Maggie Gyllenhaal Discusses Movie About First Vibrator

May 31, 2012 2:30 PM PST

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Maggie Gyllenhaal, star of Sony Pictures Classics' new romantic comedy "Hysteria," is talking about the sex scenes featured in the Tanya Wexler-directed film about the invention of the first electric vibrator.

Set in 1880 London, the film tells the true story of how British doctor Mortimer Granville came to invent the first vibrator in an effort to better administrate the pelvic massages required to treat women suffering from hysteria, a condition believed at the time to be caused by a "wandering uterus" and cured only by inducing orgasms.

Gyllenhaal, who plays the wild child daughter of Granville's superior, Dr. Robert Dalrymple, described the picture to as "naturally funny."

"You have everyone in Victorian England being afraid to show an ankle and then at the same time there are doctors making women [have orgasms] in their offices," she said. "The fact that it actually happened is one of those things that’s naturally funny."

Gyllenhaal also spoke about the film's sex scenes with the site. "I loved being surprised by the response of the audience," she said. "Everyone was kind of flushed or a little hysterical. We’re not used to, me included, seeing women have orgasms and use vibrators.

"I think the film is a really interesting way to explore the realities of sex from a woman’s point of view," she continued. "I think it’s so much more erotic than the kind of, 'put on a Victoria’s Secret black demi-bra, be lit perfectly and arch your back' way. I mean that will do something for some people, but it’s not the same as watching a sex scene where you go, 'Wow, these people are communicating and they’re actually having sex that reminds me of the way that I have sex.'"

"Hysteria" costars Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett, and Felicity Jones. The film is currently in theaters. A trailer for the film can be seen here.

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