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Men's Health

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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.

Jekyll and House

Katie Jacobs, the Los Angeles-based executive producer of House, sees some similarities and some differences between Laurie and his television alter ego.

"He is incredibly smart and quick and funny the way that House is," she says.

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 together."

"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 thing."

An Apple a Day

Working 15 to 16 hours a day leaves little time for anything else. "I go to work early, get back late at night, and watch an episode of Law & Order," he says of his typical day.

Factor in a few transcontinental flights from Los Angeles to visit his wife of 17 years, Jo Green, and their three children in London, and the result is one exhausted actor. "The trip seems to get longer," he says. "I used to look forward to a couple of movies; now as soon as I get on the plane I get impatient. It is a feral distance."

He does manage to carve out time to work out. Recently Laurie has taken up boxing and spars with -- or gets pummeled by -- an instructor once or twice a week. "It's good for the soul," Laurie says.

It's also good for the heart, says Lewis G. Maharam, MD, a New York City-based sports medicine expert. "Boxing trains the heart [a muscle] and the body to become more efficient and toned."

Low Boredom Threshold

For a while, Laurie was also an avid jogger. "It's incredibly tedious," he says. "I know it has benefits, and feel bad when I don't do it, but I don't feel that great when I do it!"

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