Julianna Margulies Turned Down $27M Payday for ‘E.R.’ Return to Study Buddhism

Julianna Margulies Turned Down $27M Payday for ‘E.R.’ Return to Study Buddhism

04/30/2021

The Carol Hathaway depicter reveals in a new interview with Oprah Winfrey that she rejected a huge payday for TV return and chose to embark on spiritual journey instead.

AceShowbizJulianna Margulies turned down $27 million (£19.5 million) to return to “E.R.” for a seventh season following a sign from the universe.

The actress received a huge offer to film another two seasons of the beloved medical drama, in which she portrayed Carol Hathaway, but was ready to try something new, contrary to the advice of her agents and loved ones.

“I was going back to New York to go and do this play and then all this money came up,” she tells Oprah Winfrey in a taped interview for this weekend’s “Super Soul Sunday“. “Everyone I asked said, ‘You’d be crazy (not to sign on). Take the money, take the money.’ “

“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.”

Rather than taking her friends’ advice, Julianna asked the universe to send her a sign to guide her decision making, adding, “I had heard a friend got some spiritual books and I had been studying some Buddhism, so I went (to a bookstore) and I ran my finger down a shelf and I picked out a book, Awakening the Buddha Within.”

“I brought it home and I said nothing. I walked into my bedroom, I opened the book, I closed my eyes and I (pointed to a random line) and I opened my eyes and the line was, ‘I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more.’ “

Julianna originally signed up for a guest role on the show, but recently revealed George Clooney urged her not to take another job afterwards because he was sure producers would want her back as a permanent cast member.

She recalled, “George called me. He said, ‘If you’re thinking about taking a job, I urge you not to. I think in the next couple of days, you might be offered a series regular role.’ I was like, ‘But I died! How does that work?’ He was like, ‘I don’t know, but I think it’s going to work.’ “

“I was about to go do Homicide: Life on the Street, because I had done two episodes of it before I did the pilot of ER and they wanted me back. I didn’t take the job. And a week later, they (ER bosses) called and said, ‘We’re going to make you a series regular.’ “

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