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Hugh Laurie has spoken expansively for the first time about the strain his successful Hollywood career has put on his marriage.
In a rare comment about his private life, the star of the hit medical drama ‚House’ admitted the toll it had taken on his personal life.
The 50-year-old star spends most of his time in Los Angeles while his wife Jo has remained at their north London home.
Laurie, who is notoriously reticent to talk about his family, spoke about the pressure of living apart from his wife and family with U.S. magazine Parade.
He was asked about spending more time on the set than at home, and replied: ‚I wouldn’t say that doing the series has made my marriage easier. Better? I don’t know about that either.
‚Doing weekly TV is like joining the Navy and going on the other side of the world for ten months of the year. But the truth is that whatever challenging situation you’re in, somebody somewhere has got a much more extreme version. So I think one ought to shut up and not moan about it.’
Laurie – who made his name with Stephen Fry as a comedy duo before turning to Hollywood – has always avoided questions about his marriage as he quickly became the most successful British actor on American TV.
As grumpy Dr Gregory House, now in its sixth year, he is also the second highest paid actor on U.S. TV at £240,000 an episode.
But the nine months of filming means that he spends most of his time in Los Angeles and not at his North London home with his wife and children, Charlie, 20, Bill, 19, and Rebecca, 16.
He and Jo, who married in Camden, north London, in June 1989, decided against taking the children out of school and moving to LA.
Friends have claimed the long distance marriage was taking its toll on both Laurie and Jo.
The actor, who has spoken in the past about his battle with depression, often cut a forlorn figure in Hollywood.
Photographs of Laurie two years ago looking miserable on a solo sailing trip caused many friends to question his health.
He has previously admitted that he sometimes cursed taking on the role with its punishing filming schedule.
Laurie said in another interview: ‚I wasn’t prepared for this at all,’ he said. ‚But I don’t really have a life outside of this bubble.
‚We can finish filming between midnight and 4am. Then I’m straight back to bed. It’s not really a life, actually.’
Reports in the U.S. said producers of House warned new actors on the show that Laurie could be sullen and morose.
Two years ago he splashed out £2million on a home in the Hollywood Hills having previously rented homes while living in LA.
In the interview with Parade, to mark his directing debut on ‚House,’ Laurie admitted he would like his character to go out ‚with a bang, not a whimper’.
He said: ‚We don’t talk about when we’ll pack it in. But when the time comes, I think it would be good to have sort of a clean finish rather than just sort trailing off. I’d like to go out with a bang, not a whimper.
‚In the meantime, House is a character I still am fascinated by. I think that’s part of an actor’s job, to love the character you play. I would be foolish not to go the distance playing him, how ever far that may be.’
Hollywoodzki sukces brytyjskiego aktora – Hugh Laurie’ego – przełożył się na kryzys w jego małżeństwie. Serialowy dr House obawia się, że rola w tym telewizyjnym hicie może doprowadzić do jego rozstania z żoną.
Jak donosi portal Contactmusic.com, Laurie spędza od kilku lat większość czasu w Los Angeles, gdzie pracuje na planie serialu, podczas gdy jego żona od 23 lat – Jo – mieszka w ich rodzinnym domu w Londynie.
Aktor, który wciela się w rolę ekscentrycznego lekarza od 2004 roku, przyznaje, że niełatwo jest utrzymać związek, gdy małżonków dzieli ocean.
„Nie powiedziałbym, że rola House’a ułatwiła moje małżeństwo. Praca na planie serialu przypomina wstąpienie do armii i wyjazd na drugi koniec świata na 10 miesięcy każdego roku” – wyznał 51-letni aktor.
„Prawda jest jednak taka, że w jakkolwiek trudnej jest się sytuacji, komuś innemu gdzieś na świecie jest jeszcze ciężej. Dlatego uważam, że powinienem się zamknąć i na to nie narzekać” – dodał.