Amber Tamblyn: Before Leaving House, Masters Will Have a 'Juicy' Encounter with Thirteen

House‘s titular diagnostician won’t have med student Martha Masters to push around much longer. As first reported by TVLine, Amber Tamblyn‘s run will wrap up by season’s end, if not before May sweeps. And the actress’ decision to discharge herself from Fox’s hit medical drama didn’t come easy. “There is a reason I’m leaving,” Tamblyn shared as part of this in-depth interview with TVLine, “and it’s a really good reason.”

Read on for more about that, the big Joan of Arcadia reunion she enjoyed before checking out of Princeton-Plainsboro, and how “juicy” things will be when Masters gets Thirteen’s number. (House airs Mondays at 8/7c.)

TVLINE | How has it been for you, vying to be the voice of reason against Dr. Cranky Pants all season long?
You mean Dr. Hottie Pants? Dr. Sexy Face? I shot my last episode, and I’m sad to be done, but it was a really fun experience, something I would never take back.

TVLINE | You’ve had some really great verbal volleys with Hugh Laurie.
Yeah, they were really cool in writing me some great stuff when they didn’t have to do that. I could have just been the background doctor person, but they were great to me as an actor.

TVLINE | And wasn’t Masters fired once or twice along the way…?
Masters has been fired so many times by House, I can’t even keep track. [Laughs] When someone asks about that, I’m like, “Yeah, which time?”

TVLINE | Toward the end of last week’s episode, Masters said, “I was wrong, ” to which House said, “Not yet.” Was it your interpretation that he realized he went too far by “blowing up” that guy’s heart?
No, I don’t think he ever feels like that. [Laughs ] I think he was not being the champion that he usually is about himself. Normally he would be, “Ha-ha, I told you so. Idiot.” This is just a darker way of him expressing that he’s right without being egotistical about it. It was interesting to see, leading up to that, how he’s off of his game because of what’s going on with Cuddy, and his inability to make that work. He can get everything else in his life to work exactly the way he wants it to, but he’s pretty much handicapped in the relationship department — much the way Masters is in the social department.

TVLINE | At the end of the day, will Masters be better or worse for this experience?
I think she’ll be both. When characters leave House, they are forced to grow exponentially — whether it’s in a good way or in a bad way. [In the end] it’s a pretty fascinating thing that happens for her. It’s pretty unique.

TVLINE | This Monday’s Patient of the Week is played by Chris Marquette (Joan of Arcadia)– someone you know just a bit.
Yes, indeed! That’s actually happened twice now, because Sprague Grayden was on House [in mid-January]. But Chris and I worked pretty heavily together on Joan of Arcadia, so it was clearly as if nothing had ever changed. Like, I was making an inside joke that only he and I would know. Chris has an infectious laugh the way that Jason Ritter (The Event), who played my brother on that show, does, and it makes you want to make them laugh harder. Chris’ character is a pretty serious one for House, but still, we would get each other to laugh.

TVLINE | Was it pure coincidence that he was cast?
Total coincidence. In fact when I told the director, he was like, “Oh my god, I wonder what that would have done to my choice in casting him had I known that?” But we’re totally different characters than we were on Joan of Arcadia [playing boyfriend/girlfriend].

TVLINE | Before you leave House, will there be any overlap with you and Olivia Wilde?
We have two episodes — one where we actually work together — and it was super, super fun.

TVLINE | Does the fact that Thirteen is back (starting April 11) have anything to do with why Martha leaves?
No, it had more to do with us the actors. They really wanted me to stay, but there are reasons I have to leave, because of other things I’m doing. It was my 13th episode, and that’s when Olivia had finished her film and was due back. But I was glad — I was going to be real peeved if I didn’t get to do something with her, because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things. My boyfriend (actor/comedian David Cross) has worked with her, and I’ve heard she’s a really rad chick that I would get along with well. If they hadn’t given us at least one scene, with me being the only other female team member, it would have been a missed opportunity. I think they knew better than to pass that up, so they gave us some really cool scenes together. It will be definitely juicy for House fans.

TVLINE | So what are your plans for the spring, if not House?
I am taking a little break and adapting a book that I worked three years trying to buy the rights to.

TVLINE | So although leaving was a difficult decision, it was the right decision.
House is such a great environment to work in, exactly what every actor wants – good writing, steady work, great actors and great producers. I was the most sad to say goodbye to Hugh, because he’s the most incredible and giving actor to work with.

House fans, will you miss Masters when Tamblyn’s time on the show runs out later this spring?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Angeli says:

    WHY CAN’T WE HAVE BOTH ACTRESSES?!!! we wasted like 5 seasons on Cameron at least masters was a good n welcomed addition. Again why can’t we have 13 AND smarty pants?!

  2. Headacheslayer says:

    Juicy???? EPIC FAIL! I mean, an LP? Really? that was the juicy encounter? Supposedly it’s the dialogue. Big whoop. Don’t tease and then not commit. Or was it a scene that got cut and will wind up on the DVD? Disappointed.

    Will miss M3 and still <3 13.

  3. chuck says:

    I sure wish masters was staying. Wonderful character and she comes from a different direction then the other doctors which gives more unusual and different issues to write about and deal with. I know the character of 13 was good but she is still from the same mold shall we say as he others. Not knocking Olivias’ acting just the chararcter mix. But I will miss masters. I just hope the program does not jump the shark just to make 13 more interesting.

  4. Mark Spence says:

    I’m glad she is leaving the show.Her character is very annoying and,to me,very disruptive to the way the show glides through each time.Also,I’m glad 13 is coming back.Awesome actress and extremely hot!!!!!

  5. Wolfie says:

    I have seen a number of good comments here, but I’ve also seen some that fall tragically into the pit of closed-mindedness.

    I feel that Martha Masters was a fairly well developed character, and that it was portrayed quite well by the actress. She brought a good mixture of innocence and idealism to combat Dr. Gregory House’s crusty and corrupt (at times) methodology, which when paired with her drive to remain honest and upstanding in all things made her a very strong counter to his character. She was nearly a polar opposite of House, save for maintaining a mixture of budding genius and lack of social skills – the two parts of the character that are mirrors of the other.
    As for Dr. Hadley’s return, I think it’s also a smart move on the part of the staff. I’ve read some who think that the actress portraying her (Olivia Wilde) lacks talent and is incapable of showing truth in character during emotional scenes… and honestly, I think that people who feel this way either haven’t watched the show, or are too caught up in their opinion to give her a chance. While her “tragic” story does seem to pop in just long enough to remind us that she’s not going to be around forever, I’ve never seen it really used as a crutch for the producers to lean on. It makes her an interesting character, and gives her some ground that few others on the series can take a stand on. As an intellectual counter the character adds to the department, and overall I think her return will bring a familiar (if sad, regarding Masters’ plan to abandon ship…) scenic backdrop to the show which is still running quite strong after so many seasons (save for [in my own opinion] a hand-full of episodes during House’s mental breakdown/stay at the asylum/fallout period.)

    Welcome back Thirteen, and Masters, you shall be missed.

  6. Sara says:

    I love Masters character and am sad to see her go, but maybe she’ll come back after her break?? It was nice to see 13 and Masters together though, both very interesting characters. And glad to have 13 back.

  7. Steve says:

    She was a GREAT asset to the show, and will be missed. All shows
    need add an element of change over time, and she was a refreshing one. Good luck Martha and thanks for 2010/2011.

  8. Lisa says:

    I also found her character annoying – no reflection necessarily on her as an actress. She came across insipid and dorky but not in an endearing way and just didn’t ring true. That is the fault of the writers as much as anyone; I don’t think they knew what to do with her and that is why she is leaving no doubt. Thank goodness we won’t have to see her waddling in those ridiculous clunky high heels anymore.

  9. Don Buer says:

    I’m glad to find out that Amber’s leaving was her idea. I was upset about it because she was the reason I started watching House again. Her character opposing House but with greater strength than any of his other staff was a great idea.
    I have an idea for a two parter where she is brought back for one episode that would work great in a couple of years. If anyone on the House staff wants the idea, they should email me.

  10. ron says:

    Was a devout House fan. Never missed an episode!!! When the character Amber was brought in the show ‘jumped the shartk.’ Bringing in a medical student to compliment the world’s premier diagnostic team was completely out of character and an egregious mistake. I don’t care about her academic genius, she’s a medical student. You want to introduce her set of values find another way that doesn’t insult real fans. Now I never watch an episode. Cold turkey, done.

  11. PhilD says:

    Amber has a riveting screen presence, and extreme acting talent. She never over-acts. Her subtlety is what makes her so good. I’m really disappointed that she’s gone. Hugh is great, and carries the show, but Amber was his equal I feel.

    She revived my interest in the show, and her character was a breath of fresh air.

    It occurred to me, her “babe” factor might not be high enough for some people, but hey, she is beautiful, and reminded me of interesting people in real life.

  12. Sophie says:

    I think she was very cute
    sometimes I liked her more than 13
    and I think she was prettier, maybe not sexier but her look was amazing

  13. Sue says:

    I’m Masters is gone! I couldn’t stand her! I absolutely hated the character and looking at her…major dork! I like 13 and am glad she’s back! I love the show…keep it rolling!

  14. Very useful blog. Keep up the good work.
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  15. Katie says:

    To be honest, I like thirteen and all but I absolutely love Masters. I think maybe she doesnt fit in with the group, but that was part of the reason i liked her. I wanted to see her grow as a person and a doctor throughout the show. There was a real potential for change in Masters that you don’t get in Thirteen, and the “Thirteen is a lesbian” jokes are getting a little old. Masters could have brought a whole new feel to the show, I’m sad she’s leaving.

  16. bme says:

    I will really miss Masters (Amber) on the show. I like her character. I was hoping Masters and Chase would click. So sad she’d left. I wish she would come back for more episodes on the next season of House. Please make her come back!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Karen says:

    Im happy Masters is leaving. She’s the most annoying person I’ve ever had to watch!!! Much worse then Cameron. Bring back 13!! She’s awesome.

  18. Ben Poehland says:

    I was sorry to see Masters go. With that long red hair she was a cute babe. Her naive & moralistic character was the perfect foil for the cynical but witty House, while her vulnerability & anxiety working with senior physicians came across to me as thoroughly honest. (People forget she was only supposed to be a med student without a medical degree, not even a Resident.) I felt she was just beginning to mesh with the team when she departed. A real breath of fresh air. Her character had the guts to stand up to House plus the brains to match him once she caught onto his weird style of doing things. If I met a girl like that in real life, I’d propose to her in a flash. She was genuine. House MD was my favorite show. But then the entire show was canceled May 2013, the same week my own father died. Bummer. But lately 2 local TV stations in my viewing area are showing lots of House re-runs, including the season featuring Masters. So I’m watching as many House episodes as I can, often picking up nuances I missed the first time around.

    – the Alchemist

  19. DL says:

    Aw, Cross is hilarious and I actually think it’s kinda cute. :P

  20. Amanda says:

    Wow! I had no idea they were together.

  21. Bob says:

    Why would the fact that a comedy writer who’s about to turn 47 is dating someone who’s about to turn 28 make you want to vomit. They’re in love, for now, until he unceremoniously dumps her.

  22. Rock Golf says:

    Relax, James. My understanding is that Cross is a nevernude.

  23. Dr.Matt says:

    And he is both an analyst and therapist … and analrapist, if you will. :)

  24. Dr.Matt says:

    And he is both an analyst and therapist … an analrapist, if you will. :)

  25. Nicotine says:

    That is my all-time favorite ‘Arrested Development’ reference!!! (If it weren’t for David Cross playing Tobias Funke, I would share DL’s sentiments, but I love David Cross now!)

  26. whatevs says:

    Because the guy brags about snorting cocaine a few feet away from the president. Mentally, he’s probably 12.

  27. Robyn says:

    not necessarily,there’s 15 yars between my husband and I and we’ve been together 6 years

  28. Bob says:

    You give him way too much credit.

  29. Chrisa says:


  30. KShh says:

    Wow. Rock Golf, that was an amazing comment. ahhh I can’t stop laughing. I miss Arrested Development.