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Q&A – Anne Heche Confirms Spread Is Just What It Sounds Like

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You’ll get to see more of Anne Heche and Ashton Kutcher than you may have ever wanted to in Spread. As a homeless grifter, Kutcher lives off the largess of the older, wealthier women he targets. He gets a free place to stay; they get plenty of sex — until things invariably go wrong. Heche explains what having a boytoy does for the female psyche.

Q: The word “spread” can mean so many different things…

A: Yes, I think it’s the more obvious choice, don’t you? [Laughs]. This is a very adult, very sexual movie, so I see it as a woman spreading open for this guy, which turns into a real disaster for her. She’s spreading open both literally and figuratively – physically, emotionally. And she’s also got the “spread,” as in her house, which becomes a character, a metaphor, too, since that’s the thing that pulls him to her, and makes her the choice for his next victim. Really, it’s all of those things, but for my son, I would give him a different definition!

A: In Shampoo, the guy had a job, right? Nikki is more of a
user and a manipulator. He’s not a direct abuser of women, but I don’t
think this is a happy-go-lucky guy who has a lot of sex with women with
no consequence. I don’t know if he gets what he deserves, but he does
have that moment of recognition. That’s a more positive way of looking
at it.

Q: But your character, Samantha, is a lawyer, a smart woman. Why would this appeal to her?

A: I don’t think women step into these situations wanting to be
manipulated. She doesn’t need men for much else than sex. Her only real
need is to share a little bit of her success, her life, her fun, and he
plays into that for a part of her life. That works for a while. It’s
not that it doesn’t work, but what are the things that work? The sex is
terrific. He cooks for her and wears an adorable apron with no pants,
why isn’t she allowed to love that?

At first she doesn’t know she’s being used, or cheated on, and
by the time she knows, she doesn’t want to see the signs. She thinks,
“I’ll forgive him.” And then it gets worse. And that’s not something
that’s particular to a smart or a dumb woman. That’s just her being a
woman. And there’s a shame in that. She feels ashamed for having fallen
for him, and in shame, we hurt ourselves, sometimes. That was the
tragedy of her.

Q: And then she goes to that extreme, of having vaginal
reconstructive surgery just so that she might appeal to a younger
man…

A: This was not a nose job. This is taking her sexual organ and
changing it. Because it’s all about sexuality, and about the sexuality
of an older woman. That’s part of the dark place she goes to, thinking
she has to change herself. We don’t see all of his other “situations,”
as he calls them. We just see this one. So we don’t know if he does it
any differently with the older women he lures in, or how they’re
affected by him. We just see they have a powerful sexual relationship.

Q: On Hung, your character’s ex-husband is a
gigolo as well — only he’s trying to give his female clients something
back. Or at least learning to.

A: They call Ray a “happiness consultant.” [Laughs]. Ray
and Nikki are two ends of that spectrum. Only Nikki isn’t all that
smart. He’s got one thing, and he sells it well, and he shakes it well,
and that’s enough for these women, the women we see.

Q: Ray’s only got one thing, too.

A: Yes, but he’s interested in more than that. Sexuality is a
big part of our emotional makeup, but it’s a part of ourselves that we
don’t express very much. We cover it up. In Hung, my character is like a little girl when it comes to sex. In Spread,
she’s a woman who’s very comfortable with her body and her sexuality.
And so I have to be able to play that spectrum of women, too. It’s
scary, when you’re exposed like that. People don’t want to see it. And
that’s what’s so bold with these stories, and what we set out to do
with Spread

Q: To be revealing, and not just physically?

A: It’s more revealing emotionally than you ever see revealed
physically, even though there’s a lot of that. It’s not just seeing us
have sex, it’s about how much deeper can we go? How much more painful
or twisted is it? And we go deeper and deeper, whether we like it or
not.

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