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In new movie, Hugh Dancy gives off good vibrations

Hugh Dancy (with Maggie Gyllenhaal) portrays Mortimer Granville inventor vibrator “Hysteria.”

Hugh Dancy (with Maggie Gyllenhaal) portrays Mortimer Granville, inventor of the vibrator, in “Hysteria.”

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Updated: July 2, 2012 8:45AM

Hugh Dancy knows he’s in a film with a lot of buzz.

“I don’t see us crushing [the upcoming sci-fi epic] ‘Prometheus,’ but I do think there’s room for a movie about the invention of the vibrator,” he says of starring in “Hysteria” (opening Friday). He plays Victorian era doctor Mortimer Granville, the inventor of the device, who runs into a feminist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“My agent said, ‘How do you feel about the inventor of the vibrator?’ I said, ‘I’ve actually heard of this story,’ which is a blip in history. I knew we could make this funny, but you could get it so wrong. You don’t want to get this wrong and have this be on your gravestone.”

He admired Gyllenhaal “for her amazing energy” but said some of his favorite scenes were with Jonathan Pryce, who plays Dr. Dalrymple, a specialist in female “troubles.”

“He would demonstrate proper techniques for treating female hysteria,” Dancy says. “Usually he did this with very esteemed actresses who played his patients. These ladies were saying, ‘What the heck are you doing?’ ”

Next year Dancy will star on “Hannibal,” a series on NBC.

“I play Will Graham, the investigator in ‘Red Dragon.’ He goes to Hannibal for help. We learn he’s the guy who puts Hannibal away. The show starts with the back-story between Hannibal and me as we get to know each other. It takes me awhile to discover what kind of man he is.”

Dancy’s wife, Claire Danes, also is into her TV show, Showtime’s “Homeland,” which returns in late September for its second season.

“It’s a great show,” he says of his wife’s series.

“Sometimes I read scripts for Claire. Sometimes she reads scripts for me,” he says. “I respect her opinion. Beyond that, I think two artists in one house would work for some people — and not for other people. It works for us.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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