Robert Sean Leonard: Oh, no, it's my worst nightmare. Are you kidding? When I read this pilot, I was going to -- the other pilot I was considering was Numbers, when I first got out here five years ago, and I read Numbers and thought, "Well, this is way too many scenes. It's way too hard, and I'm not interested." And then I read House, and Wilson was in about three scenes a show, and I thought, this is perfect. You know, I'm the Carlton the Doorman of my show. I'm not the most ambitious guy. I like playing the best friend. It's good to be the lead of a show for a week, but I wouldn't spread it all around too much. I like my role the way it is.
How is Wilson different in this episode?
RSL: Well, he's not different; he's just examined more. You see my assistant you've never met. You see the oncology floor, you see where I work. My office next to House's is just my office, so there's a whole floor where I work in oncology. I have my own patients, my own assistant, my own day that doesn't include House, so you basically follow Wilson around for a few days and see what his life is like.
And this case hits home for him?
RSL: Oh, yeah, Josh Malina, this great guy that was on West Wing, is the patient, and he's an old friend of mine, and he gets into some trouble and I have some moral decisions to make throughout the show, and yep, it's a personal case for me.
Did you have any input regarding which movies would be enshrined on the Wilson wall?
RSL: I didn't at first. It was originally Touch of Evil and Vertigo, I think, were behind me. Then we were having a press conference and somebody mentioned that, and I said, "You know, I don't have any say. I walked on the set and Vertigo and Touch of Evil were up there, and I think they're fine movies, and that's cool." The news reporter said, "Well, what movie would you want if you could pick?" and I said, "Oh, I don't know. If I walked into an oncologist's office and Ordinary People was on the wall, I'd feel very good. I'd like that. I'd like the guy who had that on his wall." My producer was there, Katie, and the next day she said, "Were you serious about Ordinary People?" and I said, "Yeah, it's my favorite movie. Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore, Redford's directorial debut," and she said, "Let's see what we can do." We had to get permission from every actor except Judd Hirsch, because they all appear on the poster.
What does that say about Wilson?
RSL: Well, I think it says a lot. I think that movie, to me, is a fascinating study of human relations and familial relations and human interaction, and the complexity of the difficulty of facing what's going on inside you and admitting it and letting it inform your relations with other people. I don't know. I think if you deal with death every day, and people who get the news of their own death; you know, it's not like plastic surgery. It's a different kind of life, day to day.
If you knew somebody like House in real life, would you be his friend?
RSL: Well, it's tricky. Probably not. Maybe when I was 20, but at 40, no. I think House is an incredibly intriguing guy -- I mean the character -- he's incredibly funny. He's, I imagine, great fun to be around; I mean, he's extremely smart, self-deprecating, sarcastic; what's not to like? The only thing is he's self-involved and has agendas often, and he gets you in trouble and screws you over sometimes. I think when you're 20 that doesn't matter so much. At 40, I don't know. I have a wife, a daughter and two dogs; I hardly have time for people I like, so I don't know if, myself, I would hang out with him very much, or be close.
But Wilson is a very strange man. People seem to overlook this. They seem to think he's this normal, teddy bear of a guy. He's very strange. He has three ex-wives. He lives alone-- well, now he lives with House. He deals with death every day. He has a schizophrenic homeless brother. God only knows what his parents are like. I think he's a really strange, dark guy. That's my take on him.
When House finally ends, do you think you would maybe be looking for TV, or --
Not in a million years. I am so-- let me tell you, I've been very lucky. I started on stage in New York, and that's all I wanted to do. I had no desire to be-- I didn't know. I didn't ever think I would make a movie. I didn't want to. I didn't dream, it wasn't a big thing I wanted to do. I wanted to do stage, and be in New York. I did Dead Poet's Society, and now I'm doing House, which is great, because the money is fantastic, and I have a family now. Also, it's an incredibly good gig. It's a very good show, and I'm proud of it, and I like the writing a lot. I like the actors, and I got very lucky. But, I'm not a film actor. I don't enjoy getting up at four in the morning. I don't like working 15 hours. I'm very lazy, and I don't have a publicist. I'm not a very ambitious guy. I'm ambitious when I have a role to play, you know, being good at it, but I'm not career ambitious.
So, no, I have a daughter, and I'm so looking forward to skate keys and homework and driving her to soccer and being back in New Jersey, and just being home; and now House, financially, has given me the position to do that.
Is there anyone in particular you'd love to see guest star on your show?
RSL: Well, I want Julie Christie to do the show, but that's mostly because I think we should get married. There have been guests on the show that I've never met. James Earl Jones would be one of them, unfortunately. My character rarely interacts with the guests, so I'm probably the last guy to ask that question of.
Are we going to see Wilson finally move forward? He's coped with Amber's death, but he hasn't really gotten out there, and he's living with House.
RSL: Well, I don't know. You know, when you say, 'move forward', does that mean a wife and a house or a child? For some people that is forward, but I don't think it is for everybody. I don't know if Wilson is cut out for that. I just don't see Wilson as the fuzzy dad in a suburban household. I just don't. For him, I think moving forward is getting a bagel and going to work, so for him I'm not sure what moving forward would really mean.
There are a lot of Huddy fans out there, but what do you think about a possible Wilson and Cuddy hookup?
RSL: I think that wouldn't work. The problem with all of this speculation to me is, who is Wilson? People seem to know who Cuddy is, and people seem to know who House is, but I get very different descriptions of who Wilson is from people. I think people project on him a lot. I think they, I don't know, maybe this episode next week will help a little bit, but I think Wilson is a very weird guy. I think he's dark. I think he's very lonely. Hugh and I have a joke of one day that I'll be sick in the hospital dying of something, and basically I send him on a mission to get all the porn out of my house that's been hidden in the basement, and he comes back with like boxes and boxes of porn, and I look up and say, "Where's the rest? Where's the German stuff?" That's my joke with Wilson. I think he's a dark guy.
So, in my mind, when I think about him with Cuddy, it doesn't work; but I think in general people have a view of him that he's kind of warm and fuzzy, and he'd be kind of an easy guy for Cuddy to boss around, and that might actually be the relationship. I don't think Wilson would stand it very long. I think he's a strange man.
Wilson airs tonight at 8/7C on Fox. Discuss this episode in our forums, and check back tomorrow for the recaplet!
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