Andre Braugher and John Slattery on Shaking Up 'The Good Fight' Final Season (Exclusive)

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Andre Braugher and John Slattery aren't newbies to the scene, but the two are the new kids on the block on Paramount+'s The Good Fight. The seasoned veterans are the high-profile additions on the sixth and final season of the legal drama, with Braugher stepping into the shoes of "rainmaker" attorney Ri'chard Lane and Slattery slipping into the doctor's coat as physician Lyle Bettencourt. For both, joining the series was one of the easier decisions in their storied careers.

"It has a tremendous pedigree. The Kings have been on television for quite a number of years doing varied and interesting shows... Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald, their pedigree is superb," Braugher tells ET's Lauren Zima. "I had a lovely conversation with the Kings, I looked over the first script [and] I was led to understand where the season was going and the development of the character. So I said to myself, 'This is an ideal situation.'"

"I've spent many years with a mixture of comedy and drama on Brooklyn Nine-Nine... and I've been playing a straight man for so many years, I feel like I have access to that, like I could be the string for these kites -- both of these comedic arrows," he continues. "I feel as though I'm in a good place, I'm in the right sort of temperament and frame as an actor to play the straight man and also to do the drama and the comedy mixed together."  

Slattery put it more simply, explaining that Baranski was a major driver behind his decision to board the show.

"I read the script and Christine Baranski was in it," the Mad Men alum tells ET. "I knew I would be working with her primarily anyway or at least from the beginning. It shoots in New York where I live and I watched The Good Wife. Well, why not? What could go wrong?" Slattery admitted to being a fan of the original series, calling himself a "superfan." "I knew enough people on the show and over the years living here in New York, I think it's a rite of passage. The writing is great and I know what kind of track record Robert and Michelle had, so it seemed like a good idea."

The Good Fight

When Braugher and Slattery make their Good Fight debuts in the upcoming season, their presence will surely shake things up for Diane Lockhart and company.

"He's sort of shoe-horned in by the umbrella firm, STR Laurie, which owns a part of Reddick and Associates. He arrives with his own mandate and he's thrust upon this [new firm] and so we have to make peace and find a way to work together," Braugher says of his character, Ri'chard's, immediate impact. "But as it stands, Ri'chard’s mandate really is to transform this conservative-speaking, small Midwestern firm into something much more dynamic, much more profitable and much more forward thinking -- a 21st-century firm. That's hard because people like the way things are. There are some eggs that need to be cracked to make our future omelet and I think this flamboyant, progressive, evangelical, brilliant lawyer might be the guy to do that."

Slattery played coy when asked if his character, Lyle, may become the third point of a potential love triangle between Baranski's Diane and Gary Cole's Kurt McVeigh. (Baranski seemingly alluded to it.)

"I can neither confirm nor deny a potential love triangle," Slattery skirts, sharing he's "sworn to secrecy." "He's a guy who is positioned, who gives people ketamine trips -- it's called something else [on the show], PT108. But people who have an issue that isn't treatable by conventional therapy, they come into his office and they get a little dose of an alternate reality. That seems kind of not a bad idea given the general state of things."

"The characters get along very well," he says of Lyle and Diane's dynamic. "They understand each other. There's some good chemistry there between Christine and I, and that all works well. More chemistry than friendship? It's a professional relationship that gets, let's say, more complicated."

Both Braugher and Slattery spoke highly of working alongside Baranski and McDonald, as well as the rest of the ensemble.

"I felt welcome from the moment I arrived. I spent most of my time with Michael Boatman and Audra, not so much with Charmaine [Bingwa], Sarah [Steele] and Nyambi [Nyambi], so my world was a little bit limited. It was a really special experience. Audra McDonald is a really, really fantastic actress and comedian and songbird," Braugher recalls. "I learned so much by watching her act. She’s an incredibly generous person. She reads the script and studies it meticulously, so she's always on point. She always has a wonderful, interesting perspective on how best to go about playing the scene and she’s always surprising on camera. I loved every moment of it. I really enjoyed having Audra as my adversary this season."

"We had a great time. [Christine]'s fantastic," Slattery says. "Most of my stuff, it's just the two of us, and what more could you ask?"

Slattery also shared why he believes The Good Fight continues to make its unique mark.

"They're not afraid to deal with the issues of the day, whether it's Donald Trump or Roe v. Wade or January 6th. They go right after it," he explains. "More of the same. It's timely and bold and the writing is great and you're not afraid to get to shake it out."

The final season of The Good Fight drops Thursday, Sept. 8 on Paramount+.

ET and Paramount+ are both subsidiaries of Paramount.


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