With leading-man looks and serious talent, Hugh Dancy is an actor with options. He’s one of the stars of Hysteria (opening later this year) as the 19th century doctor who invented the vibrator, and is currently in previews in the two-character Broadway play Venus in Fur. So what’s he doing in the frankly supporting role of the brother-in-law in Martha Marcy May Marlene?
The attention-getting title character – played by the even-more-attention-getting Elizabeth Olsen – is a young woman who escapes a harrowing cult-like community and arrives at the upscale summer house of her sister, Lucy, and Lucy’s new husband, Ted. It’s easy to see that Ted is strategically important, the film’s ballast, but in our video chat Dancy offers a deeper analysis, as he discusses the challenges of playing an ordinary guy who is far less ordinary than he seems.
Dancy obviously made a good choice in signing onto MMMM. Since Sundance, writer/director Sean Durkin’s film has become one of the year’s most buzzed-about indies. (Here are my interviews with Olsen and John Hawkes, and with Durkin.)
Video edited by TAYLOR LEVY.