Julianna Margulies turned down $27M to stay on ER: I wanted to learn more, not earn more – Daily Mail

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ER alum Julianna Margulies revealed to Oprah Winfrey the divine intervention that made her turn down a $27M contract to star in the seventh season of the NBC medical drama back in 2000.

The 54-year-old native New Yorker scored an Emmy Award for her breakout role as County General Hospital nurse manager Carol Hathaway in the first six seasons of ER.

‘I felt very alone because I had already planned what I was going to do before they had offered me that money. I had my life planned,’ Julianna explained in a teaser for this Saturday’s episode of Super Soul.  

Career suicide? ER alum Julianna Margulies (L) revealed to Oprah Winfrey (R) the divine intervention that made her turn down a $27M contract to star in the seventh season of the NBC medical drama back in 2000

Career suicide? ER alum Julianna Margulies (L) revealed to Oprah Winfrey (R) the divine intervention that made her turn down a $27M contract to star in the seventh season of the NBC medical drama back in 2000

Career suicide? ER alum Julianna Margulies (L) revealed to Oprah Winfrey (R) the divine intervention that made her turn down a $27M contract to star in the seventh season of the NBC medical drama back in 2000

TV stardom: The 54-year-old native New Yorker scored an Emmy Award for her breakout role as County General Hospital nurse manager Carol Hathaway in the first six seasons of ER

TV stardom: The 54-year-old native New Yorker scored an Emmy Award for her breakout role as County General Hospital nurse manager Carol Hathaway in the first six seasons of ER

TV stardom: The 54-year-old native New Yorker scored an Emmy Award for her breakout role as County General Hospital nurse manager Carol Hathaway in the first six seasons of ER

‘I was going back to New York to go and do this play and then all this money came up. Everyone I asked said, “You’d be crazy [not to]. Take the money, take the money.”‘

Everything changed after Margulies bought a copy of Lama Surya Das’ 1998 book Awakening the Buddha Within at the Los Angeles bookstore, Bodhi Tree.

‘I brought it home and I said nothing,’ the Sarah Lawrence grad recalled.

‘I walked into my bedroom, I opened the book, I closed my eyes and I [pointed to a line in the book]. And I opened my eyes and the line was, “I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more.”‘   

Julianna explained in a teaser for this Saturday's episode of Super Soul: 'I was going back to New York to go and do this play and then all this money came up. Everyone I asked said, "You'd be crazy [not to]. Take the money, take the money"'

Julianna explained in a teaser for this Saturday's episode of Super Soul: 'I was going back to New York to go and do this play and then all this money came up. Everyone I asked said, "You'd be crazy [not to]. Take the money, take the money"'

Julianna explained in a teaser for this Saturday’s episode of Super Soul: ‘I was going back to New York to go and do this play and then all this money came up. Everyone I asked said, “You’d be crazy [not to]. Take the money, take the money”‘

Buddhism: Everything changed after Margulies bought a copy of Lama Surya Das' 1998 book Awakening the Buddha Within at the Los Angeles bookstore, Bodhi Tree

Buddhism: Everything changed after Margulies bought a copy of Lama Surya Das' 1998 book Awakening the Buddha Within at the Los Angeles bookstore, Bodhi Tree

Buddhism: Everything changed after Margulies bought a copy of Lama Surya Das’ 1998 book Awakening the Buddha Within at the Los Angeles bookstore, Bodhi Tree

The Sarah Lawrence grad recalled: 'I opened the book, I closed my eyes and I [pointed to a line in the book]. And I opened my eyes and the line was, "I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more"'

The Sarah Lawrence grad recalled: 'I opened the book, I closed my eyes and I [pointed to a line in the book]. And I opened my eyes and the line was, "I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more"'

The Sarah Lawrence grad recalled: ‘I opened the book, I closed my eyes and I [pointed to a line in the book]. And I opened my eyes and the line was, “I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more”‘

At that, Oprah threw her head back and exclaimed: 'Whoa. I love that! I love, love, love when that happens!'

At that, Oprah threw her head back and exclaimed: 'Whoa. I love that! I love, love, love when that happens!'

At that, Oprah threw her head back and exclaimed: ‘Whoa. I love that! I love, love, love when that happens!’

Clean water charity: On Earth Day, Julianna reunited with her ER castmates George Clooney, Gloria Reuben, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, and more for Stars in the House's Waterkeeper Alliance benefit

Clean water charity: On Earth Day, Julianna reunited with her ER castmates George Clooney, Gloria Reuben, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, and more for Stars in the House's Waterkeeper Alliance benefit

Clean water charity: On Earth Day, Julianna reunited with her ER castmates George Clooney, Gloria Reuben, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, and more for Stars in the House’s Waterkeeper Alliance benefit

At that, Oprah threw her head back and exclaimed: ‘Whoa. I love that! I love, love, love when that happens!’

On Earth Day, Julianna reunited with her ER castmates George Clooney, Gloria Reuben, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, and more for Stars in the House’s Waterkeeper Alliance benefit.

Two years ago, Margulies revealed the reason she didn’t reprise her character Alicia Floreck in The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight was because CBS All Access ‘wouldn’t pay me.’ 

Ironic: Two years ago, Margulies said the reason she didn't reprise her character Alicia Floreck in The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight was because CBS All Access 'wouldn't pay me'

Ironic: Two years ago, Margulies said the reason she didn't reprise her character Alicia Floreck in The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight was because CBS All Access 'wouldn't pay me'

Ironic: Two years ago, Margulies said the reason she didn’t reprise her character Alicia Floreck in The Good Wife spin-off The Good Fight was because CBS All Access ‘wouldn’t pay me’

The Billions actress (pictured in 2014) told Deadline at the time: 'I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay...I thought, "What are you worth? If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what's the point?"'

The Billions actress (pictured in 2014) told Deadline at the time: 'I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay...I thought, "What are you worth? If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what's the point?"'

The Billions actress (pictured in 2014) told Deadline at the time: ‘I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay…I thought, “What are you worth? If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what’s the point?”‘

‘I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,’ the Billions actress told Deadline at the time.

‘I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay. if Jon Hamm came back for a Mad Men spinoff or Kiefer Sutherland wanted to do a 24 spinoff, they would be paid.’

Julianna added: ‘To be perfectly honest, I was shocked. I was more surprised than hurt. I thought, “What are you worth? If you are worthless, if you are not valued for your work, than what’s the point?”‘  

Hitting the road! Julianna kicks off her five-date Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life book tour virtually next Monday 6pm PST at Live Talks Los Angeles

Hitting the road! Julianna kicks off her five-date Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life book tour virtually next Monday 6pm PST at Live Talks Los Angeles

Hitting the road! Julianna kicks off her five-date Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life book tour virtually next Monday 6pm PST at Live Talks Los Angeles

'#TheMorningShow': Margulies has also been hard at work on the LA set of Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, in which she'll make her debut as UBA News anchor Laura Peterson in season two (pictured April 15 with Mark Duplass)

'#TheMorningShow': Margulies has also been hard at work on the LA set of Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, in which she'll make her debut as UBA News anchor Laura Peterson in season two (pictured April 15 with Mark Duplass)

‘#TheMorningShow’: Margulies has also been hard at work on the LA set of Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, in which she’ll make her debut as UBA News anchor Laura Peterson in season two (pictured April 15 with Mark Duplass)

During her seven seasons (2009-2016) starring as the litigator on the CBS political drama – Margulies won two Emmys, a Golden Globe, and two SAG Awards.

The brunette beauty kicks off her five-date Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life book tour virtually next Monday 6pm PST at Live Talks Los Angeles.

Julianna has also been hard at work on the Los Angeles set of Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, in which she’ll make her debut as UBA News anchor Laura Peterson in season two.

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