Great Expectations: Hugh Laurie cast as 'Mister Pip'

Hugh Laurie in “House, M.D.”/©Fox Television
Hugh Laurie in “House, M.D.”/©Fox Television

Hugh Laurie, or Dr. Gregory House, as he's better known to millions of devoted "House" viewers, has been confirmed as the lead in the film adaptation of Lloyd Jones' 2006 novel Mister Pip. Shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Mister Pip tells the story of the eccentric Mr. Watts, who sets up shop in a ruined schoolhouse on a war-torn island and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations. Laurie is cast as Mr. Watts, who refers to himself as Mr. Pip, in honor of narrator Pip in Great Expectations.

"Mister Pip" will be directed by Andrew Adamson, whose film credits include "Shrek" and "The Chronicles of Narnia" films. Shooting is set to start in Papua New Guinea in May, 2011. Laurie is the first confirmed star attached to this project, and we are excited to see him take on the challenge of this unconventional lead role. He plays Dr. House with such cantankerous charm that it will be refreshing, albeit alarming, to see him play a caring schoolteacher.

If you have read Mr. Pip, is Hugh Laurie who you imagined as the title role? Who would you like to see cast in other roles?

  • Becky Nadeau

    I personally am looking forward to seeing Hugh Laurie in this role.
    Hugh is the only actor who can portray the charactor Dr. Greg House, because it is he who brought him to life from the script. However, Hugh is not House.
    Hugh Laurie is an amazing talent. He has been in many films as varios charactors. He was hilarious as a duo with Steven Fry. He can play musical instruments, such as guitar and piano and write songs and scripts and sing. He is a published author, (The Gun Seller). I feel Hugh is capable of anything he puts his mind to.
    I feel he will join the ranks of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Anthony Hopkins and other amazing talents recognized by his queen.

    • Catherine

      Here! Here! I agree wholeheartedly with Becky! Mr. Laurie is truly a master of his craft. Creme de la creme!

  • Kristy

    Let's not forget Mr. Laurie *has* played other roles...

    • Tangerine

      Indeed. I believe Hugh Laurie may be one of the finest and most versatile actors alive today.

    • denisemc

      I can't wait he is good .I really like him.

    • Jean Hanson

      He's ALREADY played "the opposite of Dr. Gregory House" when he was in the Stuart Little movies. I maen, how much more relentlessly positive a character could you ask for?

      • Cindy

        I love watching him in everything he's been in, but I LOVE him as House. He has this sarcastic charm that I've grown to love in people I have known all my life. He's a great actor and I look forward to anything he's in.

  • Nancy

    If Thomas Gibson can go from Dharma and Greg to Criminal Minds and be convincing, I think Hugh Laurie can sell the roll of Mr Watts, even though I love him as House.

    • pjryan

      Thomas Gibson is the one of the worst 5 actors ever. Anywhere, ever. He's horrific. Wooden with one-note vocal range. The red-headed jackhole on one of the CSI's and Harrison Ford are also in the top 5.

  • Dr. House is the opposite of the roles that Hugh Laurie used to play. Look at his contributions to the Stewart Little series and The Borrowers. Check out A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
    Gregory House is the deviation; Mr. Pip is the return to the norm.

  • sherlockjr

    He's the perfect choice for Mr. Watts. The physical descriptions in the book almost make you think that Lloyd Jones was thinking of him when he wrote it. Can't wait to see how this turns out. I hope it's as good a film as it was a book.

  • Caitlin

    honestly i cant picture Hugh Laurie playing as anyone other than House; then again i just watch 5 episodes of House lol. im curious to see how this turns out, but he better not be leaving his tv show anytime soon<3

  • Nana

    He can do anything. He's an awesomely talented actor with plenty of the fluidity to play whatever character with perfect authenticity. I am looking forward to it.

    Although I must say he's awesome in House. What I like is that while House has changed through the years, he has NOT certainly become the shining star all the other characters pray he'll be. And Cuddy breaking up with him was absolutely the right next step in that storyline. Well done.

  • Julie

    Of course he can! He has played other roles and we would be selling him short as an actor if we thought he couldn't handle it.

  • Miranda

    Lets not forget, Hugh Laurie did play Stuart Little's father... haha he he a very talented versatile actor!

  • Colby

    I am not looking forward to this at all, even though I will probably go to watch it. Everybody would agree characters form around actors. When the actor is changed, it just isn't the same. Prime exmaple "Rosanne" Sarah Chalk replaced the former Becky. Sarah Chalk was good at the role, but it just wasn't Lacy.

    However, I also beleive some actors form around thier characters. This would be one of those times where you're so familiar with this one character, that as soon as the actor branches off you think it's automatically bad. Exmaple: Bob Saget. When I think of Bob I think of "Full House", however when I hear his standup comedy it makes me mad because his "squeaky clean" personality is gone.

    I feel like this would be another Bob Saget moment. I hope I'm proven wrong though.

    • Anyone who sees Hugh as House or (stay with me) Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean should go back and watch Blackadder. Hugh hasn't 'grown into' House. He's a fantastic actor who can pull off whatever role he's put in.

  • Kitty

    I'd watch ANYTHING with Hugh Laurie! One of my favorite actors!

    • Catherine



    Any one who has seen seasons three and four and the fifth movie of Black Adder back when he was an aspiring british humor actor.... and a hilarious one at that.

  • hugh laurie is a silver fox.any project he entertains will be brighter simply because he is in it.i believe he is an acting genius.<3

  • Charlie

    Hugh played in Disney's 101 Dalmations as one of the dumb criminals helping Cruella.

  • Mirna

    Well, didn't Hugh Laurie play "Mr. Little" ?? In Stuart Little?? That as far away form Gregory House as possible!! He actually uttered the line, "Let's give the Little try"!! Come one!! I think I also saw him in "Sense & Sensibilty"?? Yes - He has played other roles before "House"...

  • kmp

    Don't forget he also play one of the puppy robbers in the first live action 101 dalimations. I am waiting to hear he got the part playing Haymitch in the Hunger Games he would be perfect for the role. But I concure with many others in declaring that Huge Laurie can play any range of character he puts his mind to, he is that talented.

  • As Brando had Muni as his mentor I bet Laurie has Olivier as his .

    That is how oratory Hugh has become especially rattling medical terminology as he does so capably . I have been a medical headunter 3o yrs and it astounds me what he diagnosis with his authenticity . Simply amazing .. Really and Truly .


  • Mr Pip is one of my favourite contemporary novels. Must admit I didn't envisage Hugh Laurie in this role. When I was reading the book I was thinking that Geoffrey Rush would be good as he has the right air of eccentricity and I read afterwards that Lloyd Jones envisaged either Rush or Daniel Day Lewis (another good actor) in the role. However, now that they mention Laurie I can see that he
    would be perfect!