On TV, Lisa Edelstein has scored with everyone from George Costanza to Frasier Crane. Will Dr. House be next? TV Guide asked her about the Fox drama's second-season cliff-hanger, her party-girl past and more.
TV Guide: Right to it: Dr. Lisa Cuddy, your character on House [Tuesdays at 8 and 9 pm/ET], is looking for a sperm donor to have a baby, and House (Hugh Laurie) has been nixing all the anonymous donors. Will she ask him to donate?
Lisa Edelstein: She walked into House's office, clearly wanting to say something... and didn't. The choice that I made for Cuddy is that she was going to ask him, but then realized that the truth was she didn't want his sperm donated in a bottle she wanted a relationship. But that might not be the writers' choice. They never tell me anything in advance!
TV Guide: So you're hoping they'll have sex?
Edelstein: Oh, definitely.
TV Guide: Cuddy clearly finds House hot. Would you be attracted to a guy like him?
Edelstein: Yeah, I like smarty-pants. It's sexy when a guy is that witty and bright, even at the cost of social skills. I have plenty of social skills of my own.
TV Guide: Sounds like you've known some guys like that in real life.
Edelstein: I have! And they never work out. But they were very interesting.
TV Guide: You're single. Would you have a baby through insemination?
Edelstein: I've thought about it. I'd feel more comfortable adopting, giving a child a home.
TV Guide: Cuddy and House make great verbal-sparring partners. Who would win in real life you or Hugh?
Edelstein: It could go either way. We both definitely have strong points of view.
TV Guide: You played a lesbian on Relativity and a transsexual on Ally McBeal....
Edelstein: It was exciting to play a lesbian character because at the time there were none on television. People asked my parents if it was OK that I was a lesbian when I was only playing one on TV. The tranny role was offered without auditions, so you do wonder why the McBeal director looked at me and thought, "There's my guy."
TV Guide: You also went to bed with Rob Lowe on The West Wing, Jason Alexander on Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammer on Frasier and James Spader on The Practice. Who's sexiest?
Edelstein: Being with Rob Lowe was very exciting because I was in love with him when I was a girl. And James Spader is pretty sexy.
TV Guide: You did the voice of Lex Luthor's moll on the animated Superman series. Are you a fan of cartoons?
Edelstein: I love doing animation. For an American Dad [airing] next season, I play a crazed woman from JDate [the online dating service for Jewish singles]. Cuddy was on JDate, too. JDate is haunting me!
TV Guide: Once you became an actress, did you consider changing your name?
Edelstein: It's not very glamorous, and I lost out in the past because it was too "ethnic." But most of my parents' families were killed in the Holocaust, and it would be denying my family line. It didn't stop me. I have a great career.
TV Guide: Most of your TV fans probably don't know that in the mid-1980s you were well known as party girl Lisa E., dubbed "New York's Reigning Queen of the Night." How did a nice New Jersey girl become a Manhattan club kid?
Edelstein: I hated New Jersey and started going to clubs at 14. What excited me about the club scene was that the people were as different on the outside as I felt on the inside.
TV Guide: Did you fall into drugs and alcohol?
Edelstein: No. I just needed to be around people who were expressing themselves.
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