House scored the prime post-Super Bowl time slot this year, and to go along with it, the show also scored a big-name guest star: Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino. In "Frozen," Sorvino plays Cate, a psychiatry fellow at Princeton Plainsboro who starts developing symptoms of a mysterious illness while aiding a team exploring the South Pole. Connected to House only via webcam, she and the doctor struggle to save her life.
Sorvino chatted with reporters recently about starring on her favorite TV show, the sparks between Cate and House, and House's underlying good guy. Some excerpts:
- On how she came to do House: "Well, I’m a crazy House fan. It’s my favorite show on TV, and it’s funny because once I got pregnant with my first child, I ended up watching a lot more TV than I had for years and I just became absolutely addicted to House and just thought it was so intelligent and thought Hugh is so fantastic . . . So when I met Hugh at the Golden Globe three years ago, and I was five months pregnant and nominated for Human Trafficking and he was nominated for House and we were all seated at the same table, I just started gushing about how much I loved the show. And I think I might have frightened him. But then a few years later they called and said, 'We know Mira loves the show. We think we have one of the best female characters we’ve ever written on it. Would she like to come and do an episode?' I was really excited to do it, entering the world of my favorite show."
- On being a TV fan in general: "When you’re a film actor, you kind of reserve TV as the last bastion of suspension of disbelief. You get used to the characters and you don’t really think about the way that it’s made. When I watch movies, I’m a lot more critical about the stunts, the edits, the performances. But on TV that’s my little place where, OK, I’m just watching. I’m like everybody else; I’m just a spectator enjoying this."
I've got lots more from Sorvino — including the possibility of a Cate/House romance — so just read more.
- On her character psychoanalyzing House: "She has one line where he says, 'Oh, now you’re going to fix me,' because she’s telling him about some of his issues. And he says, 'And now, I suppose you’re going to tell me I need to be fixed.' She says, 'I never said you needed to be fixed.' So she kind of likes him the way he is with all of his issues, which I think is cool. And everybody else is always trying to change him and they’re always moralizing. I feel like Wilson is always missing the fact that House is actually a good guy — even though he’s a jerk, he’s a good guy anyway."
- On the chemistry between her character and House: "At first I think it’s more founded on a little bit of skepticism on both sides. He doesn’t really believe in psychiatry at all and sort of mocks her for that, doesn’t think of her as a real doctor. She is the only medical professional on site to help the whole Antarctic exploring team down there, so she doesn’t want to use up any of the medical supplies on theoretical diagnoses. . . . So it starts out that way, and then as they start communicating, for some reason, I think he feels sympathy for her when she’s really all alone and has to diagnosis herself constantly and things go from bad to worse. They understand each other. I feel that she gets him in a way that none of the actual people in his world get him. They’re similar in that they’re both loners and strong-willed and there’s this nice little subplot, chemistry, sexual tension. . . . You definitely feel that if they were not separated by thousands of miles and glaciers that maybe something would happen."
- On whether her character might return: "There’s talk of it, but because of the writers' strike, no one knows what’s going to happen. No one knows the plot lines because the writers have been unable to work since then, and they’re obviously the ones who will decide what happens to this character and to House. But I would love it."
Photo courtesy of Fox