Lisa Edelstein, <EM>House</EM> Lisa Edelstein, House

You couldn't ask for a better foil for the crabby, compelling leading man on House (Tuesday at 9 pm/ET, Fox) than his boss. Cuddy doesn't take House's nonsense and she knows how to keep him in check — more or less. Plus, the sizzling chemistry between Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein keeps the dialogue fresh enough to warrant a slap on the cheek. Edelstein talked about Cuddy's sex life, her relationship with House and those racy outfits she loves to wear. House has been so busy with his candidates, we haven't gotten as much of Cuddy lately. Will we see more of her soon?
Lisa Edelstein: It's still pretty much focused on the new team, and it just starts becoming more of the regular construction of the episodes after Episode 9 [airing Nov. 27]. But then... everyone went on strike, so we've only got up till Episode 12 in the can, so Cuddy won't be sleeping with House unless we get the writers back. So I'm out there picketing. It would be quite something if the two of them got it on!
Edelstein: I'm all for Cuddy having sex sometime this season, so honk if you want to see my boobs. It's been hinted in the past that there's some kind of sordid history between Cuddy and House. Is there?
Edelstein: I would absolutely love it. They don't really tell me anything — they don't want me to get attached to any ideas that might be floating around the writers' room. Yes, there have been ideas tossed around — but I have no idea what actually will or will not happen. The banter between the two of them is one of the best things about the show.
Edelstein: I think so, too — it's a really complicated, adult relationship. These are people who have very full lives and lots of responsibilities that perhaps conflict with their feelings for each other. Hugh Laurie seems like a pretty irreverent guy himself — do you two have a similar rapport when the cameras are off?
Edelstein: We are an entire cast and writing crew of smarty-pants. So the conversations that go on when the cameras aren't rolling are hilarious, and usually definitely not for publication. It is a process of great editing down to get that humor on the air without getting sued. Cuddy is not your typical hospital administrator. For one thing, she wears some pretty tight-fitting, low-cut outfits. Which you look great in — but do you think it's inappropriate for her position?
Edelstein: Thank you. She doesn't care what people say — she doesn't care how many fans of the show don't like her outfits. Listen, it's actually not reality. She's a television character, and I'm an actress playing a hospital administrator, and I don't want to be in frumpy clothes. I want to be a hot hospital administrator. She's fascinating: so strong and authoritative, yet so flawed....
Edelstein: That is what's fun — what's been great about playing this character now for several years is that the complexity becomes more and more real, and she becomes more and more of a real person. It's really exciting. A couple of week ago, House and Cuddy were having one of their pissing matches and he threatened to replace her birth control pills with placebos. Does that mean Cuddy is no longer trying to have a baby?
Edelstein: I asked that question, too! But I didn't get an answer; I think they just liked the line. Somebody said that sometimes when women have a lot of miscarriages, they go on the pill to try to regulate their ovulation. Cuddy's surrounded by all these handsome, available men. Do you think anything could happen between her and Wilson, or Foreman, or Chase?
Edelstein: And now there's more! There's more for her to choose from. Something's got to happen. But first we have to get the writers back. The scenes between Chase and Cameron have been pretty intense this season. Has there been any awkwardness on set between Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer since their engagement ended?
Edelstein: They have not had any weirdness on set; they've always been incredibly professional. I never even noticed their love affair on set — I mean, I knew they were having one, but.... You had some memorable, smaller roles on shows like SportsNight and The West Wing. How is it having a leading role on such a huge hit show?
Edelstein: It's been an incredible experience. I've loved every second of it and I'm so sad that we're going on strike, because I really love my job. I'm working with a group of people that I couldn't have asked for better. There's no weird drama, there's no crazy egos, there's nothing to complain about. I'm living the dream. What's your take on the issues that are on the table with the strike?
Edelstein: I'm an artist in this industry, and the problems the writers are facing right now are the exact same problems the directors and actors will have to deal with in June. It's really important we be as supportive as we can; we have to go to work, because we'll get sued if we don't show up, but when I'm not working, I'm on the picket line. No one wants this strike. Probably the studios already know how much they're willing to pay, but they want to make everyone crawl across glass naked for it.

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