It was this week a year ago that Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep and Audra McDonald went viral with their boozy rendition of “Ladies Who Lunch” during a virtual birthday celebration for Stephen Sondheim that raised money for Artists Striving to End Poverty.
“It was a sloppy, drunken mess done in our back offices,” Baranski cracks. “When we were putting it together, we had a phone call where we said, ‘This could end our careers.’ Meryl said, ‘It would be a wonderful way to go.’”
Sondheim and the trio like to joke about a follow-up performance of “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.” “I think that might be in our viral future,” Baranski says.
Now Baranski is by teaming up with Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers for a celebrity auction on April 28 that benefits The Actors Fund. In addition to the gold-beaded Robert Turturice gown the “Good Fight” star wore to the 1996 Emmys when she was nominated for her work on “Cybill,” items on the block include a dress worn by Dolly Parton, a pair of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s boots from “Hamilton” and a leather Wolverine jacket from Hugh Jackman. “People just had to go into their closet or into a drawer and pick something out to donate,” Baranski tells Variety. “Everyone has been so generous.”
She reached out to Bruce Springsteen. “I wrote a personal letter to Bruce,” Baranski says. “I said, ‘Look, our pals are in really bad need here and you’ve performed on Broadway.’ Immediately, he donated his boots, jeans and a t-shirt, which, to me is like, I would do anything to own a Bruce Springsteen t-shirt.”
“Saturday Night Live” boss Lorne Michaels handed over the outfit that Timothée Chalamet wore while playing Harry Styles on the show in December 2020 that “should light up the internet,” Baranski says. Michaels also gave the Alexander McQueen suit that RuPaul had on during his opening monologue when he hosted “SNL” earlier that year. With both “The Good Fight” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” running on Paramount Plus, could a crossover be in the cards? “I could see Diane Lockhart representing RuPaul in some case,” says Baranski, who also stars in HBO’s upcoming drama series “The Gilded Age.” “We’re living in crazy times, so the sky’s the limit. I can’t tell you how happy I am I don’t have to play Diane being angry at Trump anymore. At least I don’t have to have that plot line.”