Lisa Edelstein’s guide to marrying home and career
When Lisa Edelstein landed the lead role in the Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce there was one fly in the ointment — new husband Robert Russell.
Edelstein, best known as Dr Lisa Cuddy on medical drama House, plays self-help author Abby McCarthy in the raunchy US dramedy.
Abby is living the single life after splitting from long-time husband Jake (Paul Adelstein). That means plenty of dating, nudity and bedroom scenes.
Fair to say Russell, an artist, wasn’t wild about the thought of seeing his new wife cavorting with other men on screen in front of millions of TV viewers.
“I got married the day before I started this job to a man who is not in the industry,” Edelstein says. “For him it was very challenging to understand what those (sex) scenes are, what it means for me to be doing those scenes.
“On a personal level there were a lot of conversations around what it is like. I had never really had to think about it before because I was never married. I was in relationships but not like the one that I have with my husband, who is the only man I ever wanted to marry. That was complicated.”
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce will remind viewers of Sex and the City. After the split, Abby hooks up with a posse of other recently single women including Lyla (Janeane Garofalo) and Jo (Alanna Ubach).
Edelstein made an early mark in comedy with appearances on The Larry Sanders Show and Seinfeld. She switched to drama with a ground breaking role as lesbian Rhonda Roth in Relativity, a high-priced call girl on The West Wing, and a transgender woman on Ally McBeal.
But it was Cuddy, opposite Hugh Laurie as Dr Gregory House, that cemented Edelstein’s fame. She left the series amid rumours of pay cuts at the end of season 7.
“I didn’t expect to leave House at the end of season 7,” Edelstein says. “It got to a place where I literally in good conscience couldn’t go back. The choice was made for me by circumstances.”
The pay-off has been Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, which is Edelstein’s first major lead role in a TV series.
“The fact that at 48 years old I was going to be the lead of a sexy romantic dramedy was a miracle,” Edelstein says.
“That was something that never would have happened when I started in the business. It is not because I look special. It is because the stories of women are being told in a way they haven’t been told before.”
THE GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO DIVORCE, SEASONS ONE AND TWO, PRESTO, FROM TODAY