Julianna Margulies and George Clooney had such chemistry on ER that audiences had to be wondering if there was more going on between them while filming the beloved NBC medical drama. In a new interview ahead of the release of her memoir, Margulies, 54, admitted she did really have a crush on Clooney, 59, noting that it would have been impossible to create sparks on-screen without one. The former Good Wife star also called Clooney a "mentor" on the set.
"That can't happen if you don't have a crush on each other," Marguiles told PEOPLE of the chemistry between the two actors. "And with George and me, it was so organic. I was just supposed to be a guest star, number 39 on the call sheet. But he treated everyone the same." Margulies was referring to how her character, nurse Carol Hathaway, was supposed to die in the ER pilot episode. Instead, the character survived and she starred in the first six seasons. She later appeared in Season 15, which aired in 2009.
Margulies and Clooney met in the makeup trailer. "And he could not have been kinder or sweeter," Margulies recalled. She then studied how Clooney "conducted himself" on the set. "When you create an environment that people feel safe in, then you do your best work. And George taught me that," she told PEOPLE. "I felt so safe with him. I mean, I never thought, 'Well, why would I be in the bathtub and he's coming in?' I was like, 'Okay, I'll be in the bathtub. Yeah, great.'"
Margulies and Clooney joined Gloria Reuben, Noah Wyle, Laura Innes, Anthony Edwards, and more ER veterans for a virtual cast reunion hosted by PEOPLE to benefit the Waterkeeper Alliance. The actress said she still keeps in touch with Clooney, Wyle, and Eriq La Salle and even sent Clooney a copy of her book. "In fact, I literally just was emailing with George because I said, 'I've written this book and you're in it, and it's not a tell-all, it's just that I have to give credit where credit is due and you should have it. And where do I send it, under what name and what country?'" Marguiles said.
Marguiles' book, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, will hit bookstores on May 4. Margulies won an Emmy for ER in 1995 and another in 2011 for The Good Wife. She recently starred in Dietland, The Hot Zone, and Billions. She will appear in the next season of Apple TV+'s The Morning Show. Meanwhile, you can stream all of ER on Hulu.
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