House's: Hugh Laurie
CURRENT GIG Stars as the brilliant yet curmudgeonly Dr. Gregory House on FOX's hit medical drama
•Is there a doctor in the house?
Laurie's late father, Ran, was a physician—"a very gentle soul, about as far away from Greg House as you could possibly get," says his son. "We discussed my taking on medicine as a career. And then I just decided against it. I had this fascination with acting."
"My wife [Jo Green, a former theater administrator] and three kids are in London" while he shoots House in L.A. "I feel like I'm working on an oil rig right now. I'm away from home a lot."
•Defending Dr. House
"I know he's irritating, but I often like people who irritate me," says Laurie. His "stunted adolescence appeals to me."
American Idol judge (and fellow Brit) Simon Cowell: "I'm a big fan. [Like House], he's a man who doesn't shrink from telling the truth, however unpopular it may be."
"Hugh's a novelist [1997's comic thriller The Gun Seller], he's a piano player, he's a comedian," says House executive producer Bryan Singer (who will direct Laurie as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the upcoming Superman Returns'). "And he rides a motorcycle!"
•Funny, you don't sound British
His American accent is "flawless," says Singer, though "at the end of a hard day," jokes Laurie, "I get tired and I begin to sound like a Frenchman."