Lisa Edel­stein’s guide to mar­ry­ing home and ca­reer

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - BY COLIN VICK­ERY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

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

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