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.
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?
Her husband has some dubious medical thing that nobody can figure out, so she goes to House.

TV Guide: So what was their story?
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?
[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!
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?
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.
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.