Lisa Edelstein Lisa Edelstein

Is House's Cuddy due for a bit of a holiday miracle? Lisa Edelstein shares with a peek at this week's "very emotional" episode, diagnoses the "complicated" House-Cuddy romance, and reveals why she was nervous to strip down for leading man Hugh Laurie. (House airs Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET, on Fox.) Poor Cuddy — just as she's about to thank House for surprising her with her med-school desk, she finds him with that blonde floozy actress. She must be ready to tear her hair out.
Lisa Edelstein: She knows how to pick 'em! But I don't think she's looking for an easy relationship anyway. I don't think she relates to things that are that easy. People like that always end up in these complicated situations. Exec producer Katie Jacobs recently told me that the "Huddy" romance was "unorthodox, and yet at the same time incredibly real."
Edelstein: Yeah, because it's rarely the way it is in the movies, where people meet, fall in love and everything works out. Especially with grown-ups, there are so many things that get in the way, so many turns and twists that you have to take just to figure out how to connect. This is a very realistic way or portraying a relationship. Why do you think Cuddy is trying as hard as she is?
Edelstein: I think that for a long time she felt connected to House and protected him and admired him, and was able to keep it at a professional level, even though I think they always had chemistry. But after he kissed her, it really confirmed that she wanted to go in that direction. So she has to try. We ran a poll on, and after some 61,000 votes, 84 percent said yes, they'd love to see a full-blown "Huddy" romance.
Edelstein: Nice! [Laughs] I love it! Should I be expecting to take my clothes off soon? Should I be doing exercises? Are you glad that the show dove into this story this season?
Edelstein: I am. I'm glad in terms of what I get to do as an actor, and I do really think these characters should explore it. I don't think it will be a successful relationship — at least not in commercial terms [Chuckles] — but it is one that needs to be explored. And it gives you and Hugh something different to do, instead of medi-babble. It's something complicated and even awkward at times to act out.
Edelstein: Yeah, it's fun. We've been working together for so long, it definitely is fun to get creative in a new way. Let's tease best we can this week's episode. Fox says, cryptically, "Cuddy receives a gift."
Edelstein: Right.... Is it bigger than a breadbox?
Edelstein: Yes, it is. [Pauses] Well, that's debatable. How big is a loaf of bread ...? It's bigger than some breadboxes. All in all, is it a pretty emotional episode?
Edelstein: It's a very emotional episode. There's a really interesting case that comes in that Cuddy becomes fixated by. She's the one that has the House-ian "A-ha" moment that we see him have a lot. It was a really challenging episode, in a great way, with a wonderful guest star (B.K. Cannon). What else is ahead for Cuddy this season?
Edelstein: I don't want to say too much, but she definitely has some new challenges coming her way. She has a lot more on her plate. Is it safe to say her maternal leanings are still to be dealt with?
Edelstein: Yes, they're definitely a part of what's going on — even though they're not handled in a straight line. [Laughs] That's not how [series creator] David Shore tells a story. You mentioned getting undressed before. What went through your mind least spring when you got the script where House fantasizes about Cuddy stripping for him in a schoolgirl outfit? (Watch video here.) Did you balk at all?
Edelstein: I didn't balk, because I thought it was hilarious. I knew the writers were like, "Well, how about this?!" I was like, "OK, I'll take that!" What's hilarious is that while she's bumping and grinding, she's talking to him about work...
Edelstein: Giving a diagnostic, yeah. [Laughs] I choreographed it with Sheila Kelly, who owns a company called The S Factor, who taught me how to use moves that I would do and use my own body and brain and attitude in a way that doesn't appear cheap. But what was terrifying is that Hugh is English, and the last thing I wanted was to see him be horrified. [Laughs] So I asked Hugh and the director if we could have a private rehearsal a few days before, so they could see what I was doing. That way it wouldn't be a surprise for Hugh. I can't believe you were worried about Hugh's sensibilities. Didn't the British give us Benny Hill?
Edelstein: They did, and I just read an article saying that the Brits are the most promiscuous group in the world. But that was a big deal! [Laughs] And just to clear up any doubts/online rumors, that was definitely you. No body double involved.
Edelstein: That was absolutely me!