Julianna Margulies Opens Up About Journey to Self-Acceptance

Dietland’s Julianna Margulies, 51, is opening up about her long struggle to accept herself and stop trying to fit into Hollywood-friendly categories. 

“When I first started out, I was told by numerous casting directors that I would never work in television — that my look was too different,” Margulies, 51, exclusively tells People. “They didn’t know if I was part Black, part Hispanic, was I Greek, was I a Puerto Rican. That was the feedback after every audition.”

  • She adds, “It was sort of a miracle the ER happened to me because I think it was that same year that I was told I’d do better off in Europe because they’re more accepting. That was 1994, so it was a long time ago and I know things have changed dramatically but not drastically enough. I think we’re seeing that now. I think we’re seeing it with women being able to be the leads in film and in television. The landscape is changing but I definitely think that it’s not just in the business, I think it’s how we view ourselves as women in the world.”
  • After playing well-rounded, nice people on ER and The Good Wife, she is now starring as a self-centered magazine editor Kitty in AMC’s Dietland. She says that playing a not-so-nice-girl has also helped her grow. 
  • “I really hope people take away from this is that we’re all great as we are and we can be better people if we start accepting that now,” the actress says. “It’s hard. Listen, I’m not good at it. I’m always looking at my flaws and examining them. But the show has really helped me change my views about myself.”
  • Dietland is an adaptation of Sarai Walker’s 2015 novel of the same name. It follows Plum Kettle (Joy Nash), a ghostwriter for Kitty, preparing for weight-loss surgery. 
  • “What’s so great about the show and why I loved being a part of it is that Plum’s character actually says, ‘When I get to be a size 6, then I can start living my life.’ I urge everyone to ask any woman they pass in the street if they haven’t had that same thought. No matter what size you are. Women who are size 2 think the same thing by the way. I think that’s what the show touches on and will be most affecting: The fact that it has this backdrop of the #MeToo movement — it goes hand in hand.”
  • Dietland airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC.