Dave appears tonight on House
Albemarle's resident rock star plays Patrick, a piano savant who was struck by a bus at age 10. In addition to a brain injury, he was suddenly able to play classical piano flawlessly even though he'd never taken lessons. When seizures strike him as an adult, his father, played by Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show), must decide whether to treat his son and risk losing his gift.
Matthews made an impression on his House castmates during filming. In a video clip at the show's website, House star Hugh Laurie, who plays Dr. Gregory House, a gruff but brilliant diagnostician, praises the usually guitar-centric Matthews' piano playing.
Matthews, who also starred in the 2005 feature film, Because of Winn Dixie, laughs it off, claiming Laurie's the real piano talent. "I had a hand double, whereas Hugh did not," Matthews laughs. "It was fun to pretend."
Smith counters, saying Matthews "looked more convincing as a pianist than a real pianist." Matthews later notes that Smith makes a convincing father due in part to a similar forehead structure.
As for the fact that Matthews finds himself once again playing a musician (he was an animal-calming guitar player in Winn Dixie), Matthews says he found the character interesting, "so I put aside my partial unwillingness to play a musician."
The episode airs at 9pm tonight.