Mike Colter on Lemond Bishop's 'Good Wife' arc, more time with Kalinda
Lemond Bishop has been a Good Wife staple since its first season. He’s been the drug-dealing client who Will and Diane took on for monetary reasons, and he’s been the drug-dealing client who has managed to connect with Alicia on a parental level. And in season 6, his role has been larger than ever as he’s become the drug-dealing ex-client that the state is trying to take down by first taking down Cary. And let’s not forget that he recently started raising money for Alicia’s State’s Attorney campaign.
So what’s next? We talked with Mike Colter about Bishop’s motives, the role he might play in Kalinda’s departure, and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: At this point, Bishop has told Alicia that he’s raising PAC money for her campaign. Is it safe to assume that he sees Alicia as State’s Attorney as a big opportunity for himself?
MIKE COLTER: Oh yeah. I think you look back at Kennedy days, there was the theory that Kennedy won the election because of the unions and the mob and stuff like that. Anytime you’re talking about organized crime, and they get their foothold into the political arena, then they have favors and they have people they can call and things like that and people they can manipulate. It’s only going to do him good if he can get her elected and then ultimately, how bad does she want to be elected?
So moving forward then, will we see him most interacting with Alicia?
I think ultimately he knows that he has to keep somewhat of a distance. Obviously he stepped back and changed law firms as they suggested. He thinks that if he can keep a distance enough where he can allow her to become the elected official, then he’ll still be able to have her ear. I think that’s the plan. I see that’s what the overall picture is, but he’s definitely involved because he still has the thing he’s dealing with Cary. Cary’s situation is not going to go away so easily. People get used to court cases being closed out rather easily, especially in TV drama, but court cases are never done that easily. Any major court case, it goes for years! These things take time to draw out. It’s not going to be that kind of drawing out but it’s going to be more realistic in the sense that, in the span of a season, I think we’re going to see the case take a front seat and then take a back seat. They’ll tease, but eventually it’s going to come to a head sooner rather than later.
Will we see more of Lemond and Kalinda? They have one of my favorite dynamics on the show.
Yeah, [you’re] definitely going to see more of her and him. Kalinda’s very annoying. I think she gets under his skin and she’s a bit of a pest, but she’s very formidable. She brings her own sense of danger and resourcefulness and I think, when the audience sees her, they feel like there’s always something that could go on with them, and I think it will be interesting to see because there will be some moments where Lemond and Kalinda will be sharing screen time. I think ultimately it will surprise some fans, some of the developments.
As soon as word spread that Archie Panjabi was leaving at the end of this season, my first thought was “Lemond’s going to kill her.”
Everybody thinks that! The thing is, I think it’s too obvious. It would be too obvious. If everybody thinks it, [it’s] probably not going to happen.
Maybe you save her and help her get out of town.
You never know, right?! You never know what’s going to happen. First of all, I don’t want Lemond Bishop to kill anyone anybody likes because obviously she’s a fan favorite and I think if he kills her, people are going to start to dislike Lemond Bishop, and Lemond likes to be liked. [Laughs] Sometimes he kills people but nobody people like. You gotta do what you gotta do but I hope, as Mike Colter, that that’s not the way she goes out, but it’s possible. It’s possible.
For you, does your time on this show end with Lemond behind bars or dead or something else entirely?
Any way for him to go out is fine with me. I think in other shows and other things I’ve been a fan of, I’m always okay with people getting their just desserts in the end. I’m also okay with people walking off into the sunset if you can justify it. I don’t know that there’s any real satisfaction in killing him or putting him in jail. He’s been in jail. Ultimately I think he wants to be available for his son and he wants to be a good father and he wants to figure out how to make that work as a parent and try to do that as well as he can do it. I think he’s a flawed character. I don’t think he has a real big conscience and I think he justifies things and he looks at things as a pragmatist and he thinks, if it can work for me and I can keep myself out of jail, then I’ll do it. I think a lot of people when it comes to stocks and Wall Street, I don’t think he’s any different than those guys. He’s no different than guys who are investing money and doing things that are not necessarily morally sound. He looks at drugs as a very profitable industry and he thinks to himself, he’s not out there selling it. He knows the inventory and for the most part, he keeps a distance. It’s easy for him to keep himself removed and to feel like he has a moral high ground in that regard.
In the future, what would you love to explore with this character?
People always wonder, “What do you do in your spare time? What does the character do at home?” We’ve seen a little bit of that. I think the obvious direction would be, “Oh let’s explore Lemond’s love life.” Well you know, that can become soapy. I don’t think it’s as interesting as some of the other things he could be doing that I’d like to see. I’d like to see him get involved more with some of the dealings with Alicia. I’d like to see him have more of a hands-on thing dealing with Alicia’s campaign. I’d like to see him strategize more. He hires a lot of people to do things for him, he trusts people, he’s no dummy, he knows who to hire, he knows who to listen to, and he knows when to press buttons, and he knows when to be a forceful guy, but I want to see him strategize a little bit more and be a little more involved and see what his business savvy can bring to the table. But if it’s a love interest that he might explore, who knows, I’m game either way.
The Good Wife airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS.