But something more than good genetics is at play. “I know this is going to sound corny, but I love my life,” she says. “I love my baby, so I love getting to wake up with him. And I have the most amazing job, with writing that any actor would love and costars who I can’t wait to see on Monday mornings. And I love coming home to my husband. If I had a job I hated or a husband who I was always fighting with, then I would look tired.”
The domestic bliss is a bit unexpected, considering that wife and mother were the last roles Margulies ever expected to play. “I was never much of a kid person,” she says matter-of-factly. “I mean, I thought they were cute to look at, but I didn’t want them in my house.” She spent a decade in a relationship with actor Ron Eldard without any desire to tie the knot (the two split in 2003), and says she was contentedly single when she met Lieberthal. They were at the nearby SoHo restaurant Raoul’s celebrating the birthday of a mutual friend and just clicked. “But I said, ‘If you’re looking for the marrying type, it’s not gonna be me,’” she recalls. Cut to a year and a half later, when he proposed during a romantic jaunt to Paris. By this point Margulies had abandoned her skepticism about marriage, and happily agreed—and then six days later the couple learned she was pregnant. “It was a total surprise,” she confesses. “But I said, ‘Okay, I guess we’ll roll with it.’”
Lieberthal felt strongly that they should marry before the birth, and soon a seven-months-pregnant Margulies was heading down the aisle in Lenox, Massachusetts, wearing a billowing gown made by her friend and go-to designer, Narciso Rodriguez. Two months later, in January 2008, the couple welcomed a son named Kieran. “We figured we’d celebrate his father’s Irish side, since the last name is quite Jewish,” she explains, adding, “Yes, my husband’s an Irish Jew. He can think and drink.”
A celebrity interview can often feel like a game of Battleship, full of strategy—your subject doesn’t want you to know that she’s hooking up with Josh Hartnett, for instance, or she does want you to know but doesn’t want to come off as someone who’d tell a reporter that sort of thing. This is not the case with Margulies; perhaps her openness in discussing her personal life reveals a sense of stability. Which isn’t to say she doesn’t value her privacy—she would prefer if you’d refrain from snapping a picture of Kieran and her on the crosstown bus or during an outing at the American Museum of Natural History, as a few tactless tourists did the day before. Most of the time, though, when fans wave to her on the street, she says her first instinct is to worry that they’re forgotten acquaintances from her college days at Sarah Lawrence, where she’ll give this year’s commencement speech.