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The Good Wife's Christine Baranski Talks About Good Living

Stage, screen, and TV actress Christine Baranski talks about her career, family, and healthy lifestyle.
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Christine Baranski, 57, has had a long and successful acting career on the stage (including The Real Thing, Nick and Nora, Sweeny Todd, and Mame) and on TV (Cybil, Frasier, and The Ghost Whisperer) as well as in a number of movies (including 9 ½ Weeks, Chicago, and Mamma Mia!). Recently she talked to WebMD the Magazine about her acting, her family, and her approach to healthy living.

You're busy: You're calling us from the set of your most recent show, The Good Wife, on CBS and you're also reprising your comedic role on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory. In March, you'll hit the big screen as Jennifer Aniston's mother in The Bounty. How do you stay in such good shape with so much set food around?

Actually, they serve healthy food on the set. For instance, I just had salmon with olive tapenade, summer squash, and some scalloped potatoes. We're also a green set. We don't have plastic bottles, and we try to get most of our script material online.

Are you trying to go green in your personal life as well?

Absolutely. We live in the country [in Connecticut] where we have a well. Once your well goes dry, you become terribly aware that water is a precious resource. We do many simple things to conserve it, like not staying in the shower too long and turning the tap off when brushing our teeth. We use products that are eco-friendly, and I'm always going to the dump to recycle. And I don't drive an SUV. I love Subarus and I'm waiting for them to come out with a hybrid because that's my next move. 

You have two daughters. How did you instill lessons of healthy living in them?

One of the reasons we raised them in the country was so they would grow up living in their senses, with a healthy feeling for nature. They rode horses and we had a lot of pets, which is an excellent way of instilling a respect for other living beings that are not human. We had a garden and we always bought produce and dairy products at the local farms. I'm very proud of both of them. They have a very healthy respect for the natural world. One of my daughters has a blog called Bread and Courage, which is about food, community, and the environment.

Did you do a lot of healthy cooking while the girls were growing up?

I did as much as I could as a working actress. One thing that I did do was require the children to eat at the table as a family. And there was no television or other distractions. That communal cooking and eating really instills a sense of family. It's still very precious to us as a family. We love getting together to cook in the kitchen and sit around the table and eat and talk.

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