Exclusive Interview: Omar Epps and Jennifer Morrison, from ‘House’
We got the opportunity to interview House stars Omar Epps and Jennifer Morrison in late September as part of the FOX Fall TV press junket. Their characters, Cameron and Foreman, had gone through a tumultuous end of season three that saw both of them leave their respective posts under House. However, as fans would start a riot if neither came back, both actors have returned to the show. Epps was a childhood favorite of mine, so let’s be clear that interviewing the man in person was a bit nerve-wracking. Not to mention, Jennifer Morrison is quite stunning in person, which was bit distracting. Both were exceedingly kind and generous, though. The interview touches on the changes both of their characters went through in the off-season, how they’ve dealt with the influx of new characters, and what it’s like to be on one of the biggest shows on TV.
Below you will find the full transcript and mp3 audio of the interview.
So what’s it like not being in a House episode, is that weird for you?
Omar: Haven’t seen it yet. Being that I know I’ll be back, it’s kind of…
Jennifer: Yeah, it’s kind of fun.
Omar: Take a little extra week off.
Jennifer: Yeah, a little rest instead of work. We’ll be all the more ready when we come back.
Did you guys get the opportunity now, that you both resigned, did you get the opportunity to film outside of the hospital at all for the season?
Jennifer: You did a little bit.
Omar: Yeah, Foreman in the beginning of the season, Foreman’s sort of running his own department in a different hospital. That was cool.
Jennifer: No, I’m just back in the hospital, in another department. I’m imprisoned in the hospital, they don’t want to let me go.
House has some new cast members this year. What’s that like, is it a different dynamic on set?
Jennifer: It’s really been kind of nice to mix it up with new people, and sort of shift around the energy a little bit. I felt like it made us realize how close all of us were, because we certainly embrace everybody. It’s made us realize, “Wow, we’ve been together a long time, all six of us.” So, it sort of made us really appreciate each other, and also sort of nice to have fresh blood come in.
At the end of last season, there were some pretty big moves for both of your characters. How have your characters changed?
Jennifer: Yeah, I mean, Cameron’s certainly changed. Her departure from working for House was definitely a statement. I’m not gonna work to prove myself anymore, I have proven myself. I’ve gotten what I got to do, and I’m ready to kind of be free and do my own thing, it’s kind of nice.
I do have confrontations with House now. He can’t get me the way he used to. It used to be so easy for him to get me frustrated, and now it’s just like, “Yeah, whatever, sure.” That’s what I’m doing, so she’s got much more of a sense of humor, and a bit more sass.
Omar: Foreman, I think he’s definitely changed. But I think part of the completion of his change is in him coming back to the hospital, ’cause it’s something that he doesn’t want to do, which he’s sort of forced to do. So, I think Foreman’s big thing is about being comfortable with who he really is, being comfortable with the way that he is.
His whole question last season was, he was doing things that he thought he was doing because of House, because of trying to emulate him subconsciously. But he just has to be comfortable with the fact that he’s also an ass.
You guys are going into the fourth season now, and House is obviously a huge hit. Once you get that fourth season, it’s not a fluke anymore, you’re in it for the long haul. How do you guys feel about the longevity of the show? Is there enough for both of your characters to explore for seasons going forward?
Jennifer: You know, it’s one of those things where I think we’re still in shock. It’s been four years, I think I’m still in shock. The show’s doing so well, it’s amazing and incredible, but it’s also a really cool challenge to take on a character for a long period of time. It’s usually small chunks of time that you play a character, so everything is at a different pace.
You’re changing more on a daily basis, like how a real person would change on a daily basis, compared to…well today, I’m at the beginning of the movie, and in four days I’m gonna be in the middle of the movie. I think that’s been really fun, I think it’s a really great challenge, and I think the writers are really determined to not only keep the audience interested by continuing to keep things moving and changing, but keep us challenged and on our toes.
I think it’s very rare for a character to change as much as Cameron has from the beginning of season 1, where she was sort of this totally moralistic, didn’t want to break the rules, complete subordinate to House, barely could stand up to him. Now I’m resigned and I’m standing up to him, and I’m manipulating him in several episodes this year. So it’s just like, that’s a massive change to go through, so that’s been really fun for me. And they’ve done the same stuff for all the characters in different ways.
Omar: Absolutely, that’s a big part of them shaking it up this year. I think it not only shakes up the audience’s expectations, but for us as actors, it’s a totally new environment. It literally is totally new, so there’s a sense of comfort with what you already know, but so much has changed. It’s kind of like season 1, creatively.
-Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl
(Image Courtesy of FOX)
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