Hugh Laurie, who plays Dr. House, said he feels like a fake, even though he was making $700,000 an episode in the last season of the show.
Laurie felt bad that he played “a fake version” of a doctor instead of becoming a real one like his father wanted. He also said that his “dad would have hated” the shortcut he took.
Read on to find out more about why Laurie chose to be an actor instead of a doctor.
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Ran Laurie, Dr. William’s youngest son, Hugh Laurie, who was born in June 1959, had a lot of dreams for him.
Laurie, a junior, was following in the path of his respected father, a doctor who had won an Olympic gold medal in coxless pairs rowing in 1948 before starting his career. His father had also graduated from a college at the University of Cambridge.
Laurie, who was born in Britain, went to the same college as his dad and was on the rowing team. He wanted to train for the Olympics and then go to medical school.
The young man then found a theater club and sketch comedy group called the Cambridge Footlights. It was there that he met Emma Thompson, who played Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day, and Stephen Fry, who played Stephen Fry in the 1997 movie Wilde.
Laurie’s fate was sealed
He co-starred with Stephen Fry in a number of TV shows in the 1980s and 1990s. The actor, who is now 64 years old, has been in a number of movies and TV shows.
He can also be seen in an episode of Friends, the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility with Thompson, with whom he used to date, and the 1996 live-action Disney movie 101 Dalmatians.
In 2004, he was offered the part of a doctor in House, a new TV show that was a medical drama that ran for eight seasons.
In the part that won him the Golden Globe, as the lead character Dr. Gregory House, Laurie dropped his usual British accent and played the narcissistic genius who ran a New Jersey teaching hospital with great skill.
Laurie became Hollywood’s most famous doctor and gained a huge fan base around the world while the show was airing. But there are some hard things about being famous.
“I had some pretty bleak times, dark days when it seemed like there was no escape,” Laurie said in a 2013 interview with Radio Times (via Daily Mail). “And having a very Presbyterian work ethic, I was determined never to be late, not to miss a single day’s filming. You wouldn’t catch me phoning in to say, ‘I think I may be coming down with the flu’. But there were times when I’d think, ‘If I were just to have an accident on the way to the studio and win a couple of days off to recover, how brilliant would that be?’”
The two days off didn’t come until the last season of House in 2012.
As of 2015, Laurie was back on the road, acting in TV shows like Veep and the science fiction movie Tomorrowland, which stars George Clooney as another famous TV doctor.
In 2016, he was interested in a part where he would play a doctor again, this time as a neuropsychiatrist named Dr. Eldon Chance on the TV show Chance.
“As a gambler, my instinct is to walk away from the table after even a modest win…Yet I find myself coming back, drawn by a wonderful project that was simply irresistible,” Laurie told the Los Angeles Daily News in 2016. Comparing his role as Dr. House to the doctor in Chance, which was canceled after two seasons in 2017, he adds, “The characters are massively different. Their practices are different. Their attitude to life is different.”
Even though he is a huge Hollywood star, the star of 2018’s Holmes & Watson can’t get rid of the feeling that he let down his Parkinson’s disease-stricken father by not becoming a doctor.
“My father was actually a doctor. And if it’s true that most men are sort of seeking to become versions of their father, and failing, by the way, it seemed appropriate that I wound up being a fake version of a doctor,” said Laurie, who also played a doctor in the 2005 film The Big Empty.
“My father had high hopes for me following him into medicine.” He continues, “I would have liked to have become a doctor myself and I still have doctor fantasies…We live in a world of shortcuts don’t we? And I took them. Dad would have hated that.”
The Blackadder star says, “Seriously, this is a source of great guilt to me.” He calls himself a “cop out.”
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