The cover of this week’s Back Stage (and two articles) feature portraits of British actor Hugh Dancy from my recent shoot.
In his newest film, “Hysteria,” opening tomorrow in New York and Los Angeles, Dancy stars as Mortimer Granville, an idealistic young Victorian doctor, who in the 1880s inadvertently invented the vibrator.
Designed to treat the “woman’s disease,” hysteria (then a catchall term for “maladies” such as unhappiness, “overactive uterus,” disobedience and suffragette leanings), the machine (which he patented) was known as Granville’s Hammer. Although the stellar cast (including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce and Rupert Everett) is totally entertaining, ”Hysteria,” is so broad that it seems as if it started life as a play and just added a montage or two. The film was highlighted in a recent New York Times trend article, discussing that “female sexuality is still an unusual subject on screen” and citing signs of change.
Through June 17, Dancy is also starring in David Ives’ “Venus in Fur,” nominated for a 2012 Tony for best play.
Read Back Stage staff writer Dan Lehman’s interview with Hugh Dancy here: