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House's Hugh Laurie Battling "Mild Depression"
Tuesday October 30, 2007

Hugh Laurie arrives at The 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on September 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.
Jeffrey Mayer/

British actor Hugh Laurie returned to work Monday after taking a sudden trip home to his native England for undisclosed family issues.

On October 25, Laurie, 48, told producers he had to leave the L.A. set, promptly hopping on an afternoon flight to London, where his wife, Jo, and their three children, Charlie, Bill and Rebecca, reside. At the time, a show rep said that "Hugh had family obligations in England to attend to, but production is continuing in his absence."

But in a revealing interview in Sunday's Sydney Daily Telegraph, the Emmy-nominated star — who recently became one of the highest paid actors on TV, earning more than $300,000 an episode — admitted he is battling "mild depression” and continues to see a therapist periodically.

Not only does he miss his family (Laurie maintains a home in L.A., while they live in London), but he also said he was "drained" by the show's overnight success and the 14-hour, five-days-a-week demands of the job.

"I'm always thinking about the show," he told the paper. "I'm too neurotic and too anal and too convinced that we're going to fail to relax. Every show we do, every scene we shoot, is a disaster, I'm convinced of it.

"I go home at the end of the day and my head is full of all the mistakes I've made.

"I beat myself up about what I've stuffed up the day before,” he added. “I'm looking for things to go wrong. I'm not rejoicing or lying back and enjoying it."

He said he was thrilled when he first got the script. “They sent me four pages in a fax and I read a couple of scenes and thought, 'This looks great'," he said.

He added, "I then read the whole script and thought, 'F--- . . . he is the main guy."'

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