Interview With House Actors Odette Annable and Charlyne Yi

Mimi ON Oct 23, 2012 AT 3:11 pm

With the 8th and final season of House having just launched on DVD, we have an interview with the stylish, brainy and beautiful Dr. Jessica Adams, played by Odette Annable and the driven yet introverted Dr. Chi Park, played by Charlyne Yi, for your reading pleasure.

Interview With House Actors Odette Annable and Charlyne Yi

Could you begin by talking a little bit about your characters and what we can look forward to this season?

Odette Annable: Yes. I play Dr. Jessica Adams and you meet her in the first episode during the season premiere, and she’s a prison doctor. That’s how she meets House. She comes from a very wealthy family and she went to one of the best medical schools, but she works at the prison, so that says a lot about her character and who she is as a person. I like to say she that she is an overachiever with a cause. She loves to help people. She’s very loyal and idealistic and loves medicine, she’s very, very passionate, very intelligent, a very interesting character. And when she meets House in prison, she obviously knows that he used to practice medicine, but she is very intrigued, just like he is, by the puzzle, the discovery, of the whole diagnosis, and she is revived by him, because she been working at the prison for months, but when House comes along, he triggers something in her. As far as where she’s going this season, I’m sort of going along on the ride with the audience. We get scripts three or four days before shooting so I’m sort of seeing how it will unfold with the audience, which is also very exciting.

Charlyne Yi: My character is Dr. Park and I am so bad at describing my character. I guess she doesn’t know how to deal with her emotions. I like to imagine that there’s a little Joe Pesci in her, which is just like, “Oh, come on!” She is very intelligent but she doesn’t know how to express her feelings so she suppresses the Joe Pesci in her, and sometimes, like when someone grabs my behind, I lash out on them, so I think my character is struggling with who she is, and she’s finally trying to escape from her parents’ pressure. She lives with her parents. She’s trying to become an adult, I think.

How are you finding it dealing with the medical world? The medical experience and terminology is very complex. How do you deal with the difficult words?

Charlyne Yi: I don’t know. I’m learning. As soon as I think I get it, the camera is on and I don’t have it, just mush comes out of my mouth, I don’t know. How do you deal with it?

Odette Annable: I have to deal with the [complex words] on a daily basis. It’s difficult, it’s very challenging because you’re trying to make this character seem as if it’s just a part of her vocabulary, it’s like saying bologna sandwich, but you’re saying a crazy medical term. So yeah, it’s very tricky and there is also a lot of things that come into play. You’ve got a camera in front of you, there’s the pressure of getting that line out and there’s other actors you have to work with, so that you don’t want to hold anybody back, but it’s very tricky and it’s been a process. I think we’re learning.

We have been told that each script does come with a pronunciation guide, right?

 Odette Annable: It does, and we have medical advisers and people watching us at all times to make sure we say these terms correctly and know what we’re saying.

What is the most complicated word that you remember?

Odette Annable: Oh, you are killing me, but I guess what I can say is pheochromocytoma. There we go.

We like the dynamic between these two new female characters, where Dr Adams tries to give Dr Park things, and she resists. How much of your characters do you bring into it personally and how much of it is written?

Odette Annable: It’s so funny you say this. We were just having lunch together today and I actually offered to pay – not even thinking – and Charlyne, she looked at me like I was crazy. I thought, “Oh my God, we are our characters.” I guess you can’t help but to bring a little bit of yourself in, and it just so happened that maybe we are a little more like our characters than we realise – which is a little terrifying. I guess the answer is yes, there’s a little bit. I mean for me I guess we realised that today.

Charlyne Yi: I don’t live with my parents.

But your character does spar with Odette’s a lot it seems.

Charlyne Yi: I like Odette a lot, but my character is very threatened by hers, and very jealous.

How about your hair, Charlyne? Was it designed into your character or did you choose it yourself?

Charlyne Yi: I shaved my head last year and it grew back out. I cut it myself. They were like, “What happened to your hair?” then they trimmed it a bunch. They cleaned it up.

Odette, you’ve done comedy with Breaking In this year, and now drama, so what’s the big difference to you? And will you ever go back to Brothers & Sisters now you have two shows on the go?

Odette Annable: Comedy is the timing. It’s so much different to drama for me. The timing is so much more difficult. It’s something that I had never gone full-force to try, and it’s something that I am really pushing myself to do. You don’t know a better feeling that when you hit a joke, but when you bomb… you are just like… urgh. You don’t get that as much with drama. Drama is more structured, and you know what you are doing and know what you are getting into. Comedy is more ever-changing – you don’t know what you are getting into. But I love to do drama. And yes, if <Brothers & Sisters> wants me back, absolutely! Getting to work with Dave [Annable – her husband] was such a pleasure.

It must be an advantage to have a husband in the industry when you are doing two shows at once?

Odette Annable: Yeah, it’s nice. I use that to my advantage. It’s nice to have my husband be in the same business because he understands all the hours, he understands how hard we work. It so much easier when you can work the scene and prepare before you go on set, so he is always happy to help me and we work together in that way. And at the end of a long day, I just want to be a girly-girl, just want to get a massage, play with my dogs and be a wife. It’s nice to be able to leave work at work and go home and have your personal life, and I feel that’s the only way you can stay sane in this business because work can consume you, and it can consume every single part of your day, especially if you have a bad scene or you don’t feel good about your day, it can just get into your head, so it’s important to have some time for yourself, and go home and veg out.

Are you going to have a love interest in this show?

Odette Annable: That is a big question. I have no idea if they are going to have a love interest for me. As for now, I think they are developing my character and we’re still finding her, and they are giving some really great back-story on her, so when everything is rolling and the whole team are back together, you really know who Adams is, and you can get the feel of the ‘new’ team and how that works together. But no romantic interest as of yet.

What is the best medical show on television in your opinion?

Charlyne Yi: I believe we’re the best medical show on TV.

Did you ladies actually watch the show before you came on to it?

Odette Annable: Good question… Fine, turn to me, I’m guilt-free, yes…

We want to know if you were a fan of the show. Did you watch it before you got the part?

Odette Annable: Yes, I was 100% a fan of the show. Once my deal closed and I knew that I was going to be doing the show, I maniacally watched season after season just to prepare myself and all that, but it’s such a well-written show. I’m not just saying this, but I was such a fan and it’s so surreal that I’m here, that I’m playing a doctor on <House>, and playing against you [Charlyne] and all these wonderful actors so, yeah, absolutely.

Charlyne Yi: I don’t have a TV.

Odette Annable: I’ll give you a TV.

What else do you like to watch on TV? Do you even have time?

Odette Annable: I love to watch TV. Unfortunately I don’t have much time to watch it, but I definitely watch Modern Family, I love Modern Family. That’s one of the only comedies I watch. And I watch Jersey Shore, all the time. That’s such a guilty pleasure. I’m not ashamed. But if I want to get a little deeper, I watch Intervention or Hoarders, those are always interesting. Or Planet Earth. I love those. It’s a little bit of a mix for me.

Finally, I was wondering if you have thought about suggesting  just amputating House’s leg?

Charlyne Yi: Robot leg. That would be good.

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