As Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the Fox hospital drama “House,” Lisa Edelstein was the voice of logic and effectiveness for seven seasons. On Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” she has more recently played the disorderly and sloppy Phoebe, a character who is the complete antithesis of that. “Having consent to be just a little bit awful? That’s incredible.
This season, she appeared in Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star.” The excessive number of catastrophes, the absurdity of the catastrophes, and the parodying of Rob Lowe’s absurdly heroic character, she observed, “clearly they have fun writing on that program.” “I got out of the house in the middle of the pandemic, and it all sounded like fun to me.”
She recounted a story from her undergraduate days in the middle of the 1980s when asked to describe the worst experience in her career, which also included five seasons as the lead of the Bravo series “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.” She was a regular of the New York City club scene at the time and was a resident there.
Then came a Maureen Dowd profile that stated: “Lisa Edelstein, a nice girl from a New Jersey suburb, is explaining how she got to be New York’s reigning Queen of the Night, Girl of the Moment, new Edie Sedgwick, and top “celebutante” of 1986.” Maureen Dowd was a 20-year-old college junior at the time.
I really hadn’t earned the attention I was getting, to start with. People who were cutting-edge performers, up-and-coming designers, established but struggling artists, and others were all around me, doing remarkable things that no one would ever see outside of that environment. Why then should we honor this little lady who has no family, no money, and no sense of style? Beyond my utterly genuine and brimming pleasure for being there, I actually don’t know.
“However, a certain amount of bitterness followed the publishing of the piece, and for a little period, I yearned to vanish into thin air. Even though I wasn’t considering suicide, I was circling the drain pipe. Being unable to maintain control over your own reputation is incredibly unpleasant. People were fabricating ridiculous stories about me that were untrue; nothing was even noteworthy enough to be written down. Maureen was so kind to me. She had the potential to ruin me. On one level, I was secure since she really did write a compassionate piece. However, all of a sudden, I started hearing rumors about me that were completely untrue; I had lost control of my own reputation, and people were more than willing to accept anything was said about me.