Warning: This story comprises dialogue about sexual misconduct.
Earlier than Julianna Margulies had any movie or TV credit to her title, the up-and-coming actress was excited to get a callback for 1991’s Out for Justice, which she hoped would launch her profession and make her eligible for a Display Actors Guild card. The evening earlier than the audition, she discovered herself alone with motion star Steven Seagal in his Manhattan lodge room.
“The casting director known as me and requested me to return to Steven’s lodge room in midtown Manhattan — I lived in Brooklyn — to run the scene with him as a result of he did not have time and he beloved my audition tape,” recounted Margulies in an interview with host Tom Energy on CBC Radio’s Q.
“I stated, ‘Oh, it is late. It is 10 o’clock. I do not take subways this late.’ And [the casting director] stated, ‘No, don’t fret. Take a automobile. We’ll pay for the automobile. And I actually suppose you are going to get this function.'”
WATCH | Julianna Margulies’s full interview with Q’s Tom Energy:
In her new memoir, Sunshine Lady: An Surprising Life, the Emmy Award-winning actress, 54, writes about what occurred subsequent. In her dialog with Energy, she alleged Seagal was “a predator” who exploited younger actresses searching for their huge break.
“I used to be one of many fortunate few who received out of there unscathed,” she stated.
Seagal was accused of sexual misconduct by a lot of girls, together with Jenny McCarthy, who stated he harassed her at an audition in 1995, and Portia de Rossi, who stated he unzipped his pants throughout an audition along with her. He denied the allegations and was by no means charged with any crimes. Seagal has not but responded to Margulies’s allegations.
‘I noticed I used to be in a really harmful scenario’
When Margulies arrived at Seagal’s lodge suite, the casting director was nowhere in sight. She stated Seagal requested her to take a seat down and pointed to a spot on the sofa.
“I sat down and jumped proper again up as a result of there was one thing very exhausting beneath the cushion,” stated Margulies. “And he stated, ‘Oh oh, that is my — sorry, I should have left my gun there.’ And he took out from below the cushion this huge black pistol.”
It is now 11 o’clock at evening, and I am with a six-foot-four motion star, and he has a gun.– Julianna Margulies
The actress stated she felt silly and that she had been “duped.”
“I simply got here into a person’s room — lodge room. Nobody is aware of the place I’m. It is now 11 o’clock at evening, and I am with a six-foot-four motion star, and he has a gun,” she recalled, including she had by no means seen a gun earlier than.
“My wheels began turning, and I noticed I used to be in a really harmful scenario,” she stated. “After which he requested me to enter the bed room as a result of he was drained.”
Margulies adopted Seagal to the bed room, contemplating whether or not she ought to run or combat. He put his gun down on the nightstand and requested if he may learn her palm, saying he was a “healer.”
“Loads of the letters I have been getting, all of them say, ‘Oh my God, he used the identical line on me!” she instructed Energy.
Recognizing the ridiculousness of his healer “shtick” — and feeling much less threatened by the gun on the nightstand — Margulies ran out of the room, saying she needed to go. Remembering she had no cash and that the casting director had promised her a automobile dwelling, she knocked on the door and requested the actor for cab fare in a voice loud sufficient to be heard within the neighbouring rooms. Seagal laughed and handed her a $100 invoice.
“I nonetheless went to the audition the subsequent day and I received the half,” stated Margulies. “And I had some disgrace about that. You recognize, I had disgrace about the truth that I had gone to his lodge room. I felt so silly, although nothing had occurred to me. I did not inform anybody about it for an extended, very long time as a result of I did not need anybody to suppose I received the half as a result of I went to his lodge room.”
Margulies first shared the story in November 2017 amid the #MeToo motion, feeling inspired by different girls who got here ahead with their experiences.
“I instructed the story as a result of I needed to validate numerous the tales I [had] been listening to,” she stated. “All of us want somebody to narrate to, I believe, simply by way of with the ability to say, ‘Oh my God, I am so glad that occurred to her too as a result of I assumed I used to be loopy.’ Yeah, so I believe with the Steven Seagal story, I believe it actually gave numerous girls simply that form of feeling of aid that their story was heard and that it’s true.”
Hear the complete interview with Julianna Margulies close to the highest of this web page.
Written by Vivian Rashotte. Interview produced by Ty Callender.