“I suddenly got hugely vulnerable in a way I haven’t for years,” reveals Bill Pullman in our exclusive webcam interview (watch the video above). USA Network’s limited series “The Sinner” focuses on Pullman’s Detective Harry Ambrose investigating a brutal murder by Cora (Jessica Biel), a young unhinged mother who has no knowledge of why she committed the violent crime. Ambrose is also a man with his own demons, as he struggles with paralyzing anxiety and the need to be dominated sexually by his mistress.
“Just the thought of people seeing me involved in [certain] behavior and television audiences being different for films, and people in small towns that I live in and have contact with who are going to look at this and go ‘Pullman, what’s happened to you,’” the actor says, made him feel anxious and vulnerable. “It was almost as if Harry’s personal shame was something I was conflating with my own circumstance.”
“What’s strange about masochism, you know, is it’s [about] feeling unworthy, feeling a lack, and that somehow the pain,” Pullman explains. “It is more comforting than not having it because there’s a clarity to it and it somehow gets distorted with also a little bit of oblivion,” he adds. “That sense of ‘I want out of here, I want out of my body, I want out of my torture, my personal torture.'”
“The Sinner” has been a huge success for USA, landing two nominations at the Golden Globes earlier this year and is a frontrunner to nab a few mentions at the Emmys next month. The limited series has also been picked up for a second installment, which Pullman talks about in some detail during our chat, also revealing that he was surprised that the show took off the way it did, given his paranoia that it might not be widely seen. “I think I entered into it without really predicting that it would be seen by people. I think I am still a little, after all these years, naïve,” he says smiling.
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