Is House's Cuddy due for a bit of a holiday miracle? Lisa Edelstein shares with TVGuide.com 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.)
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: We ran a poll on TVGuide.com, 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?
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: Let's tease best we can this week's episode. Fox says, cryptically, "Cuddy receives a gift."
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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).
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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!"
TVGuide.com: 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.
TVGuide.com: 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]
TVGuide.com: And just to clear up any doubts/online rumors, that was definitely you. No body double involved.
Edelstein: That was absolutely me!