Friday, November 16, 2012

Michael Sheen Talks about Translating "Masters of Sex" Book Into Upcoming Showtime Series

   With the new edition of "Masters of Sex" soon to come out, actor Michael Sheen is being asked about translating the book into the new Showtime series "Masters of Sex." Sheen was asked these questions while promoting his new film, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2." 

CraveOnline: I got to see a preview of “Masters of Sex” at the Television Critics Association this summer. What sort of research did you do on Masters and Johnson?
Michael Sheen: There’s the book obviously about Masters and Johnson which I read, which was fantastic and really useful. I met an OB/GYN guy here in L.A. who had been working around the same time that Masters was working, so I got a sense of what the world was like at that time as well. As we go into series now, in late January I think we start shooting, then I’ll start doing more and more research again but it’s a fascinating, fascinating story. There’s the possibility of telling that story season after season if it goes that long, but their story goes through the ’50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s. Who knows? We’ll see but their story actually goes through that time because their story is mirrored by what’s going on in society in each decade in terms of their relationship to sex. So it’s kind of fascinating, the sexual revolution of the ‘60s into the ‘70s. Then the influx of porn in the ‘70s and the sexual liberation. Then you’re starting to see the advent of AIDS in the ‘80s and how all those things affect their work and how their work affected all those things, so it’s a fascinating story. I’m looking forward to it.
Of course they probably showed us the most outrageous sexual clips, but is every day a closed set on that show?
Michael Sheen: Pretty much, yeah. It’s kind of full on. It’s pretty intense with all that stuff because obviously the nature of their work is sex research. He started off by working with prostitutes, watching prostitutes at work through a little peephole, writing everything down to then working in secret within the hospital and doing research with women. He invented this machine which was this sort of glass dildo really with a light inside it that you could look through and watch what’s happening whilst a woman brings herself to climax. That’s not something you see every day on a TV show. And then eventually he’s monitoring people having sex with each other, strangers having sex so it’s pretty intense every day, but fascinating.
Do you have to be prepared to go full frontal, or is your character safe from that?
Michael Sheen: I don't know, we’ll see. I don't think anyone’s safe. I think at some point everyone will get involved, so we’ll see what the writers come up with.
So that’s the outrageous side. What is the meaty drama side of it?
Michael Sheen: Well, it’s about these people and the relationships between them because for all the work they were doing on sex, their own private lives were very, very complicated and not as open as the work they were exploring. It is a really fascinating dynamic between these characters.

Having seen some clips for your new Showtime drama series Masters of Sex, it’s clear that theshow will really go there. 
SHEEN:  Oh, it goes there, yes!  
Was that challenge of the material part of what attracted you to it?
SHEEN:  I think so, yeah.  What really attracted me was that there’s such potential there.  With something like that, you could potentially end up doing seven seasons, but all you’ve got to go on is one pilot episode.  So, when I read the pilot episode, I thought there was such potential, in all kinds of ways.  What the subject matter is about is interesting and different, and we haven’t really seen that before.  It’s very intense.  And I thought there was a lot of opportunity there to really explore something we find taboo, in some ways, and a bit embarrassing.  I thought that was interesting.  But then, there’s just the lives of these characters because they’re real people.  I’ve read about their lives, so I know the major events and the things that they were dealing with.  Thinking about how that might play out, over multiple seasons, I thought there was so much richness and potential there.  The whole thing, really, was exciting. 
How is Lizzy Caplan, as a co-star?

SHEEN:  She’s great fun!  She’s got a great background in comedy, but she’s a fantastic actress, as well.  I think it could be really exciting.  I’m looking forward to getting the scripts now, for the first season. 

Tell us about Showtime's "Masters of Sex," which you are producing and starring in.IMichael Sheen: t's a series that we did the pilot for earlier this year that is based on real people, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, who in the late '50s and early '60s were pioneering sex research. A lot of their work was controversial and, when it was published, led to a huge reaction and the sexual revolution. Their private lives were very complicated and unusual. Their story plays out over the decades and their lives reflect the changes in society over that period of time. It's a fascinating story with a lot of potential, so I'm looking forward to it.
You and Lizzy Caplan have a Showtime series coming up calledMasters of Sex, about sexual researchers Masters and Johnson. It sounds a bit like Kinsey, which was made by your Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon.
Michael Sheen: Kinsey was sort of around a few years previous to Masters and Johnson, and his work was really based on questionnaires, so the big difference was that the work the Masters did was with actual people, you know. It wasn't just asking questions and compiling information. This was about actually looking at the effects on the body of sex, which obviously involves having bodies to research on, and since it's on Showtime, you get total freedom really in terms of exploring it. It should be fascinating.
Lizzy Caplan has said that she's agitating for you to go nude in the show, in the name of equal representation.
Michael Sheen: [Laughs.] Well, I think some things are best enjoyed in small doses. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lizzy Caplan: "Well, read the book!" when asked about "Masters of Sex", the new Showtime series starring talented actors Caplan and Michael Sheen

Here's what Lizzy Caplan had to say to WNBC in New York about her new Showtime series "Masters of Sex" based on the book of the same name.

Tell me about your TV show.
It's called 'Masters of Sex'. It's on Showtime. I don't know the air date. We shot the pilot but we haven't begun shooting the series yet. It's about Masters and Johnson, the famed sex researchers in the 1950s. I play Virginia Johnson and Michael Sheen plays William Masters. It's based on this book, this biography of the two of them, and it is one of the most fascinating stories I've ever read. It is so outlandish, what these two people did, and yet it all really happened. And so I'm very excited to make a show where if anybody's like, 'No, that's unbelievable.' It's like, 'Well, read the book.' Because these people did it. And they did it in real life in Missouri in the '50s.
How did you get your hooks into her? What helped you crack the code as to who she was?
Well, I read the book, and there were little things peppered throughout the book that were pretty strange coincidences. Just little tiny things that wouldn't be mind-blowing but that I started to feel sort of connected to her. And there was something so brave to me about this woman who was so comfortable with her sexuality at a time where women weren't. They had no ownership over their own sexuality. And she was this twice-divorced woman with two kids and a nightclub singer and she sort of hustles her way into this hospital and becomes this doctor's assistant all by virtue of her own moxie and personality.
And she becomes half of what is the most important sex researcher team that I think has ever been. Showing up on set with Michael Sheen, who's an actor who I respect so much – I refer to him as a real actor because he's like played Hamlet and is one of those trained actors. And it felt like the dynamic was already in place because I felt like this scrappy little comedy actress coming in and playing with this big gun. And that was how it was for the two of these people, so before we even started rolling it was like, 'Okay, whoever's casting this show is smart because they're setting up this like power situation like from the get-go.' And Michael and I have since become good buddies and we're gonna have a blast shooting the show. And I'm like ridiculously excited.
Crazy sex fact that you learned as a part of that gig?
The craziest sex fact that I learned as a part of that gig was that before Masters and Johnson kind of blew the lid off this, everybody considered the male orgasm to be the only important orgasm, the only one that mattered. And it's all Freudian s***, like the virginal orgasm was the only one that counted and a clitoral orgasm was bullshit. And like people really lived their lives like that. That's crazy. I'm gonna have to say the word 'clitoral' so many times in the next year.

Director John Madden Talks About "Masters of Sex" And Suggests "A Long Life" for the Project

Director John Madden recently talked about the making of "Masters of Sex" for Showtime and his hopes for the project based the book.

Here's a snippet from the interview.

Is it exciting to also have Masters of Sex picked up to series at Showtime?
MADDEN:  I loved [making the pilot].  I’m very involved in it.  It’s a very interesting world, it’s a very cool story, and it unleashes all kinds of things that you don’t normally see dealt with or questioned.  It was a fantastic script.  I loved doing it.  I’m thrilled it’s been picked up.  I think it will have a long life.  And I will remain very centrally involved in it, I hope. 
As a producer, or are you looking to direct more episodes?
MADDEN:  Well, certainly as an executive producer, and quite possibly to direct it.  It’s just that the first phase of production probably coincides with a movie that I’m supposed to do.  But, I’ll definitely come back to it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Michael Sheen Talks about Showtime "Masters of Sex" while on "Breaking Dawn" Tour

In this interview, Michael Sheen is asked about the upcoming Showtime series "Masters of Sex" and his starring role as Dr. William Masters, based on my biography of Masters and Johnson. I believe Michael will be terrific in this role and that he and Lizzy Caplan will be a dynamic duo together.

New Updated Edition of "Masters of Sex" for 2013 Along with Showtime Series "Masters of Sex" Based on Book; Stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan

     In April 2013, Basic Books will be re-issuing "Master of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love," which is the basis for the new Showtime series of the same name coming out in 2013. Actors Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan play Masters and Johnson in the new series.
    The re-issued book will feature a new afterword about the reaction to the book in 2009 and some new details about the making of the Showtimes series.
    An original first edition of the book can be also purchased at Amazon.