Hugh Dancy busy on Broadway in ‘Venus’, on TV in ‘Big C’ [Video]

“The play is fast. It’s very verbal. It takes very sharp turns very quickly,” said Hugh Dancy about the original play “Venus in Fur” currently on Broadway. “I love that kind of experience in the theatre where you’re by the seat of your pants.”

In this intense, mysterious, and comedic production, Dancy plays Thomas, the writer-director of a fictional play about masochism. He is upset at the quality of actresses auditioning until Vanda (Nina Arianda) arrives at the last minute. The next 90 minutes play out in real time in the rehearsal room with no breaks as the balance of power moves from him to her, just as happened in the original novel he adapted.

In a video chat with Gold Derby, Dancy said, “The play is certainly challenging for lots of reasons. There’s a huge amount going on under the surface. David Ives is a very, very good writer, and it took us a good long time to unpack it and make sense of it.” The play itself is generating Tony Awards buzz along with its two stars for Best Actor in a Play and Best Actress in a Play.

Another role on the awards radar is Dancy’s character of Lee Fallon on Showtime’s “The Big C.” Acting opposite Laura Linney for many scenes, Dancy said his portrayal of the terminal cancer patient was very different than the one played by Linney. “I thought it was interesting to have to play a character that would challenge that,” he explained. “Somebody whose conscious decision is knowing he’s going to die is to entirely detach himself from human connection and not to pursue those warm comforting experiences that most of us would go after.”

He could be contending as Best Comedy Guest Actor this summer for that performance. His wife Claire Danes is also a strong frontrunner to win as Best Drama Actress on “Homeland.” Dancy will follow his mate as a drama regular this fall on NBC as FBI agent Will Graham in “Hannibal,” an adaptation of the Thomas Harris novels.

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