By Monica Rizzo
November 12, 2007 12:00 PM

Raised in Washington, D.C., and Ireland by journalists Leslie and Andrew Cockburn, Wilde, 23, may best be known as Mischa Barton‘s bisexual lover on The O.C. Now she’s Dr. 13 (Hugh Laurie’s crusty doc gives new staffers numbers) on House.

So, what’s it like to hang with Hugh?

“He’s so talented and sexy. And he’s Stuart Little’s dad! I’ll pass him and be desperate to say something but can’t think of anything, so I just kind of mumble and walk away. It’s so awkward.”

  • Were you surprised at the big fuss over your TV kiss with Mischa Barton?
  • “I continue to get letters from girls around the world who thought that there was something wrong with them if they recognized it in their own sexuality.”

We hear you’re a car fanatic.

Yes! Most little girls would go to the mall in Georgetown and try on makeup. I would go stare at this 1954 red Bel Air that I saw there.

Your husband, filmmaker Tao Ruspoli, is an Italian prince. Did the whole castle thing figure into your marrying at 18?

“Young love—you never really do understand it. I was very lucky I met this person. We eloped, then had weddings at my parents’ Virginia farmhouse and the garden of his family’s castle outside Rome. There were stilt walkers, drummers, flag bearers; it was surreal and beautiful and amazing, like a fairy tale. Everyone expected it to fail, but it’s been five years.