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By Suzanne

Lisa Edelstein

Interview with Lisa Edelstein of "House"

This is the second time I participated in a conference call with Lisa Edelstein. She is always great. She seems so nice, and funny, and laid-back. So much unlike her high strung counterpart on House, Cuddy!

This coming Monday, the House episode focuses on Cuddy. Just like the earlier episode where they focused on Wilson and showed things from his point of view, this one is from Cuddy's point of view. We get to see what her day is like. It should be fun, like all things on House!

She had a lot to say about the episode in this interview, especially about Cuddy's relationship with Lucas and with House.  Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did!

FBC PUBLICITY: The House Conference Call with Lisa Edelstein
February 2, 2010/2:00 p.m. EST


Kim Kurland
Lisa Edelstein


Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to The House Conference Call with Lisa Edelstein conference. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question/answer session and instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Ms. Kim Kurland. Thank you, please go ahead.

K. Kurland Hi. I just wanted to thank everybody for taking part in this conference call with Lisa and just remind everybody this episode, which is titled ď5 to 9,Ē airs this coming Monday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m. Operator, we can take our first call now, our first question.

Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Michael Elkin with Jewish Exponent, please go ahead.

M. Elkin Iím just wondering if you think Cuddy is the ďrisottoĒ of all roles, in that it leaves you totally satisfied.

L. Edelstein Definitely for now. Iím a bit fickle. So, I think a good seven years of satisfaction will lead me to the next phase.

M. Elkin Okay. Also, in this episode in which weíre going to see things through your eyes, will we also be seeing things through the eyes of the former queen of downtown?

L. Edelstein No. Cuddy is definitely not the queen of downtown.

M. Elkin Okay.

L. Edelstein Thatís reserved only for me.

M. Elkin Would your friends be surprised from your old New York days; would your friends be surprised how youíve evolved into such an established role?

L. Edelstein I think, itís nice. It was a very special group of people, way back when, of a lot of great talent and not a lot of commercial value. So, itís nice when anybody you know has a good turn in life, and I really enjoy seeing my friends from those days. Theyíre always really supportive and excited.

M. Elkin Did that have any impact on the way you approached this role, those old days when you were the queen of society?

L. Edelstein Youíre giving me a lot more credit than I actually deserve, but not really. It doesnít really apply to this character. It certainly is a part of the tapestry of my life. But, Cuddy is a much more controlled, serious, wonder woman. She cannot be as playful.

K. Kurland If we could just limit this to one question and a follow-up question each that would be great. Thank you.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Matt Mitovich with Fancast. Please go ahead.

M. Mitovich What do you hope that people glean from this episode, aside from Cuddy has a lot on her plate on any given day? What do you hope their take away is as far as your character that they might not have picked up on over the past years?

L. Edelstein Well, thereís a lot of things I like about the episode in addition to the fact that you get a real glimpse into what it means to run a hospital. Because sometimes you see complaints that people donít think that Cuddyís very good at her job. I donít really think they know what her job is. Now you get a really clearer view of that.

I like the difference between her relationship with Lucas and her relationship with House. I think on one hand you see this kind of uncomplicated ease with this guy whoís just showing up. He shows up. He actually does his best and shows up and wants to be there versus the guy that she had this long, deep, fascinating, back-and-forth with that she canít seem to steer clear of and what he actually means in her world, how he affects her world. So, I think thereís a lot of levels to it.

M. Mitovich The episode hints at the occasional disconnect with Lucas. Do you think if she does end up bailing on that romance itíll be to go to House or just to not be with Lucas?

L. Edelstein I donít know, because they donít tell me. So, I would hate to guess. But, I that think sometimes you just want to be in the relationship that looks good on paper and that is the relationship you think youíre supposed to be in. But, Iím not sure that that really works.

M. Mitovich Okay.

L. Edelstein So, when and if that doesnít work, I guess what you would do is really give it a shot with the thing that excites you most. But thatís going to sound like a spoiler, and it actually isnít because I havenít the faintest idea whatís happening.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of David Martindale withó

D. Martindale Yes, David Martindale. One of my favorite moments in the ďWilsonĒ episode earlier this year was the scene where Wilson was doing something completely, unrelated to anything that involved House. In the background, you saw the team with the patient on the gurneyÖ

L. Edelstein Right.

D. Martindale Öin the hallway, andÖ

L. Edelstein Exactly.

D. Martindale Öand crazy things. It really did impress on me that, ďWow! Wilson really does have a life and career that doesnít involve House.Ē How interesting to see that, and again, with you, you get to have those moments, too. Is that really cool and fun and interesting and Ö for you?

L. Edelstein I think so. I hope the audience thinks so, because again, it is really nice to see, to fill in the blanks, and to make the picture more complete. So that you know when House is causing problems for Cuddy, what the rest of the things on Cuddyís plate are. When they interrupt something in the hallway to have a debate about a case that has nothing to do with what sheís doing and the rest of her day, how she has to focus and deal with it and resolve it and move on. I mean, I just think it is fun to see that. It is fun to fill in the blanks.

D. Martindale A few years ago, you and I did an interview and I asked you ways you were unlike Cuddy and one of the things you singled out was the clothes, that Cuddy wears clothes that you canít run in, and that that would cramp your style. After a few more years of playing her, do you think that maybe thereís a little bit of a free spirit kind of hidden away from everybody, just because sheís the boss?

L. Edelstein Well, I donít think she has time to be the free spirit that she might be. I think her days are completely filled. She has to be up at 4:30 in the morning and she works until 9:00 at night. She is a real go-getter with an enormous amount of energy, doing an enormous amount everyday for a lot of people. That kind of responsibility fills up every inch of your world.

D. Martindale So, you donít have time to do cartwheels down the hallway?

L. Edelstein She certainly doesnít. I do.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Gina Dinunno with TV Guide.

G. Dinunno So, a lot of fans have expressed their, I guess, anger or just dislike about the Cuddy-Lucas relationship? What do you think it is that Cuddy sees in Lucas that no one else kind of can Ö?

L. Edelstein I think he shows up. I think he helps her with her life. Heís uncomplicated, very loyal, and has sex with her. I think that those things mean a lot to somebody whoís got a world like hers, which can be very overwhelming. The question remains, ďIs that enough?Ē

G. Dinunno Right.

L. Edelstein But I think for right now, itís something she really needed to explore having because sheís been alone for a while, a long time and kind of chasing after a House that was completely unavailable. So, this season, suddenly he turns around and announces heís available, but itís years that this has been going on. Itís not so easy.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Megan Murphy with US Weekly. Please go ahead.

M. Murphy So, youíve played this character for a while now. How do you think Cuddyís changed over the years?

L. Edelstein Well, I donít think characters change. I think they become more revealed. I donít think you really can change a character on a show. David Shore was talking about this, as well, a while back, because if you change the character, then the dynamic changes.

I think what happen is in the first season of any episode, as the audience, youíre presented with a vague picture of these people. You, as an audience member, project onto them your idea of who they are and how they fit. As the years go by and the writers get to write more deeply about each individual, they just expose themselves little by little. I donít mean that in a nude way. Although, actually I do because thatís pretty much what happened with my character. Every season, I become more and more disrobed.

M. Murphy Excellent. What was it like having Jennifer Morrison back on the set?

L. Edelstein Lovely. Jennifer is a great girl, wonderful to be around and smart and funny and it was great.

M. Murphy Any kind of fun, behind-the-scenes things you can share?

L. Edelstein Not really. We donít have that kind of set. We work really hard and then have witty banter.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Susan Lanoue with TV Mega Site. Please go ahead.

S. Lanoue I was wondering if you thought that, this is just your opinion, I know you donít know about whatís coming up ahead. But, do you think that Cuddy would have settled, well, if settleís the right word, for the guy sheís with right now if she hadnít had the child? Do you think he was sort of like Ö?

L. Edelstein I think that having a child definitely changed her attitude about relationships, absolutely. I think him being in her life is really directly related to that. She really needs somebody she can rely on.

S. Lanoue Right.

L. Edelstein I donít think anyone can really fully prepare for having a child. I donít think thereís any way of preparing for what that means to your world. This is a woman who already had a really full world. She needs reliable people in her life.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Dan French with Digital Spy. Please go ahead.

D. French I was just wondering, how do you think season six is shaping up without Jennifer Morrison as Cameron?

L. Edelstein Well, sheís been in season six.

D. French But sheís kind of been absent for quite a few episodes.

L. Edelstein Itís always strange to be missing a character that has been around for a long time. So, itís really hard to answer that question. However, I love our writers and I love what theyíre doing. Of course, we miss her and she was recently back. That was tons of fun. I donít really know what else to say.

D. French Did the atmosphere on set change when she left?

L. Edelstein Not really. We donít all work together all the time. So, for example, most of my scenes are with Hugh or Robert. I donít have a lot of scenes with the team. I think maybe for them they could feel the difference more. Jennifer and I rarely had scenes by ourselves together, even in the five years we were both around at the same time. So if we shoot ten days and Iím there three out of those ten days, I see only whoever Iím in the scene with.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Troy Rogers with TheDeadbolt. Please go ahead.

T. Rogers I wanted to know what was it like in an episode focused on Cuddy.

L. Edelstein It was really exciting. It was exciting because Iíve been working with these people for a very long time and to be given that kind of opportunity was really special. They sent me the script weeks earlier than usual, where I could have notes about dialog, notes about story line; make script suggestions, which is not normal for our process at House. Even during filming, I just felt like I had a lot more power in terms of interacting with the writer and director. I really loved it. Plus, I was there 16 hours a day, which is a lot of hard work. But, itís really fun to set the pace and the tone of the stage, to be given that opportunity, especially with people that Iíve known for quite some time.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Barbara Barnett with Blog Critic Mag. Please go ahead.

B. Barnett House and Cuddy seem to begin to repair their relationship just a little bit, in ď5 to 9Ē.

L. Edelstein Yes.

B. Barnett Really for the first time, I think, since almost from the beginning of the season.

L. Edelstein Yeah.

B. Barnett Is that going to continue to evolve? Are they Ö?

L. Edelstein Again, they really donít tell me what the goal is. But I did really like that and I liked the way it looked next to her relationship with Lucas because there is something very special between House and Cuddy that also is historical and deeply complicated, but has a nice weight to it, which is a very confusing thing to have in your life when youíre trying to do what you think is the right thing on paper.

B. Barnett Yeah, thereís several moments in the episode where they seem to fall back into that very intimate trust between them.

L. Edelstein Yeah. I donít think they can help it.

B. Barnett Yeah. Itís like they are great moments and I thinkÖ

L. Edelstein Thanks.

B. Barnett Öthe House-Cuddy fans are going to applaud greatly when they see it.

L. Edelstein Oh, good!

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Cecil Rose with TV Fodder Network. Please go ahead.

C. Rose Miss Edelstein, do you have any acting plans beyond House Ö horizon? Or, would you like to write or direct an episode like Hugh Laurie has done?

L. Edelstein No, I donít think Iím going to write or direct an episode. Writing an episode would be an enormous challenge because they work about six months on these cases in trying to find diseases that can be confused for other things that yet you can tell a story with thatís interesting. I mean, itís a very complicated process. Watching Hugh do the directing, it actually was really a little more inspiring, because I hadnít really thought about it before. Ultimately, Iím just thinking of things will interest me when House is finally done, which I donít even know when that is, and in the meantime, just trying to see as much of the world as I possibly can.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Mike Vicic of TV Tango. Please go ahead.

M. Vicic Besides seeing the script so early, what surprised you most about this episode when you first read it?

L. Edelstein What surprised me most? That I was in every scene. It never happened to me before on the show. I kind of had an idea of what was happening, so it didnít take me totally by surprise. They gave me a heads-up. I just didnít know how they were going to do it.

M Vicic And you said that you took the opportunity to suggest some script changes. What change are you most proud of?

L. Edelstein I donít know. If I tell you that, then youíll know what the scene looked like before and itíll spoil scenes. It was some relationship stuff on both sides, really, Lucas stuff and House stuff. Some were changes and some were just tone, like talking about tone and being able to participate in that process and learn what it is that David had in mind and what he was trying to say. What Tommy had in mind, what he was trying to say. Just kind of have more involvement in their process in allowing my sense of things to have some power, too.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Alice Chapman with the Times Courier. Please go ahead.

A. Chapman Well, I was wondering as a woman, and during the filming process during this episode, did you ever think, ďWow! I can relate to Dr. Cuddy in this episode.Ē Like her life is so busy and itís such a balancing act?

L. Edelstein Well, absolutely; sheís trying to do everything. Iím just glad there is an episode that shows how much it is she actually has to do, how much is on her plate. Representing single moms, and single working moms and what they do is always nice because theyíre unsung heroines.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Gina Dinunno with TV Guide. Please go ahead.

G. Dinunno I know you guys were talking about the Jennifer Morrison episode. Is there anything you could preview or tease about the upcoming episode?

L. Edelstein About my episode?

G. Dinunno The Jennifer Morrison episode.

L. Edelstein Oh, not really. Sorry.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Diana Cowan with TV Guide Canada. Please go ahead.

D. Cowan So, I saw the episode, and I noticed that Cuddy practices yoga, which I believe you do as well.

L. Edelstein Yes.

D. Cowan I was just wondering, were there any other attributes about yourself that you were able to transfer to your character in this episode?

L. Edelstein Attributes about myself, of course, I play Cuddy, so she is a part of me; but sheís much more serious and has much more on her plate and is responsible for many more people than I actually am. I think that seeing her at home, seeing her with Lucas, seeing her be a little bit sexual, those are fun sides of Cuddy that you donít normally get to see. But, yeah, I think sheís too busy to be much more than that.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of John Connelley with Spectrum. Please go ahead.

J. Connelley So, given that Houseís pessimistic attitude toward life is such a key element of the show, do you think that the show would still be able to have the same effect if your character and House were in a happy relationship?

L. Edelstein Well, I donít think just because people are in a relationship that theyíre happy. I donít think relationships necessarily make people happy. You just are happy or youíre not happy. So, I think if they were ever to get together, there would be no loss in the misery level.

Moderator I will turn the conference back over to you for any last remarks.

L. Edelstein Thank you all for coming and its great answering all your questions. I hope I said something decent and have a great day!

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference for today.


During a day in the life of Princeton Plainsboro's Dean of Medicine, Dr.
Lisa Cuddy, the inner workings of the hospital are seen through her
eyes. This day proves to be especially trying as Cuddy wrestles with
myriad hospital issues and staff disputes that test her perseverance and
skills as an administrator, all while juggling issues in her personal
life, in the all-new "5 to 9" episode of HOUSE airing Monday, Feb. 8
(8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT)

(Dr. Lisa Cuddy on HOUSE)

From her introduction to television as Lisa E on MTV's "Awake on the
Wild Side" to her role as "Dr. Lisa Cuddy" on HOUSE, Lisa Edelstein is
no stranger to fearless roles. In the past several years, Edelstein has
portrayed Rob Lowe's call-girl girlfriend on "The West Wing," the
transsexual boyfriend of James LeGros on "Ally McBeal," David Conrad's
lesbian sister on "Relativity," an Orthodox Jew losing custody of her
child on "Family Law" and James Spader's love interest on "The

Additional television credits include her series regular role on "Leap
of Faith" and guest turns on "Seinfeld," "Without a Trace," "Frasier,"
"Felicity" and "ER." Edelstein also works extensively in the realm of
voiceover, most recently as "Mercy Graves" on the animated "Superman"
and "Justice League" series as well as guest spots on AMERICAN DAD and

In feature films, Edelstein starred as Ben Stiller's aerobics-obsessed
date in "Keeping the Faith." Additional credits include "What Women
Want," "Daddy Day Care," "As Good As It Gets" and the comedies "Say
Uncle" and "Grilled." She also starred in the dramatic cable feature
"Fathers and Sons."

After honing her craft at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Edelstein
performed in numerous off- and off-off-Broadway productions, including
the AIDS-related musical "Positive Me," which she authored, composed and

Edelstein lives in Los Angeles in a century-old home with her cat and
rescue dogs. She is an avid practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga and volunteers
her time by working with the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Save the
Children, Planned Parenthood and AmFAR.

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