Hugh Laurie: ‘Touring in America is the most terrifying thing I’ve done’

He’s a highly regarded touring musician, but for many yes Hugh Laurie shied away from his talent in the industry because he was “too chicken” to fail as a singer.

The multi-talented star has already made his name as an actor in the likes of Home and A Bit of Fry and Laurie, impressed with his directorial skills and his comedy routines.

But the idea of singing, despite his love of it, seemed “terrifying” to Hugh, as he explained on This Morning today.

“It was pure shyness, fear, anxiety,” Hugh began.

“I think there’s something much more naked and exposing about music than acting.

“My suspicious is when people become actors, they’re looking to put a mask on their face, to hide themselves. Music is really about removing the mask and exposing yourself.

“It’s a much more vulnerable position to be in and it is something I was frankly too chicken to do. I did it a little bit but only in the guise of comic songs.”

Explaining how he came to make music professionally, Hugh continued: “A very nice man from a record company – that sounds like a contradiction in terms... from Warner Brothers who said, ‘How you fancy doing this, do you want to make a record?’

“My first response was the shy one, I couldn’t possibly, I’m not worthy. Then I thought there could come a time in my life when I could say, ‘I could have done and didn’t'. And I would never ever forgive myself. Whatever happens I would be mad to say no.

"By large in life, as someone once said, and I think it was me, 'You don’t regret the things you do, you regret the things you don’t do'. That was my big fear, regretting not taking this opportunity.”

Hugh is embarking on a US/Canada tour in October, kicking off in the middle of blues country, Nashville, and admitted it’s a prospect he finds rather daunting.

“This is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done in my life and I’ve done some things. But this is terrifying. And it should be. Every time I’m ready to throw up before going on stage I think, ‘This is a good thing, this is how it should be. I should be terrified of this.”

The actor added: “There is of course another layer of anxiety taking coals to Newcastle, that I’m re-introducing American music to Americans.

"But then again Americans, and even the American musicians I’m playing with would admit for a long period in the 60s and 70s Americans really turned their backs on their own music as people often do. Frankly we don’t go and watch Morris dancing much do we?!”

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