Note to actors who dream of being interviewed by David Letterman on The Late Show: All you need to do is have your character be killed off in one of the most talked-about TV episodes of the year.
Just ask Josh Charles, who finally appears on the CBS late night talk show tonight after (Spoiler alert!) his character Will Gardner's shocking death on Sunday night's episode of The Good Wife, which left fans devastated.
"It's what you gotta do to get on the Letterman show," Charles jokes in a clip from his sitdown with Letterman of why Will was killed off. (Too soon, buddy. Too soon.)
Since the shocking episode, which found Will gunned down by his client while in court, all forms of social media have been dominated by The Good Wife. But the response has been more than just cyber for Charles.
"When I went downstairs and I saw by our mailbox, the neighbors across the street, who I don't even know, had left my wife and I a really beautiful note just saying, ‘We feel like a family member had died and we know this is just a TV show,' and all that," Charles reveals. "I was very touched by it. A lot the response from Twitter has been much of the same and I just wanted to say to all the fans that I really appreciate all of your comments. It's meant a lot. I get invested in characters in TV shows, too. Everything's going to be OK. I'll call your mom later."
But arguably more shocking than the death itself was the fact that the show was able to keep Charles' departure a secret, totally blindsiding viewers.
"It is kind of amazing, We've been able to keep it a secret for an entire year," Charles says. "I told some family members who I know could keep a secret, which is very few."
After the episode aired, CBS posted a behind-the-scenes video message for fans, featuring Charles, who said, "I thought that I felt however much I've enjoyed the experience, I was ready for the next chapter of my life, both creatively and personally."
And the show's creators, Robert and Michelle King, penned an open letter to fans, explaining the difficult decision to kill the fan favorite character: "We could ‘send him off to Seattle,' he could be disbarred, or get married, or go off to Borneo to do good works. But there was something in the passion that Will and Alicia shared that made distance a meager hurdle," they wrote. "The brutal honesty and reality of death speaks to the truth and tragedy of bad timing for these two characters."
You can watch Charles' full interview with Letterman when The Late Show airs tonight at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.