The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski Talks About Good Living

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Christine Baranski, 57, has had a long and successful acting career on the stage (including The Real Thing, Nick and Nora, Sweeny Todd, and Mame) and on TV (Cybil, Frasier, and The Ghost Whisperer) as well as in a number of movies (including 9 ½ Weeks, Chicago, and Mamma Mia!). Recently she talked to WebMD the Magazine about her acting, her family, and her approach to healthy living.

You’re busy: You’re calling us from the set of your most recent show, The Good Wife, on CBS and you’re also reprising your comedic role on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory. In March, you’ll hit the big screen as Jennifer Aniston’s mother in The Bounty. How do you stay in such good shape with so much set food around?

Actually, they serve healthy food on the set. For instance, I just had salmon with olive tapenade, summer squash, and some scalloped potatoes. We’re also a green set. We don’t have plastic bottles, and we try to get most of our script material online.

Are you trying to go green in your personal life as well?

Absolutely. We live in the country [in Connecticut] where we have a well. Once your well goes dry, you become terribly aware that water is a precious resource. We do many simple things to conserve it, like not staying in the shower too long and turning the tap off when brushing our New Year’s resolutions?

This year I’m going to commit myself further with women’s issues: women’s education and maybe the issue of trafficking. I took my daughter to India with the Catholic Relief Services and we visited places where women were being rehabilitated after having been sold into sex slavery or sold into marriage at an early age. We would solve so many of the world’s problems if we would just properly educate women, who would then teach their sons how to behave properly. It would be so good for the planet for women to be empowered, and honestly, women are still just suffering terrible, enormous injustice.

You’re doing drama now, but you’re brilliant in comedy. Did your comic timing always come naturally?

I think it did. My forte as a performer is my sense of rhythm. I also grew up watching all those great shows like I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show and I think I learned by osmosis.

You’ve danced in movies as well. Do you have any formal training?

Yes, when I was little girl I studied ballet for many years, and then I started doing a bit of jazz and tap, and later I did modern dance. I’ve just recently gone back to doing ballroom dancing, which I love.

Speaking of exercise, how do you manage to get it in when you’re working so many long hours?

Well, when you’re working long-hour days, you don’t exercise, but I often have light episodes or days off. When I do, I either take a Pilates class or I do yoga. I also absolutely love to power walk in the countryside where I live.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

I love chocolate ice cream cones. They make me feel like a little girl. We have a great ice cream place in Connecticut, and when I was pregnant with my second child, I would literally go every single night, and my husband had to drive me.

I see why you’ve stayed married to him!

And he still loved me.