When Hugh Laurie was first offered the part of Dr. Eldon Chance he thought oh no, not again. After playing the iconic, misanthropic Dr. House on “House” for eight seasons, Laurie said he believed his previous role “disqualified” him from the role.
“But that didn’t last very long because the world of it, the tone of it, the character is so different that I actually put that aside,” Laurie told Variety at the premiere for “Chance” at the Harmony Gold theater on Monday night.
Laurie was joined on the black carpet by several of his co-stars as they posed for photos and greeted each other enthusiastically.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt, I had to do that, we can’t just go down (the carpet) without saying hello,” Laurie said about his co-star, Gretchen Mol, mid-interview apologetically after kissing her on the cheek.
Mol’s character on the show is Jaclyn Blackstone, a patient appearing to have split personality disorder and who Chance becomes too involved with. Mol said the show provides an insight into the human mind.
“It explores the darkness and the spiral you can go into and the sort of paranoia,” Mol said. “It definitely took a toll on me.”
Former “Private Practice” star Paul Adelstein, who plays Mol’s abusive husband and Laurie’s rival on the show, said that his character’s violent side affected him more than other parts he has played in the past.
“This had some stuff in it that was more distressing than I had anticipated,” Adelstein admitted. “There’s an old adage, your body doesn’t know you’re acting, so when you do certain things it sticks with you a little bit.”
He added that he and Hugh Laurie complemented each other’s stage combat styles, and that Laurie liked to mix up his reactions when pretending to be punched.
“I’m one of the world’s natural punchees, that’s not something necessarily to be proud of, but it’s just a knack that I have. Hit me now, no wait don’t hit me now,” Laurie joked before disappearing into the darkened theater behind him.
“Chance” also stars Ethan Suplee, Diane Farr and Lisa Gay Hamilton, and premieres Wednesday, Oct. 19 on Hulu.