In Showtime’s The Affair, there’s a quite a bit of — **Spoiler** — nudity and sex, meaning Ruth Wilson is naked a lot. There’s also plenty of co-star Dominic West’s bare chest and a strikingly equal amount of ass (his) shots, but as Wilson notes, that isn’t quite the same as a topless woman. Quickly speaking out after her Golden Globe win, she’s using her momentum to bring a little more attention to something we’ve remarked on before: inequality in filming sex scenes.
“Of course, in The Affair, you have to have sex scenes..I argue this stuff all the time; that these scenes need to be real and they need to have a narrative as much as any other scene. They can’t be purely titillation. They need to move the story forward and the characters forward. So for Dominic and myself, every time it came up we asked, ‘Do we need this? What are we saying with it? And how can we choreograph it so that it has something to say, so that we can act within it?”
So wait, you mean a little sexposition shouldn’t just be thrown in?
“I have a big concern about how women are treated in the industry generally, and how they have to provide the titillation because penises can’t be seen on screen but breasts can. It’s assumed that women will get their breasts out, and have to get their breasts out, and I balk at that. It’s unnecessary and it’s unfair.”
Wilson brings up another interesting point (and if memory serves, we did see Noah’s o-face):
“So I kept insisting, ‘Why have I always got to do the orgasm face? There should be a male orgasm face. Why is it always the woman who’s orgasming? Let’s analyze the male orgasm. Why aren’t we thinking about that a bit more?’ It’s hard to make good sex scenes work - there are so many crap ones out there.”
The Affair actually does seem to do its best to level out the playing field when it comes to sex scenes, and its split points of view really hone in on how different the male/female perspective is. From the way the characters are dressed, to Noah (West) seeing Alison (Wilson) titillating where Alison perceives Noah persuing her.
Though Wilson also mentions how she doesn’t like to comment on her personal life — “They link me to everyone I work with” — she did say a little something about rumors she’s gotten romantic with her Constellations co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal. The pair, who are getting rave reviews for their Broadway show and chemistry, have been seen together a lot, and were spied kissing and holding hands at a Golden Globes afterparty. The actress shot down the stories, saying “He’s adorable, a really good guy. We’ve become like brother and sister a little bit.”