It's no secret that the name Hugh Dancy is synonymous with sex-appeal. Not only is he a dashing Brit with undeniable charm, he also stars in the hottest show on Broadway Venus in Fur as well as the raunchy new comedy Hysteria, which opens Friday. The film tells the story of how the vibrator was invented in Victorian England. It's sexy, fun, and will make audiences blush uncontrollably.
Dancy has also demonstrated an impressive flair for dramatic roles. Last year he stared as a frustrated husband in Martha Marcy May Marlene and he was recently cast in Hannibal, a new primetime series based on the book series. The International Business Times had the chance to ask Dancy about the lack of raunchiness in American cinema and doing a film about a sex toy!
Sexuality in American films is extremely repressed compared to places like Europe. We tend to shy away from explicit material. Do you think that Hysteria will start a trend where films portray sex more honestly?
No I don't. I really don't. I think that there is a taboo. It's a very strange taboo. I think that maybe we find a way around it (in Hysteria). I think we try to treat it honestly while still treating it comedically but for whatever reason people are very squeamish about it.
What where your reservations about being a part of a project that was initially just The Vibrator Movie?
Reservations? That was the appeal [laughs]. I didn't have a strong reservations but the thing that I had to reconcile for myself was can I at least have a stab at making this work? in terms of getting all the tones to unite and not just getting stuck in the middle. I'm in the whole movie as a cypher and not be a part of the funny stuff nor the serious aspects. That can happen. I've done and seen several adaptations of Dickens, not that this is Dickens, but often you've got that character who's the straight guy surrounded by all these wild/fantastical characters and they just get lost. So I wanted to try and not fall into that rap.
Did you draw inspiration from any steamy novels or movies?
I'm just trying to think what they would be...
Maybe some Byron?
No is the short answer. I think that so many films do try to stick to a recognizable genre and a recognizable tone but what was fresh about this film was that it didn't try to cover more ground. So, in a sense, there were several different types of movies that I was thinking of and I was trying to incorporate them all.