My Chance en­counter

Hugh Lau­rie on play­ing an­other doc­tor in a new us thriller, and his suc­cess at home and abroad…

TV Times - - Interview -

Chance Tues­day / UNIVER­SAL / 9.00Pm

Five years af­ter troubled doc­tor Gre­gory House rode off our TV screeens on his mo­tor­bike, Hugh Lau­rie re­turns to the world of medicine this week in psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller Chance.

In the 10-part se­ries, which be­gins with a dou­ble bill, The Night Man­ager star plays neu­ropsy­chi­a­trist Dr El­don Chance, whose pa­tients have a range of neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

Here, Hugh, 58, tells

TV Times about the role…

De­scribe Dr el­don chance for us…

He’s very vul­ner­a­ble. He feels the pain of the world, and the pain of his pa­tients very keenly, and that pain has got to him to the point where it has stripped away his last de­fences. He’s not cool or tough. He’s a good, kind man, but buf­feted by the world in which he works.

Why is his work so dif­fi­cult?

My father was a GP and at Christ­mas, his pa­tients would give him a bot­tle of wine or some­one would knit him a pair of socks. Pa­tients were grate­ful for the things he’d done. I asked a neu­ropsy­chi­a­trist if his pa­tients did the same thing, and he said, ‘No, they don’t’. A neu­ropsy­chi­a­trist doesn’t heal peo­ple; they can’t. The peo­ple they are deal­ing with are ir­repara­bly dam­aged. They can man­age a prob­lem, but no­body leaves the surgery do­ing cart­wheels and scream­ing, ‘Thank you, doc­tor, I’m cured’.

are there any sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween el­don chance and Gre­gory House? When I read the script I thought it was about as far away from House as it’s pos­si­ble to get. Un­like Chance, House had a shield of wit and sar­casm around him – he was a very pow­er­ful char­ac­ter. But, of course, it’s roughly the same ther­a­peu­tic world.

Were you pleased by The Night Man­ager’s suc­cess?

I was very proud. John Le Carré has been a hero for as long as I can re­mem­ber. I’d ac­tu­ally tried to make it as a pro­ducer when the novel came out in 1993. Back then, I dreamed of play­ing the Tom Hid­dle­ston role. But then, un­for­tu­nately, most of my hair fell out!

How of­ten do you see your for­mer com­edy part­ner, stephen Fry? When we can. I was in Amer­ica work­ing on Chance while he was film­ing [US sit­com) The Great In­doors. He seems very happy and is work­ing hard.

Do you miss your com­edy days? Yes, I do. I miss telling a joke, or putting on a wig and play­ing a silly char­ac­ter. I think we look back on those days with great af­fec­tion. Maybe we’ll do it again.

I thought it was about as far away from House as it’s pos­si­ble to get.

Hugh and stephen in A Bit Of Fry and Lau­rie

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