Interview with Lisa Edelstein from "House" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Lisa Edelstein plays Cuddy on "House"

I was lucky enough to participate in a conference call with FOX’s Lisa Edelstein, who portrays Cuddy on “House”. Some other websites and journalists asked questions, as well as myself. I have put the information into a summary. I hope you enjoy it! Lisa seemed very nice and enthusiastic. She told us what a great time she has on the show. She could not reveal too much about forthcoming storyline, especially in the new season, because they simply don't tell the actors much ahead of time. However, there are some spoilers here, so be warned!

Fox's Kurland says, "We are all really excited about the last two episodes of House for this season. It’s a two-part season finale, and with, obviously, part one airing on Monday, May 12th, and part two airing on Monday, May 19th. Both of them are at 9:00 p.m."

Ms. Edelstein was asked whether she was worried, what with the new group of House characters that came on this year, as to whether she would feel that screen time was limited, but she admitted that she and Sean Robert Leonard (who plays Wilson) were the least affected by that. She notes that "it's been a wonderful experience". She was also asked if she felt her character had grown much in the past few seasons, and she agreed that Cuddy has grown. She feels that Cuddy and House have "a beautiful, complicated, adult relationship filled with all kinds of subliminal messages. And it’s fun to play, and even when they don’t write it, I put it in." She thinks more will be revealed in the future, about their relationship.

The reporter from the Toronto Sun asked how long she felt she could pass herself off as a doctor, were she dropped into a hospital (in disguise, of course). She thinks she could last about a half a day, since she is good at using the big words in an intelligent way. As soon as she was really needed, though, such as for a heart attack, she would not be much use beyond saying, "Clear!" really well. Edelstein did reveal that being on the show makes her worry every time she or someone she know has any unexplained symptoms, such as a rash that doesn't clear up right away. However, she added that they have to memorize so much complicated dialogue, that they really dont' retain the medical information they get for very long.

I asked Ms. Edelstein which of the men on the show she would prefer Cuddy have a future relationship with, or if she would prefer Cuddy to find a new man? She thinks that Cuddy and House have more to explore between them. Later, I realized this was probably a stupid question because of course she would want to have her character involved with the star of the show! That makes sense, anyway. I was surprised, however, that she said she doesn't think her character is attracted to Wilson. I guess she's thinking in terms of his relationships with women because he sure is attractive!

Another journalist, from Canada, asked if she agreed that Cuddy loves House and all of the games she has to play with him. Edelstein agreed with that and added that she lives vicariously through him, she does not practice medicine as much. She also said that "as all intense people are, they’re incredibly interesting and compelling, and she definitely falls victim to that." She thinks that House is intrigued by and attracted to Cuddy, but he is not capable of love the way that other people are because of his pain and the drugs. Wilson loves him, too, she says, but House is not able to have a real friendship or love connection with another person.

When asked whether she thinks House is really as unempathetic and disconnected as he seems to be, Edelstein agrees with writer David Shore that HOuse is indeed that way and not just covering. He is more interested in the weekly puzzle of the disease than the person having the disease or the doctors he works with. He is very smart and can see through all of the B.S. to such a degree that the people become uninteresting to him. What attracts people, and the viewers, is that he is able to tell people the truth, even when they don't want to hear it. She said, "It’s being naked with all your defects. There’s something about it, even when it’s cruel, that’s comforting."

About Hugh Laurie, who plays, House, Edelstein said, "is a much softer person and very sensitive and very empathetic and hilarious, an extremely hard worker." I don't think that probably comes as a surprise to anyone, that he is actually a nice person and not a jerk like House. Comparing herself to Cuddy, she told us that she has a lot more energy and is also more relaxed than Cuddy, pointing out that Cuddy wears very tight skirts that are difficult to walk in, and that she and her character are so completely different that it surprises people when they meet her.

Edelstein was asked about which TV shows she enjoyed, so she listed Project Runway, Lost, The Sopranos, Big Love and Mad Men. She is glad to have TiVo, since she is rarely home during regular viewing hours.

In the finale, House is suffering from a brain injury and is trying to remember what happened to him during an accident. He sees Cuddy and others in his head, and these figments of his imagination help him solve this case. He sees a fantasy of Cuddy and has her do a strip-tease, Edelstein revealed. She used a company called S Factor, run by Sheila Kelley, to help her learn the pole dancing. She had worked with Ms. Kelley before on two other shows. She is the wife of Richard Schiff, was one of the primary cast members of "The West Wing". Edelstein was on that show previously. Kelley "realized that stripping was a great way to stay in shape and also a great way for women to kind of explore their sexual power." Edelstein agreed with that idea, although she uses yoga to keep in shape already.

Ms. Edelstein was asked about a rumor going around that there would be a "House" spin-off next season, but she did not know anything about that. She and the other "House" members have already started working on the new 2008 Fall Season. Normally they would take off a while in the summer, but because of the strike, they went right from filming the May season finale into filming the next year's fall opener. She confessed that normally, they have the summer to wonder about the cliffhanger, but they didn't have that this year, since their questions were answered immediately by the new script for the fall show. She told us that because of the season finale, we will be left wondering as to whether House and Wilson will stay friends. When asked how House's mental struggles affect the other members his team, she replies that he "ends up risking his own life in order to access his own mind, and none of the other people can do what he does, so they’re all willing to kind of participate in that risk."

Fred Durst guest-stars on the finale, but she did not share any scenes with him. She listed some great guest stars that they have had on the show that she enjoyed seeing, such as Samantha Morton, David Morse, and Joel Grey. She is a huge fan of "Cabaret", so she was very glad to meet Joel Grey. She added, "We’ve had so many people come and go. We’ve had great guest stars, wonderful guest casts." She wished they would have cast Clint Eastwood as House's dad, but that didn't happen.

She was also asked which she prefers, TV or movies, but she only cares about whether it is good writing or not.

There was also a rumor about a new character, a private investigator, being introduced on the show, but she did not know anything about that, either.

Edelstein told us that the fall shows will be premiering on time in the fall, unless there is an actor's strike. Speaking of strikes, she was asked what might have been left out of this season's shows, due to the writer's strike. She thinks they were planning to explore her relationship with House more but have put it off, but they haven't really told her in detail. They all are holding their breath about whether there will be an actor's strike or not. She said that the tactics that the AMPTP have been pulling are very sad and scary.

Since Cuddy strips in House's fantasy, she was asked whether House would be stripping in Cuddy's fantasy. She thinks Cuddy would have a much less masculine fantasy about House than that, where he is doing something like tickling her belly while making a diagnostic.

Make sure to tune in for House during May sweeps!!

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