On April 12th,House returns with “Lockdown”, the first brand new episode after a three week break. The episode is noteworthy not only for its premise (Princeton-Plainsboro goes on lockdown after a newborn is discovered missing) but also that it is the first time its star gets to wear the director’s hat. Through the years, Hugh Laurie has proven he is a man of many talents, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the seemingly daunting task of directing a show as complex as House.
According to Olivia Wilde, who plays 13 on the show, he handles it just fine. “Having Hugh direct this episode is a dream come true for most of us,” she says. “And I’m not exaggerating." She goes on to say that the cast and crew have been after Laurie to direct for some time. “He is a natural leader and we know he always has the best ideas.”
But Laurie insists he’s a meddler, “always leaning over, giving instructions”, which, he insists, became so annoying for the people running the show, they finally said, “Okay, you drive. See how you like it.”
Laurie actually has directed a few projects prior to House, although not very many: some commercials and a few episodes of his 1990s Britcom, Fortysomething (in which he actually did direct himself). But this was a more massive undertaking. “It’s a very big show, it’s a big operation.”
The episode itself is an ambitious one for the medical show. It is divided into five different stories happening simultaneously. “I’m only in one of them,” Laurie says. “So I had two very intense days when I was acting and directing. I was directing myself. The rest of the time I was able to wear my own clothes, which I greatly enjoy.”