Amber Tamblyn Talks ‘House’ Role & Working On The Set

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am,

House fans are ecstatic that their favorite series is finally returning from its brief hiatus. Fortunately, when the series returns, there will be a wonderful, new addition to the cast.

Complimenting House’s team, all while annoying the can-wielding diagnostician, will be Amber Tamblyn playing the literal genius med student Martha Masters. Tamblyn will be a reoccurring character throughout the season. While no specific number of episodes have been revealed, she is still currently filming the series as of this week.

Today, Tamblyn participated in a conference call to discuss her upcoming role in the series, where she revealed that the character of Martha Masters is actually based off of her best friend, who just happens to be a genius med student. Not only that, but Tamblyn also discussed her first day on the set of House (joining a series that has an extremely close-knit cast), and what viewers can expect to see from her character when two geniuses, Martha and House, have it out in Princeton Plainsboro.

If you happened to glance at the extremely chaotic, yet informative You Ask, We Answer: House Season 7 ‘Office Politics’ & ‘A Pox On Our House’ feature, you’ll know how much I truly enjoyed Amber Tamblyn guest starring on the show. Although, after an extremely nice conversation with Fox and House executive producer Greg Yaitanes, I decided to stop “discussing” just how much I enjoyed her episodes.

While you won’t be able to see Tamblyn’s premiere until next Monday, her comments below, combined with our previous feature about the series, are more than enough to hold you over. If not, just take some Interferon and everything will be ok.

On what research she did for the show:

I didn’t do any medical research. I did episode by episode research. So, if something was involving Small Pox, then I would look that up. If there was a specific word that I didn’t know – which was 90% of the words – I would look up that and see what it meant. As far as the on-set training; when you’re trying to do something like draw blood or I.V.’s, there’s a woman there, who is incredible. She used to be a nurse for many, many years and she does all the teaching. That’s the training. There was no reading anything beforehand.

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How Martha Masters came to be and how the character is based on her real-life best friend:

The character of Martha Masters was originally just an idea. David Shore and Katy Jacobs had come to me and said, “Hey, we want to write a character for you. Are you interested?” I said, “Yes!” Then, it wasn’t until I signed on to do a bunch of episodes that I finally got to see the script. It was a very personal thing to me because my character is based on my real-life best friend, who is a med student and whose real name is Martha Masters. In fact, they made her sign a release that she wouldn’t sue Fox. It’s pretty hilarious.

She is a med student and she’s very much like this character. I’m not saying anything out-of-turn or mean about her, but she’s incredibly brilliant, but sometimes she can be very socially awkward. So, I think the fact that David Shore still has never met the real Martha Masters and has written this character so much like her is just amazing.

What made joining House so appealing:

The main thing was, of course, Hugh Laurie. I’ve never seen the show before, but as soon as they came to me and said that they wanted to write something for me, I went “I don’t know if I want to do a medical show.” Then, I started asked my friends and they all went, “Are you in idiot, it’s not a medical show. Have you ever seen it?” I went, “No.” I felt very stupid for ever thinking that.

So, I rented a bunch of the seasons and was really blown away. It’s not just Hugh, but it is him. It’s the idea that you learn so much about these doctors and these characters not through long monologues about their backstory or through their life or what they’ve been through. You learn about them based on how they’re tested in their work environment. So, you put them in certain environment and it creates a certain type of person and that’s how you learn who they are. To me, I think that’s incredibly interesting and very smart writing. I think that’s a great way to create a character. So, I felt like I was in good hands to have a character written for me by David Shore.

What the first day working on the set was like:

The first day was a lot of fun. We had a lot of the diagnosis dialogue where we’re sitting around the office and throw ideas around. It’s a lot of dialogue and can be really difficult. That was my first couple of days, actually. But, it was really fun and sitting next to everybody really closely, you get to know them. It was great, it was almost too easy. I wish I had some crazy story about how mean someone was, but it’s nothing like that.

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What it’s like joining a currently running series:

I wish I had some crazy story about how mean Jesse Spencer was to me or something, but I just fell right into it naturally. Maybe they were even relieved because I can imagine being such a well-oiled machine like that and you have someone come it and possibly slow it down. It can be frustrating, I don’t know. We just sort of really clicked instantly, all of us.

I’ve always preferred working with a large group of guys… I think it’s because I don’t have any brothers and I talk like a dude and I cuss alot. It’s really fun because I get to play around with them and it’s really enjoyable.

Continue to hints about Martha’s story arch…

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  1. The whole super I.Q , genius thing is a big turn off for me .The I know every thing plus the ethic part is just a boring combination .Why didn’t they write her as a regular person joining House’s team to learn how to diagnose cases ? Wasn’t that the point of joining the diagnostic team in the first place ?It was what made the interaction between House & his team during diagnostic interesting .
    If she is a medical genius like House what does that leave for the rest of the team now really ? become listenners to the two of them bouncing back ideas & do what she refuses to do ? Lie to patients & break into their homes?
    And what is with the young version of House & Cudy thing ? They better not make her their secret daughter from a past one night stand between them & cudy decided to introduce her to House now because he is less insane. Because if so , I would so regret the day I started watching the show .

    If she is a medical genius like House , then what does that leave for the rest of the team really ?become Listeners to the two geniuses bouncing back ideas & doing the things she refuses to do, lie to patients & break into their homes?
    And what is with the whole young version of cudy & house thing ? They better not making her their secret daughter from a past one night stand between them & cudy decided it’s time to introduce her to him because he is less insane now , because if so I would so regret the day I started watching the show.

  2. I’ll wait and see what she adds to the show, but personally I think there are enough cast members already and more to learn about them. On the other hand, if it means less Huddy, I am all for it!

  3. Late post here, but seeing tonight’s episode and how it looks like the end for her character, I wish she were a permanent character!!! She’s my favorite next to House.

  4. She all but ruined the show for me, which is saying a lot, because it’s just about the only TV show I watch and enjoy.