Hugh Dancy: Hugh Better Work!

Whether he's playing a man with Asperger's syndrome in the recent film Adam or bringing down the house on Broadway wearing nothing but a towel, Dancy always dazzles like a royal jewel.

BY Brandon Voss

August 05 2009 12:00 AM ET

In the Daily Mail the real Sam Green called the film's suggestion that he's homosexual "untrue and a slur." How did you approach Sam's sexuality?
Whatever his sexuality may or may not be is read entirely between the lines in the book on which the movie's based; there's no clear sense of it. So I had to take the script as my starting point and not worry about that too much. Weirdly, quite recently at a party I spoke to somebody who knows him and was paid an immense compliment: Never having met or having seen footage of Sam Green, I was told that, although he denies he was ever in that threesome situation, he says that I was moving, walking, and talking exactly like him.

Yet he also said that he felt the film "damaged" him and that he was considering legal action. Do you feel any guilt about that controversy?
I don't feel guilt about that, to be honest with you, and I don't know what his motives would be for launching a lawsuit. I didn't have any underlying worries about what I'd done in the movie; if I had, I wouldn't have done it.

Many filmgoers saw your ill-fated character Buddy in Evening as a closeted homosexual, but I read that you didn't really consider him gay.
I didn't consider him not gay, but I certainly didn't consider that the whole thrust of the movie was building up to this one moment of truth about himself. That would've been too simple a way to play it, and I didn't want his problems to be too easily solved. Ann, Claire [Danes]'s character, basically tells him to go kiss some guys and figure it out, but I believe it's also true that he is in love with her. Maybe I just needed this to help play the character, but for me, he doesn't know the answer about his sexuality yet, and I don't think we do either.

What was your motivation for Buddy kissing Harris, Patrick Wilson's character?
I'm not denying that he has that very specific, basic impulse, but Buddy's somebody with a massive sense of inadequacy who's uncomfortable in his own body. Harris represents everything that Buddy wishes he was, so he basically wants to be him.

You've dismissed a certain gossip item about a drunken make-out session between you, Evening screenwriter Michael Cunningham, and a male hotel staffer. Are you annoyed by rumors regarding your sexuality?
No more so than by other rumors. There's a cultural phenomenon whereby people want to create or spread that particular rumor, and I find it slightly weird that that would be the go-to thing. I don't like talking about my private life in general, so I find it better not to engage in that. There's something as unseemly about denying those rumors as there is about the rumors in the first place.

We always hear about actors falling in love after meeting on film sets. Since it happened to you and Claire with Evening, how do you handle it now when your fiancée's off snogging someone else at work?
We've all got different levels of jealousy, and some people are just quicker to reach the boiling point. Personally, I'd like to think I'm fairly balanced. Generally speaking, it is a professional hazard, but you've got to try to remember that it's just a job.

So is Zac Efron, Claire's love interest in the upcoming Me and Orson Welles, safe from an ass-kicking?
Yeah, he's a good guy.

Ooh, what's he like in person?
[Laughs] He's a dreamboat.

Tags: Film

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