Damian Lewis: I called Hugh Laurie and said I’ve bought your house

alistair foster
Ian West/PA

Damian Lewis has told how he bought Hugh Laurie’s Tufnell Park house from him — and called the actor for advice while sitting in his old bedroom.

The Billions star purchased it in 2007 and splits his time between London and Los Angeles with his wife Helen McCrory and their children Manon, 10, and Gulliver, nine.

Lewis said: “I called him and said, ‘I know this is weird, but I have just bought your house and I am sitting in your bedroom’.

“I asked for his opinion on this TV show I had just been offered [NBC’s ill-fated Life]. He was very diplomatic and encouraging. ‘You should go for it!’ he said. So I did.”

In the interview with MR PORTER Lewis added: “Every single person I spoke to afterwards told me Hugh had been utterly miserable doing [medical drama] House ... the hours were outrageous, it was impossible to learn the lines, he didn’t have a life.”

Lewis is in the second series of Sky Atlantic’s Billions, as billionaire Bobby Axelrod, from next week. He said working on TV series involved “extraordinarily long hours”, adding: “You get a 60-page script every week to 10 days. You get learning it immediately. You are doing 60- to 70-hour weeks. There’s no time for a beer when you’ve wrapped for the day because you are exhausted.”

Lewis, 46, said he often kept up his American accent away from sets to help stay in character — but not in front of his children.

He said: “They once spent a school term in the US and started copying the accent in this comical, exaggerated way. My wife has a horror the children will start talking American if we spend too much time out there.”

Read the full interview at mrporter.com.

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