HOUSE’s Lisa Edelstein on Huddy, Candice Bergen and Her PEOPLE’S CHOICE Nomination
November 22, 2010 by Marisa Roffman
HOUSE’s leading lady Lisa Edelstein has seen an increase in her screen-time this season as the show has romantically paired her character, Cuddy, with the series’ cranky doc after six years of will-they-won’t-they antics.
But romance on HOUSE is never easy, as Edelstein teased when Give Me My Remote chatted with her this weekend. House and Cuddy’s recent trust issues won’t get wrapped up in a neat little box.
Read on for more from Edelstein on this, plus her take on her recent PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD nomination, the status of “Huddy” and working with upcoming guest star Candice Bergen…
First of all, congratulations on your PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD nomination for Favorite TV Drama Actress!
Lisa Edelstein: Thank you so much! It’s really exciting. It’s particularly exciting because it’s the audience that’s voting. I love that. I’m flattered and it feels great.
HOUSE certainly has some passionate fans…
LE: They’re not kidding, our fans. They’re emotionally invested. It’s both terrifying and wonderful.
And now that you’re back on Twitter, will you be using Twitter to campaign for PCA votes?
LE: I have a Twitter account because I did a Twitter interview last spring and then I thought, after the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS came out, this is what social networking is for: to say thanks. So I just put up the thank you and got such enormous response — including some from my friends who thought it was an impostor. I was like, “No, no, it’s really me.” It’s sweet. I’ve Twittered twice. I don’t really know what to say beyond what I’ve already said. [Laughs] But I’ll try and keep it up. I just don’t want to be [the Tweeter who writes] “I’m looking at that cheesecake and I’m not eating it!” You know what I mean? It’s really boring and I don’t care and you just wasted my time when I had to read that.
Yeah, well maybe you could just write about HOUSE every time you tweet! What episode are you guys filming right now?
LE: I think we’re on episode 15.
You’re certainly ahead of most other shows.
LE: We started in June. We started early this year. But then we’re taking a 3 week vacation in December, which is a little longer than normal. We’ll be working about ten months.
That is a long shoot for you guys.
LE: It is a long time, particularly for Hugh [Laurie (House)], who is there most of the time.
Right, he’s in nearly every scene.
LE: Right. They try to schedule it so he can go home early or he can get a Friday off, but it’s very challenging.
And of course you’re also getting a bit more airtime now that House and Cuddy are romantically involved.
Are you pleased with the way this relationship has evolved? Is this how you expected their storyline to go when the writers told you they were going to take these characters in that direction?
LE: Yeah, I was glad they’re giving the relationship a chance to live. In other words, they’re in a relationship and then they’re back in the world of Princeton-Plainsboro in a relationship. I think we’re not making a bigger deal out of it than it should be. You don’t want that, you don’t want it to suddenly be every other scene they’re pushing each other against the wall and madly making out. That’s not what the show is about. So I think they’ve given enough to make the relationship part of the story, but not too much to make it like a big eyeroll.
I feel they played it really smart, having the first episode of the season really focus on the shift in their relationship so the subsequent episodes could go back to “normal” and not hit us over the head with their romance.
LE: Yeah. It’s like, give it a second. Wait a minute, we’re just going to watch this for a second and then we’re going to go back to Princeton-Plainsboro.
And it’s added a whole new dynamic to their professional relationship as well, because now when he lies to get a diagnosis like he did a couple episodes ago, it takes on a whole new meaning.
LE: Right. It’s not so easy for them to kind of sort out how do they do this. How do you make a relationship that’s sort of based on manipulation something that’s now based on honesty?
Is that going to continue to be a theme for them as these episodes play out?
LE: Yeah, I think that issue is on the table right now, but they’re not going to bang it to death. [Laughs] But it’s one of the major issues of their relationship.
I’m not sure if you can answer this, but in what you’re currently filming, are House and Cuddy still in a good place, relationship-wise?
LE: Um, they’re still in a relationship. [Laughs]
Do you see them as a forever kind of couple? Or do you think they’ll be in-and-out of this courtship as the series goes on?
LE: They’re forever in the sense that you can’t suddenly know less about a person. That person, when you open yourself up, they will forever be a person you opened yourself up to. And because of the nature of their jobs, they will always have to interact in some level. And it will always be complicated — it was complicated before, it was complicated now, it will be complicated later. I have no idea what they’ve planned down the road with their dynamics because it’s really a wait-and-see there. They don’t really tell me!
But I’d imagine there must be some fun in not knowing because you get to discover this character as you go.
LE: Yeah, it is fun. The whole time, it’s been like — I remember when Cameron was in love with House and I was jealous. [Laughs] I was like, “Wait a minute!” I mean, not jealous in a terrible way, but it’s like, “Cameron and House are kissing?” [Laughs] It’s funny, I told Jennifer [Morrison (Cameron)] that and we had a good laugh.
Right, you and Hugh had chemistry from the start, but it did seem like they were going to go another way initially…
LE: I felt in the pilot it was all there — their dynamic, their firey back and forth. So for me, it was always a part of what I was thinking about in terms of their relationship. But I think it just wasn’t the story they were telling.
And what can you tease about Monday’s episode? The patient seems to have been involved in a crucifixion reenactment, but is there anything else you can tell us?
LE: Yeah, it’s a pretty cool idea. I really don’t remember much about this one because we’re so many episodes ahead. I don’t remember last week!
I think there’s a wedding involved, if that helps prompt any memories…
LE: Oh, yeah, there’s a wedding! I’m wearing a gown. [Laughs] Chase has a really good time at the wedding.
Of course he does. He has been having a good time with the ladies lately.
LE: Yeah. He doesn’t slow down at the wedding.
Candice Bergen is coming in as Cuddy’s mother. How was that?
LE: Candice, yeah, she was amazing to work with. I loved her.
Were you a fan of hers before you got the chance to work together?
LE: Well she’s so talented, of course. I wasn’t a regular MURPHY BROWN watcher, but from what I did see of the show, she was incredible. I never saw [BOSTON LEGAL] for some reason, but yeah, Candice, she’s gorgeous, she has incredible skin, she’s very funny and she’s very enthusiastic and she’s extremely bright. So everything that she does, you just see this beautiful intelligence in her humor.
And how is Cuddy’s relationship with her mother?
LE: Oh yeah. They’re sort of at each others’ throats a little bit.
Oh, that’s going to be fun to watch.
LE: Yeah, and it’s also fun watching House relate to Cuddy’s mother. There’s a lot of fun stuff coming up with that.
Is their relationship complicated as well?
LE: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Well, imagine introducing a man like House to your mother. [Laughs] Even if you have the best relationship with your mother, it would be complicated.
I just can’t wait to see the three of you share a scene. You each have very strong individual presences on-screen, so to combine them, that’s going to be an amazing experience for fans.
LE: [Laughs] There’s a really fantastic dinner scene. I’m looking forward to seeing it too.
Who else is excited to watch it go down?
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