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)
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)
Rose emptied her bag for US Weekly (27/02/2017 issue) to show some of the things she carries with her (among them, tangerines and a silver penguin key chain her boyfriend bought her), click on the picture below to read the HQ version in the gallery :
Magazines Scans > February 2017 | US Weekly [+ 1]
DuJour Magazine has released a new interview of Rose as well as a gorgeous photoshoot, be sure to check it below !
Photoshoots > 2017 | DuJour Magazine [+8]
DUJOUR – In the opening scene of The Good Fight, the world of its acclaimed predecessor The Good Wife is transformed into a post-Trump world. The familiar face of Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), network television’s favorite liberal boss lady, fills the frame, and pans out to her flipping off her television before the 45th president is sworn in. She’s got better things to do than watch the inauguration. She must draw up her plans for the next chapter: namely, retirement in the South of France.
While Lockhart may be plotting her escape from America, Rose Leslie—who plays one of The Good Fight’s headlining new characters, Maia Rindell—just got here, and she has been thoroughly enjoying herself. The 30-year-old Scottish actress arrived in Brooklyn before the election to begin filming her first series on this side of the pond, and now, ahead of The Good Fight’s premiere, we’re meeting at a trendy little breakfast spot in Williamsburg. When I spot Leslie being escorted to my table, she’s chatting with the server like they’re old friends. “My mum and my sister are here, and I brought them here literally two days ago,” she explains. “Oh my god, I love it. It’s so good.”
As she eats an omelette and we compare Williamsburg to Camden Town, Leslie is all smiles. She seems ridiculously normal. Nothing about her public persona had led me to believe she wouldn’t be, but like the vast majority of fans, I’d first encountered Leslie in a completely alternate reality: north of the Wall on Game of Thrones. Seeing her as Maia Rindell on The Good Fight was almost more jolting than meeting her in person. As a newly-minted lawyer starting her first job, Maia’s fresh face and wardrobe of suits is quite a contrast with Ygritte’s fur hood and furrowed brow.
“Maia’s an intelligent girl,” Leslie says. “She’s not self-entitled despite being an only child of billionaires. And it was nice that she wasn’t covered in dirt or covered in fur.” She laughs.
Those billionaires she mentioned are good friends of Diane Lockhart, which is how Maia lands an associate position at Lockhart, Deckler, Gussman, Lee, Lyman, Gilbert, Lurie, Kagan, Tannenbaum and Associates (try saying that three times fast) one year after the series finale of The Good Wife, which ended in May. Like its predecessor, The Good Fight will feature episodic drama taking place in the courtroom as well as longer, scandalous plot lines inspired by real world events. Last time, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) was at the center of the storm as she dealt with her politician husband’s Eliot Spitzer-inspired indiscretions.
This time, it’s Maia who is unwillingly thrust into the spotlight when her father, Henry Rindell, is arrested for his alleged involvement in a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme. The kicker? Diane Lockhart is one of the victims, so her plan to fly off into the sunset now faces a nebulous hiatus. But by the end of episode one, it’s clear that Diane is one of few people not blaming Maia. They’re both on the outs at the old firm—Diane is getting heat from many of the clients she recommended to the Rindell’s investment fund—and they both manage to find positions at another firm, Reddick, Boseman, & Kolstad.
The new firm is a mostly African American one, which likely means the stage is set for the show to tackle more of the racial issues prevalent in the news—police brutality was already at the center of episode one’s case. And another issue The Good Fight will definitely be ripping from the headlines, Leslie divulges, is fake news. “We are just kind of like highlighting the fact that fake news is real, fake news is here, it is gaining momentum, and what world are we living in whereby truth is no longer relevant?” she says. “You realize that fake news is personally affecting [Maia] on social media, jeopardizing her career, and how phenomenally scary that is.”
I ask Leslie if the show’s focus on issues was part of the attraction for her. “When I watched The Good Wife,” she says, “I remember realizing as an audience member that it was thought-provoking and intriguing, and that it stimulated conversations in a brilliant way.” She says the show was hugely popular among her friends in London. “In an effortless way, it holds up that mirror to society.”
As Maia navigates her way through a scandal that hits close to home, and the rest of us navigate our way through today’s barrage of ever more scandalous news, Leslie says she’s looking forward to detaching from her character, and really getting away from it all. When shooting wraps, she’ll head back to London, where her next role will be planning an epic vacation. “I’ve never been to Asia so I’d like to travel there. And really travel—stay in hostels and do the exploring thing through the eyes of a backpacker. I’ve never done that before, which is why it’s my full-on intention to do it properly.” (source)
WE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT – It’s official, The Good Wife is a franchise now. The spinoff The Good Fight stars Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo as their characters Diane and Lucca. Rose Leslie plays the brand new character of Maia Rindell, Diane’s goddaughter who ends up working with her.
After the Television Critics Association panel for The Good Fight, I spoke with Leslie in the scrum, as we call it, where reporters follow up with stars from the panel. The Good Fight premieres tonight on CBS All Access, a streaming service without the restrictions of broadcast.
Since you were on Game of Thrones, is the language and sexuality of streaming still tame to you?
Do you know what? For the first time, I have now been filmed in a shower. So I felt that that was a new way of exploring the character’s sexuality without it being too gratuitous. I am hopefully very discreetly covering my breasts with my arm.
How awkward is it to film those scenes?
It was my first ever. I felt incredibly supported by the director, Brooke Kennedy. Then the wonderful actress who plays my girlfriend, Helene Yorke, she and I bonded and we realized that yes, this was something that was very true to the relationship that these two ladies have. It’s very loving, very comfortable in their own skin, incredibly comfortable with their own sexuality and they are there for one another. So it suddenly became the two of them, two souls together supporting them. So it was awkward for both of us. Of course, we didn’t do it in one take. We did it in a couple of takes but after the first take it was then kind of like okay, here we go. Let’s make sure that we can show them in the best light possible.
Honeymoon had some intimate scenes too.
Absolutely. That had some intimate scenes and you’re bang on, because we were in a shower as well. It was far more, as you say, intimate and behind the curtain as it were so it didn’t feel so much of a wide shot. Yes, that had some very intimate scenes. I actually saw the director last night at a viewing party which is really lovely. Leigh Janiak, that was a really lovely thing. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years.
Tell us about Maia personally and professionally.
She is a young lawyer. We basically see her as a law student, literally on the cusp of taking her bar exam. Then suddenly very rapidly, the cushy life that she lives, a very privileged life she lives suddenly gets swept and taken out from beneath her feet. All the revelations of her father’s fraud and the Ponzi scheme spins everything out of control. Then she is taken into the wonderful, welcoming arms of Diane Lockhart. We see her process and struggle with the damage that something like that can do, and the understanding just how it ripples through everybody’s life. Obviously we kind of pulled it from the Madoff situation and just how appalling a catastrophe like this can be and the effects that it has on your day to day life and your mental health. It must be an awful thing to go through.
Is Maia going to be a lawyer?
She managed to pass the bar exam, yes. So she’s a lawyer herself.
Do you get some fabulous courtroom monologues?
So far, I still feel that I haven’t been given them yet. So yes, I think possibly Robert and Michelle [King] are hopefully waiting for that to happen. So far no, I haven’t had any court monologues. I can’t wait. I’ve heard the court days are very, very long so there’s a little bit of trepidation in approaching one of those long days but yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I think they are treating the character as a newbie in terms of having to see that process develop for her finally to own the courtroom and to own that floor and to make sure that she comes across as talented as she is.
What was the last thing you fought for?
Can it be something really ridiculous and trivial? It usually is. I fought for a bagel this morning. Somebody was going to reach for it and I was like, “No, sorry. That’s the last one. I haven’t had breakfast yet.” Here, backstage. It was very rude of me.
Is doing a real world set show very different from fantasy, or is it all the same to you?
I would say that of course it’s different. Of course, it is. The wonderful thing about The Good Fight is that we are in present day. This is modern time and I get to wear some clothes that aren’t shrouded in fur. I get some high heels which are painful after a while. I would say the storyline particularly for The Good Fight is something that absolutely keeps me engrossed in this particular genre, in this particular world so it’s wonderful to b able to dip your toes in and out of all the different fantasy elements and go back to kind of reality.
How many times did you go in for this part?
I feel incredibly honored, the Kings asked me to play the role of Maia so obviously I jumped at the opportunity at being able to work and collaborate with them.
How is New York treating you?
What a fabulous part, to be able to accept a job and then live in New York City. It’s one of the world’s greatest cities so I feel incredibly privileged. Beautifully, because I’ve got the East River quite close to where I am, I think it’s rather wonderful. I am in Williamsburg so it’s really, really lovely. That area is just fabulous. You’ve got your parks and the water, but it’s cold. I’ve done one day of that.
What was growing up in a castle like?
I’m from Scotland. My parents live in Scotland so that was my upbringing. It was cold. It’s very drafty. There isn’t any central heating so there’s no romantic element to living in a castle. It’s pretty freezing but wonderful to be able to play hide and seek with your siblings. I had an incredibly happy childhood.
So kingdoms have been in your blood.
You could say that, yes.
And your castle is available on Airbnb?
Yes, it’s wonderful. I’m one of five children. My parents, with all of the children having flown the nest, it is a house that needs to be lived in. So it’s wonderful that it’s open for people to come and explore Scotland. It’s in the countryside. I’m biased but the countryside is beautiful. It’s in Aberdeenshire.
Do your parents still live there?
They still live there.
What do you miss the most from home?
This is going to sound bonkers, and I kind of get a little bit of relief from New York, but the weather. I love it cold, man. It was raining today. It was really full on. I woke up this morning and I was like, “That is a proper kind of shower happening outside.” From everyone I’ve spoken to, I think L.A. needs a bit of rain is what I’ve heard.
Do you still hear “You know nothing, Jon Snow” every day?
Delightfully, I am. It’s so lovely that it is something that is adored by so many people.
E! has released a new interview of Rose on set of The Good Fight :
Rose is still promoting ‘The Good Fight’ in NYC while filming the latest episodes and she attended a ‘The Good Fight’ conversation yesterday (February 13) at 92Y along with the Kings, Cush Jumbo & Christine Baranski. You can find below some pictures taken at the event as well as the full conversation which happened live on Facebook :
2017 Appearances ‘The Good Fight’ Cast Conversation at 92Y
Yesterday (February 12) Rose has attended the Altuzarra Fashion Show during the New York Fashion Week FW17 ! I have added to the gallery HQ pictures of her arriving to the event and at the fashion show.
2017 Appearances > Feb 12 | Altuzarra Fashion Show – New York Fashion Week FW17
We are also lucky to get more pictures of her while she getting ready for the event – she was indeed followed the whole evening by W Magazine who chatted with Rose and Victoria Stevens took gorgeous pictures of her, be sure to check them all below ; they are stunning :
Photoshoots > 2017 | W Magazine
Here is the article released by W Magazine :
Rose Leslie has a soft spot for florals. It was nearing 7 p.m. on a dreary Sunday evening, and a pair of Joseph Altuzarra’s flower-adorned frocks hung on a rack nearby as a team of hair and makeup artists descended on Leslie to put the finishing touches on her look. In just an hour, the actress, best known for her role as the eminently quotable wildling Ygritte on Game of Thrones, would make her New York Fashion Week debut, sitting front-row at Altuzarra’s Fall 2017 show, and she already had an ensemble in mind: a soft lilac dress with half sleeves and tiny, delicate flowers weaving up and over, a pair of matching boots, and a grey wool overcoat.
“I’m just a bit of a sucker for flowers,” Leslie says as a makeup artist daubed lilac shimmer into her crease. “It’s very floral, elegant, just rather fun and light and flowing. I rather loved the contrast of the heavy, grey overcoat I’m going to wear with it.”
Though a veteran of the front row at London Fashion Week, where she’s supported designers like Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, and Christopher Kane, this season, she’s found herself on the other side of the pond for fashion month. Four months ago, Leslie landed the lead role in The Good Fight, the much-anticipated follow-up to The Good Wife which premieres on February 19th. An avid fan of the original, Julianna Margulies-starring series, Leslie leapt at the opportunity, departing her familiar London for Brooklyn. There are some parallels between the North London neighborhood she left behind and her adopted Williamsburg—the tree-lined streets, the sense of neighborhood in the middle of a big city— but she won’t deny Brooklyn has had some small influences on her personal style. (She bought a fedora, and she’s quite pleased with it; next up, a pair of Doc Martens.)
“At this point in time,” she says, deadpan, “I’m a complete phony, because I’m trying very hard to blend in with the Williamsburg approach to everyday wear.”
While we spoke, Leslie’s mother and sister, visiting from the U.K. for the week, curled up on a leather couch nearby. The previous day, they’d done a bit of a museum tour, stopping at the Whitney; the next day, they planned to make the rounds of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. But Leslie herself, having spent Sunday on set for a photo shoot, had to be back on set the next morning, ready to enter the law office once more.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Like its predecessor The Good Wife, spinoff The Good Fight will and has been heavily affected by the current political climate, with its characters tackling some of the same issues the government’s addressing. But beyond the Trump administration, the phenomenon behind one of the president’s favorite phrases, « fake news, » will also factor into the legal drama, star Rose Leslie teased at The Good Fight premiere in New York earlier this week.
Leslie, who plays Maia Rindell, a young lawyer and goddaughter of Christine Baranski’s power attorney Diane Lockhart, told The Hollywood Reporter that she’d just finished filming an episode in which « fake news is very relevant. »
« There are some falsehoods being spread on the Internet about Maia that are jeopardizing her profession and her reputation, » Leslie said. « That is scary to see how something can just grow, spread like wildfire, in terms of reliable sources that begin to believe something that isn’t true. We see the danger in entering a world whereby truth is no longer relevant. »
To understand Maia and Diane’s backstory, Leslie told THR that she and Baranski spent an evening together talking about the relationship between their characters and « built it backwards. »
« It was more breaking down the character and how long she’d been in my life. If she’s a godmother than that’s presumably from the beginning. And we realize that she was a mentor for Maia and someone who was that strong foundation, a rock, in terms of a moral compass, » Leslie said. « So, yeah, Diane is integral to Maia’s happiness and realization that you need to stay true to what you believe in. » (source)