Interview with Lisa Edelstein and Greg Yaitanes of "House" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Lisa Edelstein and Greg Yaitanes

Interview with Lisa Edelstein and Greg Yaitanes of "House" on FOX 3/4/11.

The House Conference Call with Lisa Edelstein and Greg Yaitanes
March 4, 2011/3:00 p.m. EST

Kim Kurland – FBC Publicity
Lisa Edelstein – Dr. Lisa Cuddy, House
Greg Yaitanes – Executive Producer (and Director of “Bombshells” episode), House


House and CuddyModerator Welcome to the House Conference call with Lisa Edelstein and Greg Yaitanes. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session and instructions will be given at that time.

I’d now like to turn the conference over to Kim Kurland.

K. Kurland Hi. I just wanted to thank everybody for participating in this call with Lisa and Greg to talk to about Monday’s episode. It’s a bit of a departure for the show and we think the episode’s really fantastic. If anybody has any follow-up question afterwards, feel free to e-mail me at Thank so much. We can take our first call.

Moderator We’ll go to the line of Mag Legal with TheVoiceofTV.

M. Legal Shooting a musical number on such a conventional sequence on House is quite a departure. Could you share some behind the scenes stories on the challenges and the fun you all had together?

L. Edelstein Well I know for me it was great just to be in different costumes. We had a lot of fun doing the different styles that we did. We’ve been on this show for a long time, so it was like having a week off and just playing around. It was hugely entertaining.

G. Yaitanes Lisa channels a mean Robert Redford. It was actually great to see how much Hugh and Lisa, especially, just dove into all these different ideas and genres. It was like they got to do five different movies all within one week.

M. Legal I just have a follow-up question about the episode that aired this week actually. The thing with House’s drunken declaration left Cuddy kind of confused. What do you think it means for Cuddy to have House drop that on her lap, such a big responsibility for the future of their relationship?

L. Edelstein I think it was a very complicated moment for her because on one hand, he was professing his love, and on the other hand, he was saying it was going to basically destroy him. On top of that, he was extremely drunk and stood her up that night on something that really was important to her. So she’s definitely seeing more and more the truth of what it means to be involved with a man like House and it’s not easy.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Matt Mitovich with

M. Mitovich Lisa, I was wondering, let’s just say House and Cuddy don’t make it. Do you think it will just be a matter of them returning to their previous dynamic or will it just be too much to put behind them?

L. Edelstein I think that these are two grown-up complicated people who love what they do. First and foremost, they love what they do. So I think they will, no matter what, always find a way to continue doing what is their life. Should the relationship not work, it would, I think, add a lot of really great texture to how they have to deal with each other.

M. Mitovich Greg, I was wondering if you’re at liberty to tease what sort of season finale the show is building toward. We’ve had people leave. We’ve had romantic tension. Will House go back on the drugs? What might it be about this May?

G. Yaitanes Those are all good questions you’re asking. They’re all good questions that are being asked. A lot is going to come to a head in the finale. That’s about all can I say. It’s like everything you’re talking about, these are all things that in some form or another are going to get answered or addressed before the season’s up.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Diana Daley with

D. Daley Both of your thoughts on this, given the dream sequences, what do you think Cuddy wants from her relationship with House compared to what she really expects to get from it?

L. Edelstein I think these particular dream sequences are like dreams. They are more revealing in what they don’t say directly than what they look like at first glance. It’s not a dream like she’s going into a fantasy world. They’re actually dream sequences filled with subconscious information.

G. Yaitanes Every dream is significant of what Cuddy’s going through.

D. Dales Just a follow up, again, both of your thoughts, Dr. Cuddy is so self-assured and successful in her professional life, but what do you see as her flaws or perhaps short comings that would allow her to be in this type of relationship that she’s in with House?

L. Edelstein I think she is so self-sufficient that it’s really hard for her to find a partner that has the equal amount of power. A man like House seems like he’s got an equal amount of power because he’s so brilliant, but actually he’s another child, and those two things are really easy to confuse at first glance.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Paulette Cohn with American Profile.

P. Cohn When you’re around all these illnesses and diseases and stuff, do you find it hard not to start diagnosing yourself? Do you ever become a hypochondriac?

L. Edelstein I’ve always loved medicine and I’ve always been good at retaining that sort of information. So I don’t think this has made me worse. I actually feel like it gives me more information. I love it. I always think, medically, you have to be your own—what’s the word I’m looking for? Shoot, I’m sorry. I can’t remember the word that I’m looking for. Oh, I know what I was saying—medically you really have to be your advocate. You have to be able to back up everything that you’re feeling with some information and protect yourself through the world of hospitals and doctors’ offices, so the more information the better.

P. Cohn You said you were going to have a lot of different costumes. Can you talk a little bit about what that’s going to be?

L. Edelstein Well you’ve seen some of the promos online. There’s a 1950’s promo. There’s a western promo. There’s the musical number. It was a lot of fun. By the way, in the 1950’s scene I am actually wearing a pointy bra. Those things actually have a pad in the tip that makes it pointy.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Kristyn Clarke with

K. Clarke House is known—there are a lot of intense scenes. Are there plans in the future to maybe to some more episodes like the “Bombshells” episode to kind of break up that tension?

L. Edelstein I think every year they try to do several episodes that break format. Greg has directed a number of those. It seems to be your specialty.

G. Yaitanes The great thing about the show is the show has the vocabulary, I think truly more than any other show out there. I think most shows—you’re going to tune in and you’re going to get what you get every week. That has obviously worked very successfully, but one of the great things about House is that it very early on from the first season when we did “Three Stories,” immediately established that this show can tell stories in very different ways.

It is so rewarding that we can mix it up. A couple weeks ago, we had House teaching the class of fifth graders for Career Day where we went back and flashed back to him telling the story of what happened with House and Cuddy through all these elaborate lies and so forth. So we’ve done “House’s Head,” and we’ve done “Locked In,” and we’ve done these episodes that break format every time in a new way. We try as much as we can not to repeat ourselves, but we’ve established a very wide, wide vocabulary of ways we can break format.

K. Clarke As a follow up with all that being said, what do you both feel it is about House that continues to resonate so well with viewers?

G. Yaitanes It’s always such a long answer. There’s so much—

L. Edelstein Everybody in the world has a different reason for wishing they could say things that most people know not to say. There’s a release to it when you get to see someone actually get away with it, but not only that, someone who’s smart and brilliant and you would want in your life were you in a medical emergency. So it sort of crosses generation between teenagers who just want to talk back and grownups who wish they could.

Moderator We’ll go to the line of Henry Hanks with

H. Hanks We’re hearing a lot about this sort of dance sequence, choreographed, I believe, by Mia Michaels from So You Think You Can Dance. I’m wondering what that was like to work with her and how much rehearsal was involved?

G. Yaitanes I was a fan of the show and had met Mia a couple months prior to getting the script to this episode. The second I had read the script, which basically said House and Cuddy sing a Housean version of Get Happy, and there was a couple of story points that happened within that dance sequence, and I texted Mia to see if she was going to be around and available. She was, and we made a deal.

What was interesting about this is, that I think is so different than so many other musicals, is that the arrangement, the choreography, and everything about it was happening simultaneous to each other. So Mia was influencing the musical arrangement. The musical arrangement was influencing the choreography, John Erlich’s work. John Erlich, our composer, and Mia Michaels were incredibly collaborative, and then once they kind of got the ball rolling started some pretty intense rehearsal sessions with Hugh and Lisa.

L. Edelstein We didn’t have so many rehearsals, but they were long and involved and it was really fun. I’m a big admirer of Mia Michaels, and I also watched that show religiously. So I was really excited, not just to—

G. Yaitanes It was like a Mia Michaels fan club here. I don’t think we’ve had anybody either on the show or around the office in which more people were lined up to want to meet her and talk to her, and it was everything you could imagine. She was fantastic. She really directed that sequence, and that was the thing we wanted. We basically stuck a straw in her head and sucked out what her idea was. She created that world that takes place in the choreography; worked on the costuming, set design. It’s like within the episode I directed, that these two and a half minutes were directed by Mia.

H. Hanks Do either of you have another favorite dream sequence that you guys did and why?

G. Yaitanes I love the “Butch and Sundance” sequence. Mostly because if you take the original film, I mean down to Hugh and Lisa’s choices of the way that they approached the scene is very much with the same intention that Newman and Redford went at it. Just from a shot for shot technical standpoint, we recreated the sets and recreated the staging and the shot design and all the technical aspects, but I just love seeing—Lisa playing Redford, I just can’t get over it. Every time I see it, I just love it. She just does so many great things.

L. Edelstein It was pretty funny. We were shooting guns. They had blanks of course, but it’s always scary when somebody’s handling a weapon on the set. It’s dangerous even if it’s blanks, and every time you put the gun back in your hand they have to check to make sure it’s just blanks and that there are blanks. It’s a whole process you go through. Still when we ran out of the building to fire, people ducked. So they really didn’t trust me that much.

G. Yaitanes We’re laughing. I don’t know if you guys are laughing.

Moderator Next we’ll go to the line—

G. Yaitanes Which is another funny story we have.

Moderator —Barbara Barnett with Blogcritics Magazine.

B. Barnett The story of House over the last six and a half years has been House’s journey, taking maybe one step forward and two back or five back, and he’s been on a bit of an upswing this year, taking many steps forward socially and personally. Are the events of “Bombshells” going to be a setback for him leading forward to the rest of the season? The same question for Cuddy.

G. Yaitanes I think here there’s—Cuddy’s going through a health crisis at this particular time, which with any crisis in your life gives you pause and you just really have to look at your life very hard and truly what’s going on in your life. So I think this is a great episode of a lot of inner reflection.

L. Edelstein It starts with the episode that aired this past week, referring back to the earlier question about the last scene when House is drunk. Everything is sort of coming to a head. All the truths about who these people are, how they relate to each other.

B. Barnett Also, not quite a follow up, but who wrote this episode, out of curiosity?

G. Yaitanes Liz Friedman and Sarah Hess.

B. Barnett My follow-up question is you had mentioned there were five dreams during the episode. I know there’s the ‘50s thing and the dance routine and the Butch Cassidy. What are the other two?

G. Yaitanes We recreated the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid the final scene of that. We also did a sitcom, basically a Two and a Half Men with House and Wilson and an eight-year-old Rachel Cuddy, a Two and a Half Men style sitcom where we rebuilt a sitcom version of House’s apartment. So if you’re really like our fan of the show and you’ve watched the show, there’s a sitcom interpretation of House’s apartment that we recreated.

L. Edelstein The wardrobe is also hilarious.

G. Yaitanes Yes. There’s that, and then we also did a horror film.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Bill Brioux with The Canadian Press.

B. Brioux I ran into David Shore at the TCA in January. I was talking to him and I mentioned, I said, “Man, that was a pretty steamy season premiere, especially for network television.” I said, “Cuddy was naked for half the show,” and all Shore said was, “You’re welcome.” I was just wondering what was that like shooting that?

L. Edelstein I heard I won best butt crack on television recently. It’s true. I did it you guys. I made it. I wish I got an award, the actual award. What would it look like?

G. Yaitanes Exactly. What would it look like?

B. Brioux Was it intimidating to shoot or was it a closed set? What was that—?

L. Edelstein Of course it’s a closed set. It’s always weird to shoot when you’re really basically not wearing anything.

G. Yaitanes You were actually not wearing anything?

L. Edelstein I was actually not wearing—well, I had a tiny little nude G-string on that’s easy to edit out if anything shows, but other than that—I mean you’re in a robe and then pretty much, I’d be in a robe. We’d rehearse it in the robe, and then right before we’d start shooting I’d yell, “private moment,” and all the guys would just turn around, including Hugh, which was even funnier since he was in the scene with me, and then I would climb into position.

G. Yaitanes You and Hugh, like each of you—it was so great that you guys had so much history because each of you had—I felt relaxed, the other one. We kept a very minimal set and also we’ve all been around each other so long, it was a very respectful—

L. Edelstein Yes. I love these guys I’ve been working with for so long. I did feel completely taken care of. I had no worries. I didn’t feel like anybody was perving out. Hugh refuses to look anywhere that isn’t scripted so he was very careful.

B. Brioux Let me ask then, what’s more fun shooting sex scenes opposite Laurie or song and dance?

L. Edelstein Well each one has its own stresses, but I had a great time doing both. The song and dance—Mia Michael’s choreographing, getting the opportunity to dance for Mia Michaels, as little as I did, it was incredible. I was a dancer when I was a kid and to kind of, in a minor way, live out that dream was a really satisfying experience.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation.

J. Steinberg I was wondering what are your most memorable moments you had from filming your dream sequences?

L. Edelstein I would say it was doing the dance with Mia. That was really exciting. Just being choreographed, moving through space in that kind of way, being around all those incredibly talented young dancers who were so enthusiastic and full of life was really something. It was really something.

G. Yaitanes For me, it was very much about the fact that these were five genres I had never directed before. So it was the excitement of all within one particular episode to do five different genres. However, my career has gone, I have not done any of these things before. So it was great and challenging for me to make sure that they all seemed authentic and everything because everyone required a different style of acting, a different style of lensing, a whole different approach. So it was like making five films within the film.

L. Edelstein I really loved doing the—

G. Yaitanes Then also having to wrap it around a very unique episode of House.

L. Edelstein I really loved doing the 1950’s one too. That was really fun. It was hilarious. Such a different way of acting, it’s true. But the actually story line of the show is really powerful. I’m really excited for it.

J. Steinberg How did you prepare for doing the dance? Did you have to change your diet? What were the rehearsals of the dancing schedule like for you two?

L. Edelstein We don’t get any notice. It’s not like, “In two months, you’re going to be dancing.” It’s no Black Swan. I didn’t have a year to go train.

G. Yaitanes It all happened very quickly.

L. Edelstein It was just sort of like, “Guess what? Next week Mia Michaels is going choreograph a super, fantastic dance sequence.” Then I got together with Mia. We had the first rehearsal for about four hours, and then I think the next time I saw her was on stage. We had one dress rehearsal and the following day we shot. So I really had maybe five hours.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Matt Mitovich with

M. Mitovich Lisa, I was wondering if you could tell us the circumstances of Candace Bergen’s next visit? Are things at all warmer and fuzzier between the two?

L. Edelstein No. No, definitely not. Cuddy and her mother are still at each other’s throats.

M. Mitovich Anything else you can say about the story there?

L. Edelstein I wouldn’t want to ruin it, but Candace is hilarious and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

G. Yaitanes We have a great cast for that episode.

L. Edelstein Who else is in that episode? Do you remember?

G. Yaitanes Donal Logue and—

L. Edelstein Oh I love Donal Logue.

G. Yaitanes David Carver? David from Damages—the last name’s escaping me.

L. Edelstein It’s really exciting because I’m not in any scenes with Donal, but I’ve known him for a really long time, and he’s such a good actor.

M. Mitovich Greg, just to understand, in the sitcom segment you’ve got House, the rehab drug user, playing the Charlie Sheen role?

G. Yaitanes I don’t know quite the word if the word’s … or whatever it was, but it’s very—we shot this back in December so it is interesting how everything ended up playing itself out.

L. Edelstein Maybe it’s our fault.

G. Yaitanes Maybe it’s our fault.

L. Edelstein Like a butterfly flapped his wings and Charlie Sheen went off the deep end.

G. Yaitanes That will be like top headline of everything, “Lisa Edelstein slams Charlie Sheen.”

L. Edelstein No. Actually, it’s very upsetting to me. Please don’t quote me saying something mean.

G. Yaitanes It’s too late. It’s too late. I’m twittering it now.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Jim Halterman with

J. Halterman Greg, so talk to me a little bit on a creative side. So much attention goes to House and Cuddy and their storyline, has that challenged to keep the rest of the cast kind of on the canvas of the show?

G. Yaitanes Another great thing about the show is I feel like everybody gets opportunities to step up and right now the House and Cuddy relationship is in the foreground of that. I think somebody commented once, like there was some award where all of our cast was sitting at the same table as each other, and truly everybody’s still, in season seven, is so supportive. I’ve gone back to shows that have found success within their first season and nobody’s talking to each other and they’ve all split off into camps. It is a genuine, supportive, creative environment that really stems from Hugh and from Lisa and everybody is there to build each other up. Right now House and Cuddy are in the foreground, other times Chase has been in the foreground, Peter’s had some great story lines. Everybody’s—

L. Edelstein I’ve spent a good number of years saying, “No you don’t.”

J. Halterman Lisa, any plans for your hiatus?

L. Edelstein I’m going to be traveling.

J. Halterman Anywhere you want to share?

L. Edelstein Nope because I don’t want anybody meeting me there that I haven’t invited.

Moderator Next, we’ll go to the line of Marie Lindberg with USA Weekend.

M. Lindberg House has openly expressed his love, but that is making him a bad doctor. Do you still think Cuddy is good for House? He’s come so far emotionally.

L. Edelstein Wait, say that again. Can you repeat your question?

M. Lindberg Do you still think Cuddy is good for House even though he’s admitting to becoming a worse doctor over her?

L. Edelstein Well I think that is the big question isn’t it? Although I don’t think that Cuddy’s considerations in regards to their relationship ultimately comes down to whether or not it makes him a better or a worse doctor. I think ultimately those kinds of decisions come down to does this person enhance my life or not.

M. Lindberg Lisa, you look amazing, as always. How do you stay in such great shape? I have got to ask.

L. Edelstein I just try and eat really healthy food, and I do Yoga and I swim and I hike. I just try to live a healthy life style. It’s not that complicated.

Moderator We’ll go to the line of Mag Legal with TheVoiceofTV.

M. Legal Lisa, how do you feel about working with Robert more lately because we haven’t seen many Cuddy and Wilson scenes in the beginning of the season?

L. Edelstein You mean do I want to work with Robert more or—

M. Legal Well you kind of are and we are all happy about this. So I was wondering—

L. Edelstein I love working with Robert. He’s so funny and he’s so talented and he likes to work fast. So we have a good time working together.

Moderator There are no further questions.

K. Kurland I think that we can end it there then if nobody has any further questions.

L. Edelstein Great.

G. Yaitanes Very good. Thanks everybody.

K. Kurland Thank you everyone for participating. We really appreciate it. Again, if anybody has anything that they want to follow up on, you can send me an e-mail. It’s Don’t forget, the show airs Monday at 8:00 p.m. on Fox.

L. Edelstein Thank you.

G. Yaitanes Thanks, everybody.

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