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].
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.