Hugh Laurie hasn’t played Dr. Gregory House in nearly three years, but the actor said he still can’t stop the limp he developed in order to play the physician on the Fox show ‘House’.
Appearing on ‘The Graham Norton Show,’ Laurie explained that the limp he used throughout the show’s eight year run still shows up when he’s on set working on other TV shows and movies.
“I can’t remember any of the lines at all but when ‘action’ is shouted I start limping,” he explained. “I’m like a dog that’s been prodded with electrodes.”
Hugh Laurie did put a lot into the role beside the limp. The British actor said he had to go through vocal exercises to drop his British accent and adopt Dr. House’s unique voice.
NPR highlighted some of these measures in a 2012 feature on Laurie.
“Those vocal exercises include letting his ‘throat go floppy’ and lowering his vocal register. Still, there are certain words and phrases — ‘New York’ and ‘murder’ — that he says he just cannot master.
I suppose it’s R’s… R’s are problematic letters. But I do find that I cannot think of a single word or a single syllable that really comes out the same in English and American… Almost everything is alien to me. But I got more comfortable with it.”
Laurie also explained that it took a lot of work to understand Dr. House’s character and the near-constant pain he felt.
“I think pain is an extremely hard thing to empathize [with] moment to moment,” he explains. “You often don’t remember your own pain. That moment that you broke a limb or injured yourself… the memory of the pain is hard to summon up and hard to relive, thankfully… And it’s also hard to imagine someone else’s.”
Even though Hugh Laurie is having trouble stopping his limp, he has had no trouble finding work after ‘House’. He has taken several projects including Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland: A World Beyond’ and a recurring role on HBO’s ‘VEEP’.