Ruth Wilson Q&A: ‘The Affair’
Ruth Wilson is a potential Golden Globes contender for her performance as a married woman who becomes involved with a married man (Dominic West) in Showtime's "The Affair," but even though the actress has been nominated before – for the TV miniseries "Jane Eyre" in 2007 – she never got to attend the event. She explained in our recent video chat, "It was the writers' strike, so I had to watch the results on the news, which was a bit disappointing."
But she came to Los Angeles anyway, "just in case," and she remembers the city being a virtual ghost town after the cancellation of the Globes. "It was funny, L.A. was empty because everyone decided to leave," she said. "The only people left were Brits who had been nominated, so there was all the 'Atonement' lot, like James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, all just looking for a party basically, and some way of celebrating."
Barring another guild strike, Wilson will be able to attend the Globes this time around if she earns a Best TV Drama Actress bid for "The Affair." She plays Alison, a waitress living in Montauk who is still mourning the death of her son when she meets a vacationing out-of-towner (West), with whom she begins an affair. The story is told from both points of view, with each episode divided between her side of the story and his.
"That was partly why I was intrigued by the job," Wilson said. "I got to play two different versions of this character – actually three different versions with the present day [interrogation scenes] as well … It was really interesting as an acting exercise, and quite hard work, but really satisfying."
"The Affair" has been renewed for a second season, but before the series goes back into production, Wilson will appear opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the Broadway play "Constellations," which opens in January. It will be her Broadway debut, but she's already an experienced theater actress, with two Olivier Awards for her work on the London stage, so she may soon be a Tony Award contender in addition to a Globes contender.
"I've always wanted to do Broadway," she said. "I get a bit antsy when I haven't done theater for long, and I had just done 'The Affair' with a camera in your face for five months, so I wanted to be physically free on the stage for a while."