I got to see the next two episodes of “House” with guest star Amber Tamblyn as new hire Martha M. Masters. She’s a foil to House’s (Hugh Laurie) abrasive antics because she believes in pure honesty and ethics. Tamblyn revealed in a conference call the other day that there really is a Martha M. Masters.
“She’s sort of an homage to my very, very good friend Martha in real life,” Tamblyn said. “I’ve known her my entire life for 25 years since we were babies. I think I know her so well I can put a lot into that. She is a med student and she’s very much like this character. I’m not saying anything out of turn or mean, she’s very brilliant but can be socially awkward. I think that David Shore has still not met the real Martha M. Masters but has written this character so well.”
Masters will have some outrageous tactics of her own. It won’t come from a confident, manipulative place like House, but it sounds like good television. “When [Shore] writes in Martha using her period as a metaphor to get someone to donate a kidney to her sister, the fact that Martha does that, she doesn’t know what is socially acceptable or not. To not look like such a dork, she hasn’t learned that yet. She’s too much in her intellectual brain. She’s not socially grown yet so I think that’ll be a great thing to watch her learn how to do. I love the fact that she is so filled with non sequiturs. That to me is fun, to try to act the fact that when Martha is not talking about scientific or medical things, when she’s just trying to talk to somebody about their life or her life that it just comes out in non sequitur sentences and really bad, poorly judged metaphors. I love her awkwardness, how incredible awkward she is. It just gives the character so much potential to grow.”
TV’s Masters doesn’t like breaking into patient’s houses or lying to them to protect the most effective treatment. That’s a great conflict for House, but Tamblyn is actually on the good doctor’s side.
“I probably would go the House route. I’d probably try to make whatever the best outcome is happen, regardless of the true things. I think truth is objective and I agree that everybody lies.”
Cuddy made House hire Masters to get a woman on the team since 13 left. Maybe there’s a little more to it too. “I think you’re going to see someone who has been so much in the world of academia and knowledge and accumulating knowledge that she really never progresses or matured in a social sense. So you’re going to see someone that has a hard time communicating on the most basic levels, which I think is common for people who are highly intelligent people. I think Martha may even have Asperger’s which we’ve talked about. I know House definitely does. It’s like a young version of him but she believes so strongly in the ethics of truth telling to a point. Just in the same way that he believes that lying can help you find the truth to a fault. So the two of them have really distinctive ideas to get to the same things. You’re going to see her try to come into the real world for the first time. It’s going to be pretty intense for her.”
Perhaps there’s more of a connection between Masters and Cuddy than we realize at first. “I do think she is sort of a young Cuddy, an extremist version of Cuddy in a certain way which is probably why Cuddy brought her on. I think House says that I remind her of herself but Lisa [Edelstein]’s amazing. She’s great. She’s very funny. She’s very health oriented. I’m learning a lot of health things from her. She’s a very interesting woman and incredibly gorgeous. She’s gorgeous on screen but in real life she’s the real deal. Her skin is insanely flawless.”
Most importantly, Masters will continue to annoy House. I can’t wait to see how House retaliates. “It was absolutely delicious. I annoy him and I fascinate him. The two characters both annoy and fascinate each other and I think House probably even sees a little bit of himself in her, except the opposite. He’s usually mean and she’s overly nice. Both make for funny television.”
“House” returns with new episodes Monday, Nov. 8.