The Good Wife returns Sunday with an all-new episode, and guest star Laura Benanti reprises her role as Renata Ellard-Sweeney, the wife of fan favorite Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker). In the episode, Mr. Sweeney is suing a television producer for defamation, and Renata is there by his side—in the way only the wife of Colin Sweeney can be—throughout the court proceedings.
Benanti briefly chatted with EW about her return to the show, her Nashville role, and her upcoming part in CBS’ Supergirl.
EW: What is is like playing alongside Dylan Baker’s Colin Sweeney? He’s a fan favorite, but a pretty despicable character.
LAURA BENANTI: He’s a remarkable actor! I’ve known Dylan a long time. We actually did Shakespeare together at the Williamstown Theatre Festival 17 years ago. So I’ve known him a very long time. Working with him is incredible. He’s a genius. I just get to sit back and bask in his genius.
What’s it like playing Renata, a woman who chose to marry an alleged wife killer?
She’s really fun to play. It’s always fun to play someone who is a little off. Normal is a little boring.
Do you know if Renata will be back this season?
I have no idea. I never really know. But he hasn’t killed me yet, so that’s a good sign.
Switching gears to Nashville, your character, Sadie Stone, has a pretty dark storyline right now. She’s dealing with an abusive relationship. Has that been difficult?
At first it was a little bit tricky. It’s a very serious subject matter that I wanted to take very seriously. I never wanted to feel like we were abusing—no pun intended—this thing that happens to women for dramatic effect. I was a little nervous when we were shooting it. But in the episodes I’ve seen so far, I think they’ve handled it really well. And I’ve had amazing responses from people on Twitter saying that this is their story, and they’re happy to see it on their favorite show. It’s certainly not the direction I thought my character was going to be heading when I signed up. I had that great car chase. My character seemed super fun. But that’s what’s awesome about the show. I’ve been a fan of the show from the very first episode, and that’s what’s so great about it. You think people are one way, and then all of the sudden it takes this turn, and it’s not what you expected. That’s what keeps people watching.
What can viewers expect with Sadie as the season continues?
She has another altercation with her ex, and she also opens up to some pretty important people, not only in her life, but in the mainstream media about what she went through.
As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, you were recently cast in CBS’ Supergirl as Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) Kryptonian mother. What can you say about that project?
It’s very early on, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying anything other than our mere nine-year age difference will make sense. On Krypton age doesn’t necessarily matter. A lot of people on Twitter were like, “She’s too young to be her mom!” But it will all make sense once you see the show.