"People ask me how I feel about [The Good Fight ending] and I always say that I really, I haven't processed yet that the show, the finality of it," Baranski admitted to ET's Lauren Zima. "It's been such a part of my life for so long. So much has happened since I began, I've just taken for granted this artistic home that we've all participated in and such brilliant writing and such original writing and such a wonderful crew and such a wonderful cast of regulars."
"But then all these marvelous actors who are a part of our show over the years, many of whom returned as characters or as judges or as lawyers, it was just an embarrassment of riches really. I consider myself the most fortunate actress, and even in my last two seasons, I enjoyed the work more than ever," she marveled. "So who gets to say after 13 years that you're still engaged, you still look forward to the scripts. There's new stuff, there's interesting things to do as a character. They're taking you in different directions."
"I will miss it, but I'm not missing it quite yet," Baranski confessed, sharing that she went right to work on season 2 of HBO's The Gilded Age after wrapping The Good Fight. In some ways, she credited the period drama, which also stars Carrie Coon and Morgan Spector, for keeping her from thinking about saying goodbye to Diane for good. "It wasn't just all Good Fight and ending The Good Fight and being able to process or party with my pals or anything. At present, it's a relief to be doing The Gilded Age but I think in a few months when would have been time for The Good Fight to resume, I think I'll be feeling an extraordinary vacuum --missing my pals, my home, my family."
Baranski did make sure to pack away key pieces from Diane's fashionable wardrobe.
"I took some of Diane's lovely jackets because they're such a signature, you know?" she shared. "I didn't feel the need to take a lot of stuff because a lot of her style was a little too much for me and the reason those jackets were so dazzling was because visually it had to pop on camera, the power suits and all. But if there's anything I remember from Diane, it's not props, it would be clothes, which were her armor. Her way of facing the world in her beautiful jackets."
The 70-year-old actress promised the final season is going to be "more dramatic than ever, and in some ways more audacious than ever." "Of course, Diane will finally have to confront whether or not she even wants to remain a lawyer and whether or not she can sustain [her] marriage," Baranski teased. "Those are the two big things in her life."
The Good Fight will welcome new additions Andre Braugher and John Slattery, who play "rainmaker" Ri'chard Lane and physician Lyle Bettencourt, respectively. In the latest trailer, Slattery's Lyle gets rather close to Diane, teasing a potential love triangle that starts brewing. (The Good Wife favorites Alan Cumming and Carrie Preston are also back as Eli Gold and Elsbeth Tascioni.)
"I won't tell you how it resolves, I can only tell you the day I found out we were going to end the show -- it was a conversation at the end of a long work day, but I was on the 59th Street bridge when I called [co-creator] Michelle [King]... and I was telling Michelle, 'Do you know, I have to just say Michelle, I've never enjoyed the work more today. I was lying in bed between John Slattery and Gary Cole in a fantasy sequence and oh what actress has my life?'" Baranski hinted.
If there was one thing Baranski hopes viewers keep in the back of their minds as they begin The Good Fight's final ride, it's to ask themselves this as Diane looks for alternative methods to deal with the state of the world: "Are we losing everything? Are we at risk of losing everything?"
"It's a question people are asking themselves, but the reason Diane is seeking a release from it and she discovers this in the metaverse, a world I have not conversed with at all but she goes and seeks out this treatment -- apparently a lot of people are doing ketamine treatments although in our show it's not ketamine, it is a fictional version of a hallucinogen. You have 20 minutes of feeling blissful and then you emerge feeling refreshed or happy," she said of Diane's stress-relieving choice. "Suddenly colors are more vivid and she's picking flowers for the law firm because it's too gray and she gets a little giddy, a little sexy, a little flirtatious and it's a wonderful release. It was wonderful to play as an actress. Suddenly Diane is way more light than we've ever seen her."
The final season of The Good Fight drops Thursday, Sept. 8 on Paramount+.
ET and Paramount+ are both subsidiaries of Paramount.