In Hysteria, Hugh Dancy plays a 19th-century London doctor tasked with “pleasuring half the women in the city.” He’s not necessarily bragging to the boys about it, mind you. After all, he’s a man of science, and his “pelvic massage treatment” is used purely to cure women suffering from hysteria, a catch-all misdiagnosis that described female malaise and anxiety. But his Mortimer Granville has a gift, and business is booming.
Mortimer is an unusual candidate for such an intimate skill set, as he’s a stuffy, stammering gent whose adorable charm is of the Hugh Grant variety. In this exclusive clip from the film, which opens this Friday in New York and Los Angeles, Mortimer finds himself cornered by someone willing to return the favor: the crudely flirtatious maid Molly the Lolly (Sheridan Smith).
In the second clip, Mortimer crashes-cute with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Charlotte Dalrymple, a thoroughly modern woman who sees right through the doctors’ malpractice and gives as good as she gets. “I wanted her to be almost out of [her] time,” Gyllenhaal said at the September premiere of the film in Toronto. “I just wanted to make somebody who was wildly free and just this beating heart — and yes, fierce, but her fierceness is motivated by love. I loved being her — like my cheeks were always flushed.”
Watch both actors’ cheeks flush below.
Yes, that’s Rupert Everett in that second clip. Felicity Jones and Jonathan Pryce also co-star.