This week on Fox’s ‘House‘ (Mondays at 8/7c), ‘Prison Break‘ alumna Sarah Wayne Callies plays the patient of the week, a beautiful woman who just so happens to be in an open marriage. As such, House (Hugh Laurie) – and members of his team – take a particular interest in this otherwise seemingly so-so medical case. Callies told us more about her ‘House’ visit, as well as reflected on ‘Prison Break’s bittersweet ending… and the chance of an unlikely reunion movie.
What can you tell us about the character you’re playing on ‘House’?
What interests me about her is that she is somebody who’s made some very unconventional life decisions, but she’s otherwise a very conventional person.
What symptoms does she arrive with?
Stomach pain – not your typically House-worthy type of complaint! The patient is actually more interesting than the ailment, which isn’t always the case on House.
Who takes most the interest in your character?
Different characters take interest for different reasons. The situation of her being in an open marriage is something that everyone responds to based on their own prejudices, insecurities, beliefs, desires, etcetera. She’s holding up a bit of a mirror. The people it lands the most on are probably Taub, and House. And Thirteen
Does House judge her?
That is what he tends to do, but no, he is excitedly open-minded about it, and talks about wanting to “find the unicorn.” Whether or not he’ll be persuaded [that such a "unicorn" exists] is the story of the episode.
You look convincingly worse for the wear in some of the scene shots. Is it harder being made up to look sickly versus pretty?
It’s not easy to be sitting there looking like you’re on death’s door looking up at Olivia Wilde, who always looks phenomenal and perfect. Thank goodness she’s such a nice person, or it would have been insufferable!
Turning to ‘Prison Break’ and its controversial ending: Did you agree with Wentworth Miller, that Michael needed to die?
A series like ‘Prison Break’ could have ended in a huge variety of ways. Anything that was too Pollyanna, anything like a “Happily ever after” would not have rung very true. Michael was a man with very dirty hands who lived a very complicated life. I don’t think that necessarily means he deserved to die; it means that him living was a complicated enterprise. He went into this with a pretty white knight kind of a project, to save his brother, so looking around at all of the collateral damage would be tricky.
The problem with killing Michael is that it has robbed us of any chance of a reunion movie down the road.
Heaven knows I haven’t heard anything about anything, but I am the absolute last person on ‘Prison Break’ to say that a death means you’ll never see a character again!
Do you ever bump into your former cast mates? I just saw a photo of Went and he’s rocking a full head of hair!
Yeah! I haven’t bumped into people too much, because I’ve been out of the country working a fair amount. But I hear from [William] Fichtner (Mahone) every now and again…. There are certain people you hope you work with again. It’s just a matter of time.
What were you working on out of the country?
I just got back a couple weeks ago from doing a film in Nigeria. That was pretty extraordinary, to be part of a story about Africa and Africans, written and directed and starring Africans. I have a huge amount of admiration for our director and our cast, the crew…. It was well over 100 degrees and we were outside six days a week, working 16 hours. It was one of the most brutal shooting experiences. And I’m leaving in two weeks to do a movie (the horror-thriller ‘Faces in the Crowd’) with Milla Jovovich; that should be pretty fun.
I imagine you’ve been offered other series regular TV roles. Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?
I’m looking for something that would be pretty new. Every now and again people come up with something fresh and cool, which is what ‘Prison Break’ was. A lot of people have different opinions about serialized television, but I liked telling a long story. I’m really proud of ‘Prison Break,’ especially the first season, and I’d like to be a part of something that fresh again.
Watch the Hugh Laurie-directed ‘House’ episode “Lockdown”: