Hugh Laurie Makes a House Call
The actor plays the ornery Dr. Gregory House on TV but says he respects physicians -- especially his well-mannered doctor dad.
While his father died before Laurie began working on House, "I
think he would enjoy elements of it and would be appalled, in some ways, by
House's boorish behavior. My father was a gentle, well-mannered, and
considerate man and would have gone to great lengths to make patients feel at
ease and content. At the same time, he would admire Dr. House's ruthless
pursuit of the correct diagnosis."
Would Laurie be happy under House's care? "It would depend on the
severity of the complaint," he says. "For an ingrown toenail, I
wouldn't see House. But for a life-threatening condition, I'd want the
And he's not alone. A recent TV Guide poll showed that 36% of respondents
named House as the television doctor they would most want by their gurney in an
House's fictitious patients, however, don't always have the kindest words to
say about him. Part of the maverick doctor's cantankerous nature is because his
leg is in constant pain. As House, Laurie walks with a limp, carries a cane,
and has developed an addiction to painkillers.
Depending on whom you ask, the actor does share some personality traits with
his television character. "A couple of people close to me think that I can
be acerbic and impatient at times, but I think of myself as a little ray of
sunshine," he says, deadpan.
Jekyll and House
Katie Jacobs, the Los Angeles-based executive producer of House,
sees some similarities and some differences between Laurie and his television
"He is incredibly smart and quick and funny the way that House is,"
Laurie, however, is very polite. "House has no censor, and Hugh has a
censor to the nth degree. But, like House, he really does know very quickly who
is not doing their job right and how we can be doing it better."
Also like House, Laurie is relentless. "He drives himself and wants to
get everything right, and House is similar in that even if a patient is dead,
he still needs to figure out the diagnosis and put the puzzle
"I certainly don't have his psychopathic disregard for social
niceties," Laurie says with a laugh. "If anything, I'm rather oppressed
by social niceties and go to great lengths to fit in and say the right