Is Lockhart/Gardner big enough for two Carys?
They may share the same name, but there was no confusing Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) with Lockhart/Gardner fourth year Carey Zepps in the season premiere of The Good Wife. In his first appearance on the show, Carey-with-an-e not only gave Alicia (Julianna Margulies) a hard time about her history with Will, but also almost (accidentally) blew Florrick, Agos & Associates’ cover with David Lee.
“Sometimes you got to start things with a bang,” Ben Rappaport tells TVGuide.com. “If you’re going to introduce someone new, you got to do something to draw attention.”
And this is just the beginning. Rappaport joins the acclaimed CBS drama (Sundays, 9/8c) in a recurring role this season as one of the fourth-year associates leaving Lockhart/Gardner to join Alicia and Cary’s new firm. “I was excited about the prospect of playing a character on a series that you don’t quite get right away,” Rappaport says. “You first meet him and you’re not sure if you trust him, if he’s kind of a snake or if he’s OK. You really kind of have to watch to get to know him.”
Although his character is a fourth-year associate, which means that he’s possibly been walking the halls of Lockhart/Gardner during The Good Wife‘s entire run, fans have a lot of catching up to do about Carey Zepps. “I feel like he went to Harvard Law and came from a very competitive schooling and childhood,” Rappaport says. So does this mean there will be tension with that other Cary who also went to Harvard? “I’ve been told that there’s a few plot points where that’s a big key factor. So far there’s just been a few jokes about our two names,” Rappaport says of their characters’ shared name. “They kind of have a nice brotherly relationship almost.”
All joking aside, many eyes are now on Carey after he rubbed his future boss the wrong way not once, but twice in the premiere as one of the more outspoken associates Alicia will soon oversee. “They wanted Alicia to feel like she was a little bit out of her element so they wanted to pack the new firm with these younger kid-like lawyers,” Rappaport says. “Especially at the beginning, Carey tends to be a little over excited, a little neurotic, and that’s an aspect of my personality that I think the Kings really responded to and they wanted to include.”
That eagerness may be not only mean the downfall of Carey, but also of Alicia and Cary as they struggle to keep the suspicious partners at Lockhart/Gardner from finding out their intentions.”The thing I’m not quite sure how good he is at yet — I don’t know if any of them are so good at it — but keeping the new firm under wraps at Lockhart/Gardner,” Rappaport says. “The first couple of episodes are mainly about going behind all the partners’ backs and making sure the transition is as seamless as possible and trying to play both sides. It gets really tricky.”
This will prove especially true on Sunday’s new episode, when Alicia, Cary, and Carey uncover a valuable piece of intel about Lockhart/Gardner when they defend Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey) and Chumhum against the National Security Agency in federal court. “You come to realize that the NSA is actually listening in on Lockhart/Gardner calls,” Rappaport teases.
Despite that unfortunate revelation, going to court with Cary, and particularly Alicia, is a good thing for Carey. “He seems a little opportunistic and he seems a little aggressive towards Alicia in that parking lot scene. But what you start to get about Carey Zepps is that he’s really a very smart, very confident lawyer,” Rappaport says. “I think Carey Zepps really looks up to Alicia and really admires how good of a lawyer she is and how smart she is and feels like he can learn a lot from her.”
Behind the scenes, Rappaport also calls The Good Wife a valuable learning experience following his first TV stint as the star of NBC’s short-lived workplace comedy Outsourced. “When I first started out, I didn’t expect for comedy to be my first big break. I always saw myself as more of a dramatic actor,” he says. “It’s my first long stint on a TV drama, so I kind of look at this as a bit of a training ground for how to do procedural drama well.”
And the show’s most dramatic moments are still to come as Alicia, Cary & Co. prepare to finally come clean to Will (Josh Charles) and Diane (Christine Baranski) about their departure. “As things begin to unravel throughout the season, and they start the new firm, it’s really quite explosive,” Rappaport says. “They say its kind of a new energy for the show that people might not be expecting.”
Despite their recent tension, their grand exit will actually help Alicia and Carey bond. “Alicia eventually comes to warm up to Carey Zepps,” Rappaport says. “With the impending craziness in the next few episodes, that will bring them a little bit closer together.”
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS. What do you think about the new Carey?
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
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