"You Get To Basically Be An Ass On Paper And Channel Your Twelve-Year-Old Self"
SM: How does that work, exactly? Do you start writing an episode with a disease you want to use and then build everything around that, or do you have the episode you want and then try to find a disease that'll fit in it?
GL: Russel and I, we've sort of done every possible version of constructing a story. The very first one we wrote was the Death Row episode, "Acceptance," and the idea was, "Would you bother treating someone who was on Death Row?" And we worked from there. That, to me, was just an intriguing question. And of course House is going to [treat him] because [House is] intrigued by the mystery, so he's gonna do it. But the drama would come in how well the doctors around him reacted to having to treat a four-time murderer. And then Russel had the idea for "Skin Deep," and that idea was the disease. Russel's first notion on that was, "What if there was a girl who has testicular cancer?" So we started with the disease on that one and then worked backward. And this year, Russ just wanted to somehow combine The X-Files with House, and then the disease came a bit later. [On] that one, we had to rely quite heavily on Dr. Foster, and a little pitch-in from Larry Kaplow, on the disease in kinda making that whole thing work medically to be able to realize this UFO dream.
SM: I think it worked.
GL: Cool. Yeah, it was fun. And Dan Sackheim directed the episode, and he was heavily involved back on The X-Files, so that was sort of an extra treat -- to have Dan directing that episode. I was really happy with it, I thought it came out really well.
SM: Well, any time you have something being inserted into someone's eye, you know it will be an effective episode.
GL: That was incredible. You film it -- here's a little peek behind the curtain -- there's no needle there at all when you film it. And then the CGI, our computer techs, put in this amazing effect where, oh my god.
SM: So I know you've been on the set since, like, 6 in the morning today. Are all the days really long like that?
GL: The days are long; that's just the beast of television. You know, the harder task than coming up with a great script every eight days is actually filming one every eight days. So you kind of use every minute you can that's humanly possible and, you know, the crew -- I have the utmost respect for [them], just the amount of hours they put in, because I know at the end of a single episode, I'm completely exhausted and feel like I need to hibernate, and our crew just keeps going on to the next one, on to the next one, and they're just amazing.