly referred to as “diversity hires”). “They’re kind of signalling that there isn’t going to be just one line of political opinion in the series.”
There are other ways in which The Good Fight exists in a different world than The Good Wife. Maia is in a same-sex relationship with an assistant state attorney named Amy Breslin (Helene York). Candid scenes of them at home during the turmoil, include a scene of Amy consoling Maia in the shower. “I love that it’s so candid,” Leslie says. “I love the shower scene between two women; you can see how loving they are to each other, how comfortable they are in their own skin and their own sexuality. And I like the fact that the show doesn’t make a thing out of it. It is just a simple fact that these two women are in a relationship, they support one another.”
Despite being raised in a castle (her family’s 15th century ancestral seat in Aberdeenshire), Leslie needed some research in being truly “to the manor born.” She found it in the book The End of Normal: My Life as a Madoff, by Madoff’s widow Stephanie Madoff Mack. “That book was indeed a very small insight into understanding the harsh reality of a terrifying fall such as the one she and her family went through,” Leslie says. “The reality of my life is that was I was brought up in a very drafty house with holes in the roof,” she adds cheerfully. “So there’s nothing really very fairytale-esque about my upbringing. But I feel very fortunate.” (source)
The Good Fight > Screencaps: S01 E04 « Henceforth Known As Property » [+ 180]
Rose has been recently interviewed for ‘The Last Magazine’ and some new gorgeous pictures of her have been taken, be sure to check them all in the gallery and read the interview below :
Photoshoots > 2017 | The Last Magazine [+ 8]
THE LAST MAGAZINE — In the new CBS All Access show The Good Fight, viewers are introduced to Maia Rindell, a young woman who has just passed the bar exam and lands a job at a prestigious law firm. It’s new, exciting, and a little daunting for Maia, and that’s before her life is swiftly upended by a family scandal. Stepping into the role is Rose Leslie, who herself is exploring uncharted territory, albeit without the chaos Maia endures. Residing in America for the first time while taking on a lead role in a celebrated franchise has given her something to channel into the character, but it’s also given her the momentum to break out as a new star.
Though Leslie is originally from Scotland, she spent enough of her life away to replace her accent with an English one. “I lived in France for about three years from ten to thirteen, so I kind of lost any Scottish accent when I was living there—I had some weird hybrid of a French-English accent,” she says. “Then I went back to Southern England and it was over, I went into the English accent.”
Raised with four siblings, Leslie’s proclivity towards acting may have simply been an effect of being the middle child. “There’s no other member of my family who is in the creative industry, so to speak,” she says. “I’m in the middle, the only ginger, older brother and sister and younger brother and sister. I think I got the bug from not being listened to. I think the middle child syndrome stepped in relatively early and I think I realized I needed to branch out. My [older] brother is intelligent and my sister is very sporty and intelligent, and I must have subliminally gone, Shit, you’re that, you’re that, I want to be something different.”
It didn’t take much for Leslie to pursue the acting path. “It wasn’t like an epiphany that made somebody stand still and go, This is what I need to do,” she explains. “It just felt brilliant, it felt natural, and I wanted to carry on following this particular path of getting up in front of people and performing.” She enrolled in drama school, but even there it was always about performing. “Some of it was theory obviously and some of it was practical, and I just remember only loving the practicality of it, and not really wanting to theorize on a long essay the reasons as to why I wanted to, so then it felt rather innate.”
Drama school helped get her representation, and before long she was getting auditions and small roles. She won a Scottish BAFTA for a television film called New Town, but her most widespread breakthrough came on Downton Abbey, after their costume director happened to see her in a play. As the ambitious housemaid Gwen Dawson, Leslie was part of the main cast of the show during season one. “It was the first television role I had where I knew I was going to be employed for six months,” she recalls. “I was always in bit parts before, but now suddenly it was a six-month gig that was just incredible to me.” Her character ended up representing a major theme in the show, the rise of the working class, and she even made an appearance in the final season as a refined woman unrecognizable to the estate. But Leslie remembers it more for the fond memories it gave her in her early twenties: “I was living in London with girlfriends, and the idea of getting into a car to drive off into the countryside to shoot for a day and have that happen five days a week was awesome.”
TOWN & COUNTRY — If television is to be believed, Chicago’s law firms are some of the most dramatic places on the planet. Take, for example, the burgeoning legal career of Maia Rindell, played here by Game of Thrones alum Rose Leslie. She’s barely begun her post as a newbie at Lockhart, Decker, Gussman, Lee, Lyman, Gilbert-Lurie, Kagan, Tannebaum & Associates when her life explodes—something about a billionaire father turning out to be a fraud can do that—and a chain of events is set in motion that will drive the first season of The Good Fight, the new series airing now on CBS All Access.
If the name of the series alone didn’t tip you off, the show is a sequel of sorts to The Good Wife, which ended its celebrated run last year. Fight was also created by Robert and Michelle King, and follows some of Wife’s characters (namely the brilliant Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart and Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn) as they continue to navigate the Windy City’s turbulent legal scene. It’s Scottish-born Leslie, however, who’s at the heart of the show, and here the actress chats with T&C about what made it a part she couldn’t turn down.
In the very first episode of this series, Maia’s life is almost completely turned around. She’s gone from anonymous legal associate to being attacked in elevators by strangers her father might have bilked out of their savings. I can’t imagine it’s every day you find a part this complex.
The fact that Maya is almost unjustly targeted was a hook for me. We watch this young woman fight–in her personal and professional life—and I love that she’s someone whose career is about to take off when the rug is pulled out from under her. I wanted to explore someone so resilient, who people can root for through such an awful event.
You’ve previously been on series like Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones. What made you go looking for something like The Good Fight?
I feel incredibly privileged to give you this response: I was offered the part. The Kings got in touch and asked me to read the pilot. So, I did that and the how was written so brilliantly that I immediately responded to the character.
The series is fictional, but some of the events do have that pulled-from-the-headlines feeling. Did you take any inspiration from real-life situations of the same ilk?
Before I started, I read Stephanie Madoff Mack’s memoir, The End of Normal. Reading that book was heartrending, as a human being learning about the way someone else’s life has been flipped upside down. That was something that allowed me to almost get an understanding of just how appalling it must have been to be in her situation. You can really only imagine; it’s catastrophic.
Again, this all happens in the first episode! What does the rest of the first season hold for Maia?
What’s within Maia is an innate desire to prove her worth, to show to everyone that she can handle everything that’s thrown her way. But there’s also the realization that her father might not be as innocent as she wants to believe. You really see her mindset develop.
The series certainly stands on its own, but there are winks to anyone who watched The Good Wife. How did you feel about joining that world, which already has such a history?
I did watch The Good Wife, and when I started having conversations about this series, I knew it would be similar—there’s still « good » in the title—but I chose it for the writing and because of the talent that’s attached. Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo are so fantastic! So, being able to carry on some of that story was something I was thrilled to be a part of.
The show takes place in Chicago, but you’ve been filming in New York. How’s that been for a Londoner?
We’ve been in New York since October and have about a month left. It’s been treating me incredibly well! I’m living in Brooklyn and have such an affinity for this city. I’ve never been in New York for longer than a week at any one time, so the idea of coming for a five-month stint was such a pull, and it’s been everything I hoped it would be.
So, you get to go home in a month! How will you spend the time off?
I’m thinking of parking myself in my favorite pub and holding court. I’ll tell people I’ll be there for about six days and they can all stop by. (source)