Back when Teri Hatcher was making doe eyes at Howie Long in RadioShack spots, Sela Ward was TV's go-to sexy, mature woman: a fortysomething mom romancing a local hunk (Billy Campbell) in Once and Again. Now Ward, 48, makes a long-overdue return to TV on House, guest-starring in the final two episodes and the first episode of Season 2.
TV Guide: How did you feel when you were first offered a role on House?
Sela Ward:
The last thing I wanted to do was another hourlong show. I am so over that schedule. I'd never get to see my kids [ages 11 and 6].

TV Guide: But then you saw tapes of the show.
Ward:
It scares the pants off you! I was watching in the bathtub with my husband and saying, "I can't look now." I thought it would be fun to be a part of.

TV Guide: You play a lawyer who used to date House (Hugh Laurie). What's she doing back in his life?
Ward:
Her husband has some dubious medical thing that nobody can figure out, so she goes to House.

TV Guide: So what was their story?
Ward:
I was his girlfriend, an attorney at the hospital, five years earlier.

TV Guide: It's hard to imagine House dating anyone, ever. Was theirs an odd coupling?
Ward:
[Big laugh] He's not a warm and fuzzy guy. I decided that they must have had really great sex.

TV Guide: Women find House sexy. Please explain!
Ward:
He's idiosyncratic, a curmudgeon, not playing by the rules, a maverick. And there is something very sexy about that.

TV Guide: How about Hugh Laurie?
Ward:
He's a very manly man. There is a mysteriousness about him. He has a formidable essence. Meet him for 10 minutes and that's what you feel.

TV Guide: So House/Hugh becoming a sex symbol makes perfect sense to you.
Ward:
It doesn't surprise me at all. I bet every woman feels like they could heal the wounded little boy inside of him.


House airs Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET on Fox.