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Hugh Laurie to show his softer side for 'Mister Pip.' Are you sweet or sour on this?

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Hugh Laurie
Chris Hatcher/PR Photos

Poor Hugh Laurie. Here’s an actor so convincing in his performance every week on House, M.D., he’s often associated with being just as cranky and biting as the show’s titular character.

When it was reported by Deadline that Laurie was set to appear in director Andrew Adamson’s big screen adaptation of Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip, nowhere in his character’s description do the words “snippy,” “mean-spirited” or “sarcastic” come up. In other words, Laurie, who is actually trained as a comedic actor, seems to be putting an end to any typecasting.

Alas, the Golden Globe-winning actor would be set to play the role of Mr. Watts, the last white man remaining on the war-torn island of Bougainville. After Watts opens a school on the island, he bonds with his young students over his favorite novel, Great Expectations. You’re hearing House-like quips in your head right now, aren’t you? 

Still, it will be nice for the actor (nice being the operative word), who can currently be heard in Hop as the voice of Russell Brand’s fluffy patriarch, to show off his diverse range of acting skills with moviegoers. Although will House fans be willing to see him in a new light? Moreover, could this slightly hurt Laurie’s chances for snagging the still-vacant role of Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games? Thanks to the rough-around-the-edges demeanor he’s become almost synonymous with, Laurie’s name has been coming up quite a bit as a suggestion for someone who could play the boozy mentor.

But when it comes to an actor like Hugh Laurie, we’re willing to go in whatever direction he does.

Can you picture Hugh Laurie as a kinder, gentler character like he’ll play in Mister Pip, PopWatchers? Let us know in the comments section below.