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Hugh Laurie Gets New ‘House’ Mates!

[IMG:L]Dr. House is back–but we can’t be so sure about his interns. After Foreman quit at the end of last season, House fired Chase and Cameron to boot, and producers revealed that House will be interviewing new candidates for the three open positions. They call it Survivor: House Style. He will still see his former team, but they may only be in his imagination.

House star Hugh Laurie, who earned another Emmy nomination for his portrayal of the pill popping doctor, opened up to Hollywood.com about hiring a new team, meeting the queen and more.

Hollywood.com: How will House torture the new intern candidates?
Hugh Laurie:
He has many devious means of inflicting psychological torture. Every candidate, every team of candidates, gets their own specific torment that they have to go through.

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HW: With such a tight ensemble, how does it feel to let other people in there?
HL:
It feels fine. Actually, that’s a better question for them rather than me, because I feel like I’m sort of doing the same thing every day. I think everyone feels optimistic about where we’re going and they feel good about being in a show that they’re proud of. Both the new people and the people who have already done it feel proud of what they do–and that’s the main thing.

HW: It adds some freshness to the show now that it’s in year four…
HL:
Oh yeah, definitely. I think the smartest thing about it is that the writers and producers are making this change while it’s still their decision. The conventional thing would be to have a network or a studio saying, “Don’t change it because it’s fine, it’s fine. Don’t change anything.” Then by the time you need to change it it’s too late. But what they’ve decided to do is to control the direction it goes in now before it becomes a panic measure. I think it’s so smart and it’s such a good way to go.

HW: Have you ever read anything in one of the scripts so outrageous even you have a hard time?
HL:
No. I think I never have read anything that was un-actable. I’ve read things that I thought, ‘Wow, this is going to be tough. We are going to have to get this right because if we don’t this whole thing isn’t going to work at all.’ But no, David Shore is just simply too smart a writer, as are his cowriters. They are just too smart to really hang anybody out to dry, as it were.

HW: Has anything ever made you hate him as a person?
HL:
No, no. I completely agree that House is not an easy proposition. He may not even be morally a good man. But then, the truth is we don’t only like the people who are morally good. Of all the friends we have, are they the 10 morally best people we ever met? No, of course they are not, that is not how we choose our friends. Thank God, because it would be a weird universe if we did.

HW: Women love House. Do you think they want to save him?
HL:
I don’t know if that’s true really. Clearly this is a troubled character. There was an episode, one of my favorite episodes ever of Star Trek, favorite moment in Star Trek was when Captain Kirk looks over the cosmos and says, “Somewhere out there someone is saying the three most beautiful words in any language.” Of course your heart sinks and you think it’s going to be, “I love you” or whatever. He says, “Please help me.” What a philosophically fantastic idea, that vulnerability and need is a beautiful thing. Actually, House is a character in need of human contact and some kind of redemption. That “Please help me” aspect I think is an important element in the show.

HW: What was it like to be made a member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen?
HL:
I haven’t been honored by many Queens in my life [so] not many things to compare it with, but it was a huge thrill. Of course it was a huge thrill. I went to Buckingham Palace and I put on a royal set of tails. I spoke to her for about 14 seconds. I think that is all you are allowed, which I completely understand. She’s got to do 100 people in an hour. You got to keep it plucking on. It was a very big thrill.

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HW: Was it a surprise? How did they let you know about that in the first place?
HL:
They just write to you saying, “If this happened would you, we aren’t saying it will, but if it did, would you?” You indicate, you sort of check the box, you just tell them. I remember my middle son said, “Dad, do you have to be so obvious about it?” So I toned it down. That was a very good response.

HW: Did the Queen appear to know anything about the show?
HL:
I don’t know. She’s just too damn professional to give it away! She is extremely good, I’ll tell you. You can’t tell. I’d like to think that I swim across there at some point, but I couldn’t be sure of it.

House premieres Sept. 25, 2007 on Fox

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