Hugh Laurie has reinvented himself completely from a bumbling English buffoon to a moody American physician without any hint of the transition. Hugh has managed to fool even the producer of the House series of his New Jersey accent while auditioning for the role. Having watched Mr Laurie play the Prince Regent in Black Adder for years, then as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster, I almost lost interest in his ability to play anything but the typecast English aristocrat (not that he is bad at it, but you come to expect the types of role he will normally be typecasted for).
He disappeared for a while, only to come back on the small screen on the other side of the Atlantic as this impressive, moody, obnoxious, but brilliant Doctor of rare diseases. If you had watched Mr Laurie's other attempts at turning himself into a credible American such as in Stuart Little, you will probably be more impressed that not only did he acquire the accent, but he also managed to raise the pitch of his voice by an octave too.
So what is it that makes a credible actor ? In my humble opinion, it is someone who can completely submerge him/herself into the role he/she is playing, and if you blink, you will not recognise them as themselves. By this standard, I guess the likes of Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt) or Dick Van Dyke (Bert) will not qualify. And by the same token, if you ever had the opportunity to watch "Moscow on the Hudson", you will be amazed at Mr Robin Williams' ability to play a bearded Moscovite. In fact, I was not too sure throughout the film that it was him until I read the credits later.
Credits should also go to the brilliant David Shore who devised the captivating story lines for the House M.D. series. I have it on good authority that most of the medical terminology and ailments covered in the story lines impress even the professionals.
I guess the other reason I can relate to Dr House about is he turns clinical science into something precise, logical, and less mysterious. The outcome is always predictable if you posess all the facts. Kind of like software development really :-)
I am eagerly going through the second season, while waiting for the Region 2 Boxset of Season One to be available on Play.com.