They say when the diagnosis sounds serious you should always get a second opinion, and Hollywood.com knows fans of House MD couldn’t be more serious about their insatiable desire to know the prognosis for Season Five of Fox’s medical drama and its fractious physician. So we took office visits with no less than EIGHT members of Princeton-Plainsboro’s elite diagnosticians – Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Jennifer Morrison, Kal Penn, Peter Jacobson, Jesse Spencer and Olivia Wilde – to get the prescription for what’s been ailing the audience: with no new episodes since May, take the season premiere on Sept. 16, stat!
Hugh Laurie (Dr. Gregory House)
On the dimensions of House he’s excited to explore:
Laurie: There are places to go, there are layers to be revealed, situations to put him in that will reveal anxieties and desires that he has. In fact, those are things that we have actually done so far this season. In the first half dozen shows, we see House in some pretty unusual situations. We see him in ways that we haven't seen him before, dealing with his own loss, his loss of Wilson, potentially the loss of a parent and just dealing with his own grief, how grief shows itself in him. There are ways in which it surprises him as well as everyone else, but I feel just so lucky to be driving this beautifully constructed motor car. I'm just thankful that they remember to put gas in the tank, if that analogy makes any sense at all. But it is very much [the writers’] car. They designed it and I drive it where they tell me.
On the prospect that the House-Wilson “bro-mance” – now shattered – has been a surrogate for a real relationship for the doctor:
Laurie: There might be some truth to that, but: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, what is that? Is that really a marriage? Is that a love affair? It's part of what the film is, I suppose, an exploration of the nature of that relationship. There is a kind of intimacy, I suppose, between those two characters. There is a knowledge of each other, a sharing that has a sort of marital aspect to it. At the same time we're definitely not similar. We're complimentary. House wears t-shirts and sneakers and Wilson has a pocket protector for his pens, to put it at its most basic level. We're very different characters, but maybe there's an aspect to that.
On the possibility that, despite his harsh streak, House truly only wants to see his colleagues succeed:
Laurie: For all his enormous cruelty that he's shown in all sorts of situations, you're absolutely right, he's wanted to test people and wanted to put them in very difficult situations, but he's never actually wanted people to fail. I think that's true. Maybe he's a big old softy and wants nothing but the best for his children.
On his recent decision to re-up for several more seasons of the show:
Laurie: I certainly feel very, very blessed to be doing what I'm doing, playing this character which is a character that I still am fascinated by and love, I would say. Actually, I think that's part of an actor's job, to love the character that you play, in a way. I love the show, the people I'm working with – I'd be foolish not to go as far as the show goes, to go the distance with the show. If that's where it takes us then that's where it takes us. Then it may not. It might all end in a week's time, but that's partly me. I'm always thinking that way. I mean, I think this occurs in a woman’s life. It’s an enormous thing to happen, you know, your husband is cheating on you and what do you do and who are your allies and who comes to your aid? And all these things are, I think, relevant and equally true now, so it’s just a different observation, different observations on an age-old trouble.