Peter Sarsgaard plays charming and despicable in 'Lovelace'

Thu Aug 8, 2013 5:13pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Peter Sarsgaard has portrayed his share of intense, dark characters, from a homophobic murderer in "Boys Don't Cry" and a death row inmate in the TV series "The Killing" to his latest role as a sleazy hustler in the new biopic "Lovelace."

The Illinois-born actor doesn't search for the offbeat roles. They seem to find him. But he believes there is something worth paying attention to in all of them, including Chuck Traynor, the abusive husband of 1970s adult film star Linda Lovelace he plays in the film about exploitation and betrayal.

"I look at what comes in front of me and try to pick the best material," Sarsgaard, 42, said in an interview before the film opened in U.S. theaters on Friday.

"I'm usually attracted to roles where I think I will have room to carve out someone that has some degree of reality to who they are," added the actor, who has also had leading roles in "Shattered Glass" (2003) and "An Education" (2009).

"Lovelace" stars Amanda Seyfried, 27, who appeared in the 2008 musical "Mamma Mia" and as Cosette in 2012's "Les Miserables," as an innocent girl-next-door lured into the adult film industry.

She gains fame and notoriety and becomes a poster girl for the industry after appearing in "Deep Throat," the first scripted feature porn film that went on to become one of the most profitable movies of its kind.

But through flashbacks the film reveals a much more sinister story about an unwilling participant who was charmed at first and then exploited and prostituted by her husband.

Lovelace eventually escaped from Traynor, wrote about her life and became an ardent campaigner against domestic abuse and pornography before dying at age 52 from injuries sustained in a car accident.   Continued...

 
Cast member Peter Sarsgaard arrives for the premiere of the film "Lovelace" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in this January 22, 2013 file photo. The Illinois-born actor doesn't search for the offbeat roles. They seem to find him. But he believes there is something worth paying attention to in all of them, including Chuck Traynor, the abusive husband of 1970s adult film star Linda Lovelace he plays in the film about exploitation and betrayal. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files