It took ’em long enough, but I suspect it’s gonna prove worth the wait: House‘s keepers are giving Lisa Edelstein’s Cuddy her own Very Special Episode, to air on Feb. 8. (That’s two weeks before my birthday. Coincidence? I think not.) And in honor of, well, the honor, I got her on the horn yesterday to discuss exposing more than her character’s emotions (nudity!), her unpopular love interest (Lucas!), the future of Huddy (her fingers are crossed!), and more. As always, on screen and off, she didn’t disappoint. (Warning: Portions of the following Q&A are NSFW.)
As I understand it, this episode on Feb. 8 is like a day in the life of Cuddy, right?
LISA EDELSTEIN: Yes. What’s interesting about it is it lets you know what her world is like when you don’t see her. When House does what he does. You see everything she has to deal with, and you get a better understanding of where she’s coming from.
You’ve been featured heavily in House episodes before. What’s different about this one?
EDELSTEIN: Every other line [of dialogue] is mine. [Laughs]
You’re into the second day of shooting the episode. Tired yet?
EDELSTEIN: It’s exhausting, but [big episodes like this don’t happen] that often so I can really enjoy it. [Laughs] It’s so much fun. I love my job. It’s also fun because I get to participate a little bit more in the episode in terms of where my character’s coming from, what’s going on, if there’s a dialogue thing that I have an issue with… I get to creatively participate a little more.
How did you find out this big episode was coming your way?
EDELSTEIN: I found out a couple weeks ago. They told me, “Big Cuddy episode coming up!” And I went, “Okay!,” because I don’t always know what that means. Sometimes that means I have four scenes. [Laughs] Or I have to take my clothes off.
Or you’re making out with Hugh Laurie.
EDELSTEIN: [Laughs] Actually, in this one I kind of do all of it. There’s some sexual activity, there’s some partial nudity… The writer, Tommy Moran, said he couldn’t imagine writing an episode without having me take a shower.
Unfortunately for Huddy fans, I hear it’s Lucas, not House, you’re taking a shower with.
EDELSTEIN: You know, we all have to go through things that we have to go through in life. And I think Cuddy is trying to explore having a relationship that would be considered normal. I myself have done this. It doesn’t work. But you have to try. I don’t know what their future plans are for Cuddy and Lucas, but I know from my own experience that when you have really bad taste in men, sometimes you just go, “Oh, Okay, this is the guy that somebody else would date. So I’m going to see how that flies.”
Is there anything else drawing her to Lucas?
EDELSTEIN: He’s well hung.
And this is why I love interviewing you
EDELSTEIN: He’s really well hung. [Laughs]
But that can only last so long. The novelty is going to wear off.
EDELSTEIN: It’s true. The novelty wears off. And then you get a little vaginal rejuvenation and you move on. [Laughs] Thank God we’re not doing this interview on camera.
Has the cast been treating you differently this week? Are they fetching coffee for you?
EDELSTEIN: I make them hand-wash my underwear in the morning. I don’t have time to do it myself — I have lines [to memorize], people! No, Hugh has been wonderful. He left me a bouquet of flowers and a congratulations note. And one of our producers, Greg Yaitanes, did the same. My trailer looks like it’s opening night. It was really sweet. It made me feel really good. I’m really excited about it. I love that they’re giving me the opportunity to play like this and just kind of flex my muscles a little bit.
You’re getting a taste of the kind of workload Hugh has to endure every week.
EDELSTEIN: I never doubted what Hugh was going through every week. You get up at 4 a.m. on Monday, you work 14 hours every day, and you have no life basically. But it’s a hell of a lot better than working in a coal mine. I don’t think Hugh ever forgets his good fortune, and I certainly don’t.
It’s time now for the requisite Huddy question. Is there any hope for them?
EDELSTEIN: Their timing just really sucks. As soon as he was emotionally prepared to give [a relationship] a shot, she kind of gave up. But I’m rooting for them.
When the day comes that they actually make a go of it, what else will we have to talk about?
EDELSTEIN: It’s like losing your virginity. After that, you’re just dirty. [Laughs] You’re just dirty and used.
Image Credit: Chris Haston/Fox