We chat with ''House'' star Sela Ward -- The former ''Once and Again'' star also talks about her three-year absence from series TV, watching Nickelodeon, and strange illnesses

Dr. House, meet your match. After a three-year absence from series TV, two-time Emmy winner Sela Ward checks into Fox’s hit drama House on May 17 as a former flame of Hugh Laurie’s grouchy doc. Though attached for only two episodes this season and seven next fall, the erstwhile Once and Again star promises that secrets will spill, passion reignite, and, of course, freaky diseases abound.

Has it been tough getting back into the swing of series TV? It reminds me of the reasons I don’t want to sign a six-year contract. I look at poor Hugh, who’s just so fried. But I’m loving working in L.A. again. I get to go home and sleep in my own bed.

And playing house with House? Well, [my character, Stacy] was the love of his life, and he was the love of her life, so you find yourself — and I definitely find myself — still rooting for them to be together. Because they’re equally matched, there’s a lot of sexual tension between the two of them. And it’s painful!

Were you a fan of the show? No, I don’t watch TV unless it’s on Nickelodeon or Disney — with two kids, I never have the time. But the producers sent me the first three episodes, and I thought, any show that has Massive Attack as their theme song has got to be pretty good.

Some strange illnesses turn up on House. Have you had any undiagnosable diseases? No, but my mother was sick for nine years, so I’ve spent more time around hospitals than I care to. I also feel at home, in a strange way. I think I should have been a doctor, but my mother took my chemistry set away from me in fifth grade just when I was learning all the elements.

Really? That’s so unparent-like. She went to some PTA meeting where they said it was dangerous, and I might blow something up. But if she hadn’t, you wouldn’t be talking to me now.