Fans of the popular medical drama House are often shocked when Hugh Laurie drops his American, or Dr. Gregory House, accent in interviews. Audiences aren’t alone in this surprising fact as the series showrunner, Bryan Singer, didn’t realize he was English until after he first read for the part of Dr. House.
Hugh Laurie's initial audition for House was in a hotel bathroom in Africa that he was staying in while filming Flight of the Phoenix. Believing Dr. House would be the type of person that didn't care about appearance, Laurie sported a dirty shirt with an unshaven beard while reading lines in his American accent.
“This is what we need. We need an American. This guy’s got a voice, he’s an American,” said Bryan Singer on Laurie’s audition tape.
Singer held on to his excitement of finding an American actor for a brief minute before he was told that he was English. Still amazed with his line reading, Laurie was asked to come to the United States as soon as he was done with his film.
The series creator wasn’t the only one involved with the show who was thrown off by his English roots. During the series 100th episode celebration, the medical advisor for House, Dr. Lisa Sanders, revealed she was shocked to finally hear Laurie's real accent after working on so many episodes together for the first time.
Having both audiences and co-workers believing in his American accent enough to think he was actually American is a testament to Hugh Laurie’s incredible talent.