You can call Hugh Laurie many things – British funny man, actors, musician (even) but you can't call him "House" because he's spent the past seven years trying to get away from the role that made him famous across the globe. He became one of TV's highest-paid actors thanks to the role and was watched by millions. The show was the highest-rated US show in 2008 so why does Laurie want to distance himself from the show so much?
Being an actor playing the same role for so long must take some of the joy out of the profession. Turning up for work, playing the same character over and over and then talking about that character on talk-shows and press interviews must take the glamour out of the job. How often do TV stars get to walk the red carpet and interact with the rich and famous when they've got an hours' worth of TV to produce each week? Playing the same guy on the same show for eight seasons and 177 episodes must have taken the shine off acting.
Took a break
"You know, we have done 170 episodes now, I think," Laurie said in an interview with The Telegraph to publicise the final season. "You want a break, you really do." Some days involved him being on set at 5.30am and working for 16 hours. No wonder he took a long break immediately after his House commitments were over. He ended up taking three years away from Hollywood. He got back in front of the cameras for Tomorrowland, a 2015 film that flopped at the box office.
Although the line, "I want to spend more time with my family" is often used to disguise a less than gracious exit from a Hollywood project, that really was the case with Hugh Laurie. The show was set in New Jersey but filmed in LA. That meant Laurie spent nine months of the year living 6,000 miles from his British-based family. They didn't want to take their kids out of school or Laurie's wife and children would have moved out to LA while he was starring in the show. Now he's more than making up for lost time.
House made Laurie appreciate his free time and appreciate his children and yet it also took up all of his energy. It didn't take his confidence though. Laurie was renewed as an actor because the show gave him a massive confidence boost. In an interview with The Guardian, Laurie said that "House was something I didn't have to apologize for." He was "really proud" of the show and basked in the overwhelming praise he received. Laurie didn't go to drama school so there was always a nagging doubt that he was good enough to act as a profession. House put paid to that.
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