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Ruth Wilson tackles angst and sex in ‘True Things’

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Among her gallery of spectacular women, Ruth Wilson has played Jane Eyre, Anna Christie, even Hedda Gabler. Yet it’s safe to say her troubled, sensual, sexual Kate in “True Things” is someone altogether new.

Set in contemporary London, “True Things” introduces Kate at her job, processing government funds for people who might have just gotten out of prison.

One of them (Tom Burke, the one-legged detective Cormoran Strike in the “Strike” murder mystery series) cheekily proposes going for lunch. She accepts — and “lunch” is quickly replaced by raunchy sex.

Tom Burke and Ruth Wilson play a mismatched couple in "True Things." (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Tom Burke and Ruth Wilson play a mismatched couple in “True Things.” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Thus begins a fantasy relationship on Kate’s part, seeing this often distant stranger as the one to share her life with.

Wilson, who bought the rights to the source novel and produced the film with Jude Law, sees Kate as not completely self-destructive.

“What I felt is she’s stuck in a job, she’s living close to her parents. She’s sleepwalking through life,” Wilson, 40, explained in a Zoom interview. “She’s desperately trying to fit in with what they want from her. But she can’t. That’s not who she really is.

“So part of this is that she hasn’t owned her life yet. She’s just plodding through and, in a way, falling for this guy — or taking a risk on someone that is clearly not right for her — is her way of sabotaging the life that she’s in at the moment.

“It’s a way of finding expression in that. I also think, and in reality what we found quite interesting: It’s not all bad for her.

“Yes, he doesn’t turn up when he’s supposed to. He’s not the ideal match. But he recognizes her humor. He actually praises her a lot and sees her in a way the others don’t.

“And that for me was: There is a connection between them, there is some chemistry and sexual attraction to them, to each other. Eventually she does use him to get free.”

Wilson is no stranger to onscreen sensuality, most notably in “The Affair” but this is a new era for sex onscreen. “We had an intimacy coordinator, Ita O’Brien. She’s the person that’s basically headed this whole ‘intimacy coach’ up. She’s fabulous.

“I already trust Tom” — they’ve been friends for years — “but having someone there that you can just have an open conversation about what you’re wanting to achieve, what the director wants to achieve with the shot and with the scene and what you are comfortable with and not comfortable with. It’s great!

“That open dialogue was just not happening before and I think it’s essential these days.”


“True Things” opens Friday.

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