Hugh Laurie on His Second Album, Overcoming Nerves and What's Next (Video)
British actor Hugh Laurie, who starred on the hit Fox series House for eight years, once nearly acted out in a way that would have made his former character, the curmudgeonly troublemaker Dr. Gregory House, very proud.
After releasing a blues album called Let Them Talk through Warner Bros. Records, Laurie went on tour, and his very first live show was at the Café Keese in Hamburg in April 2011.
"That was was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life," he tells The Hollywood Reporter.
In a hallway behind the stage, there was a fire alarm that looked more and more tempting as the show neared.
"I seriously considered just busting the fire alarm to call the whole thing off, just to bail out," he says. "It was that scary of a prospect. It's like a bungee jump and a sky dive all combined into one."
Luckily, Laurie made it onto the stage that night, and has performed more than 100 shows around the world since. His first album went on to sell millions of copies, and Laurie and his Copper Bottom Band spent six months on the road in the U.S., Europe, South America and Russia.
"I am now a fully fledged addict. I can't get enough -- to play with these musicians is a real thrill," the 54-year-old says.
Laurie, who has played piano since he was six years old and has loved the blues since about that age, released his second album, Didn't It Rain, in the U.S. on August 6.
The jazz/blues album includes songs dating back to early pioneers W.C. Handy ("St. Louis Blues") and Jelly Roll Morton ("I Hate a Man Like You") to more recent artists such as Dr. John ("Wild Honey") and Alan Price of The Animals ("Changes").
"If I had my way, there would be 160 songs on the record because I find it incredibly hard to say no to any song," he says, adding that there are so many undiscovered treasures he wants to share with the world.
"Some of the songs that I've been singing are very well known, and some are not. Some haven't been recorded since the '20s or '30s," he adds.
Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band will be embarking on a North American tour beginning in October, with 16 stops throughout the U.S. and Canada.
As for his future music plans, Laurie says the sky's the limit.
"I have rather crazy ambitions because I feel the show sort of growing and getting bigger and better and I want to keep going with it because I feel like I can see distant mountaintops where we might actually come to rest," he says.
Watch THR's interview with Laurie above.