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Hugh Laurie has had a long and storied acting career, but he’s probably still most famous for House, M.D. a network TV series that ran on Fox for eight seasons. As it turns out, the role of Dr. Gregory House has influenced Laurie, as well. The actor recently admitted on The Graham Norton Show that he has had trouble shaking off a habit he developed during his time on House, M.D.: the limp. Years after his show has ended, the limp still shows up when he is working on other projects.
I can’t remember any of the lines at all but when ‘action’ is shouted I start limping. I’m like a dog that’s been prodded with electrodes.
Recently, Laurie has been appearing on HBO’s Veep, playing Vice President hopeful Tom James, a charismatic politician who frequently outshines Selena Meyer. He doesn’t expressly state that that’s the gig he’s been inexplicably limping during, but it’s hilarious to imagine Laurie dealing with a recurring limp while he plays the American politician on the comedy. I suppose that sometimes when you play a character for long enough, that character gets stuck in your brain.
Dr. Gregory House had a lot of characteristics that were unusual for television when House, M.D. was on the air. He was man of contradictions, a curmudgeon who was also the smartest man in the room. The character dealt with a limp for five years before the show began airing, and routinely walked with a cane thanks to an infarction of his quadriceps muscle. One of the big recurring themes was how House dealt with pain management, routinely taking Vicodin to the point where he was addicted. The limp was a key component to the character, and it’s easy to see why the practice stuck. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a story of this ilk from Gotham’s Robin Lord Taylor, who also limps on his show, down the line.
Limping is not the only thing Hugh Laurie had to accomplish during his years on the Fox drama. He also hails from England, and had to master an American accent on the show, which has led to him playing other American characters on TV and in the movies in the time since House ended in 2012. You can catch more from the limp-free interview with Graham Norton, below, which also features his Tomorrowland co-star George Clooney.