“I couldn’t believe that the story was true and that I’d never heard about it,” proclaims Julianna Margulies about “The Hot Zone.” Based on the nonfiction bestseller by Richard Preston Jr., this NatGeo limited series recounts the terrifying true story of an Ebola outbreak outside of Washington, D.C. Margulies plays Dr. Nancy Jaax, who works to keep the deadly virus from spreading before it’s too late. Watch our exclusive video interview with Margulies above.
“I was fascinated by this character,” she says, “this woman who was up against everything just to try to save America from an Ebola outbreak.” The actress was also “baffled that in … 2018 I was still reading stories about Ebola, and that it’s a global problem and we still haven’t conquered it.”
The project, therefore, carried special weight for the actress. “I wish I was smart enough to be a scientist,” she explains. “I don’t have that gene. But what I do have is the ability to shine a spotlight on the fact that we live in a world of science deniers and ridiculous people who know nothing of what they speak [who] are doubting people who do know.” So this was an opportunity to “make something that might elevate this subject matter.”
Margulies is a three-time Emmy winner: Best Drama Supporting Actress for “ER” in 1995 and Best Drama Actress for “The Good Wife” in 2011 and 2014. She earned five additional bids for “ER” (supporting in 1996 and lead from 1997-2000) and two more for “The Good Wife” (2010 and 2012).
“The Hot Zone” premieres on May 27, with all six episodes airing over three nights. It is produced by Ridley Scott, who had attempted to make it as a feature film for 25 years, and it also stars Topher Grace, Liam Cunningham, Noah Emmerich, James D’Arcy, and Paul James.
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