Hugh Laurie on anti-lockdown protesters in England: they don’t have automatic guns

'The Personal History of David Copperfield' premiere, BFI London Film Festival, UK
Hugh Laurie was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He had a bad haircut, he was cagey about how it happened but suggested he cut it really short at the beginning of lockdown as a precaution. He’s not really promoting anything, he’s in Avenue 5 on HBO as the caption of a failed space voyage that’s similar to a cruise ship. I watched that entire series and found it funny but a little too close to our current situation. No spoilers! I just don’t know how they’re going to play that scenario for laughs given the new reality. Plus there are still crew members stuck on cruise ships all around the world. Hugh said they don’t have plans for the next season yet and that the set for the ship burned down in an accident anyway. I hadn’t heard that before! Stephen asked him if they have a-holes protesting the lockdown in England like we do in the UK, and he said not really and even if they did it’s not the same because of the guns.

On if they have idiotic protesters in England too
Our minority, even if it were equivalent to yours, they don’t have automatic weapons. We just grumble more, we’re a grumbly nation. Most people seem to be pragmatic about it, they roll their eyes and get on with it. [There’s] a great army of people working day and night to [keep us] fed and watered.

His son is working in an ER as a doctor
I feel such immense gratitude [for frontline workers]. My son is actually a junior doctor now, he’s in A&E [the ER]. My dad was a doctor as well. I am the son and father of a doctor. I’m the big fat fake in the middle. He’s a first year, foundation year, junior doctor at the moment. He would have been rotating, except now it’s all hands on deck.

On the future of Avenue 5
That’s all completely up in the air. We lost the space ship [to a big fire], it all burned down, so they were going to have to rebuild that this year. We haven’t been able to rebuild it. We were supposed to start next month, but that can’t really happen.

On his roles
I loved them all. I think House was the most thrilling adventure that I’d ever been on as an actor.

[From The Late Show with Stephen Colbert]

Hugh really nailed it by saying the difference is guns. There are people with automatic weapons storming government buildings for the right to get haircuts and go to Applebees. It would be so much different if assault rifles weren’t legal, or at least were more heavily regulated. When I was in England I was amazed to see the police just carrying billy clubs and actually getting in people’s faces instead of just pointing guns at them and yelling. It was the late 90s in London and it was New Year’s so there were some incidents. What a different world it would be if guns were not considered a birthright in the US.

Also I tried researching this and found that there are small protests against lockdown in London and that they’re doing group hugs. That’s very stupid, but it’s also a huge difference to carrying automatic weapons and yelling in the faces of police.

As for Hugh, he’s a lovely man and I enjoyed him on Avenue 5. I just don’t think I would keep watching that show if it came back. Oh and I bet he’s so proud of his son becoming a doctor, that’s impressive, but it would also make me worry so much as a parent.

Here’s the first part of Hugh’s interview. The second part is here!

BFI London Film Festival 2019 - The Personal History Of David Copperfield European Premiere Arrivals - Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square, London

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14 Responses to “Hugh Laurie on anti-lockdown protesters in England: they don’t have automatic guns”

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    Watching him on House was so weird for me after knowing him as Bertie Wooster. He’s such a great actor.

  2. GR says:

    “When I was in England I was amazed to see the police just carrying billy clubs and actually getting in people’s faces instead of just pointing guns at them and yelling” – unfortunately I suspect the thing with US police pointing guns mostly happens to POC.

  3. Mumbles says:

    I know this would go over like a lead balloon, but gun control advocates should also advocate for a decrease in police carrying guns. If it works in the UK, why not here?

    I hope they use the fire at the Avenue 5 set as an excuse to shut down the second season of Avenue 5. That show was dismal and unfunny, painful to watch. And I’m an Iannucci and Laurie fan.

  4. Jade says:

    Actually, the reason no one really is protesting in the UK is because for the most part, people don’t really protest anything here. The only spirit they really have here is for alcohol.

    • Mara says:

      I’m guessing you don’t live in London?
      Outside of lockdown I usually work in Westminster where there were protests (big or small) every day.
      Last year year was a particularly protest heavy year, lots of Brexit protests and marches from both sides, Friday climate change protests, Monday taxi drivers where they honk their horns constantly for about an hour (that’s fun to work through) and weekly international themed protests outside the Foreign Office (I think the loudest were Burmese expats protesting to the Rohinga genocide being called a genocide – they didn’t garner much sympathy.)
      Finally there were the lone wolves, the anti-Brexit guy outside Parliament (I think his name is Steve) and there was a guy who stood outside Number 10 everyday with a sign that just read ‘Ban MI5’

      • Flffgrrrlr says:

        There has been a small protest in Hyde Park today. A bunch of badly written posters were being circulated on social media suggesting people go and have a group picnic in the park in various places in the uk. It turns out to have been organised by a new group set up by the former leader of Britain First – a particularly nasty right wing racist group. Still – not big numbers there today even in central London – although I guess it’s not easy to get there at the moment unless you live locally. Muppets.

  5. Also Ali says:

    I loved him in House and The Night Manger.

  6. Awkward symphony says:

    I’ve been a fan of his since House, watched him last in the night manager so I look forward to seeing this show

  7. Watcher says:

    I love him, loved the moment when he said he still can have a Bertie Wooster line pop in his head and it’ll make him laugh! He was an incomparable Bertie.

  8. Granger says:

    I will watch Avenue 5 no matter what. I think it’s so clever and witty, and Hugh in particular is (as usual) fun to watch. Rebecca Front, too! I had no idea who she was and she’s excellent. I hope they can shoot the second season soon.

  9. Alyse says:

    Not American, and I find the right to bear arms people SO ridiculous.
    MATE that document was written SO long ago & life/society has completely changed.
    Life and the world evolves. Documents are literally a social construct that should be updated and evolve with the times (HELLO SLAVERY, Right to vote etc)
    NO ONE NEEDS GUNS apart from farmers, and they don’t need military level ones.
    I live in a country where the police don’t carry guns around (NZ) and it was crazy to me seeing so many in Europe (on guards/police in France & Italy) as it was. US love of them is just ott to me!