The Affair actress Ruth Wilson on screen sex and why TV shows need 'more male orgasms' in the name of 'equality'

Despite filming dozens of love scenes for Sky Atlantic’s raunchy hit drama The Affair, the feisty actress thinks there is a lack of equality when it comes to the bedroom shots.

She said: “Why have I always got to do the orgasm face?

“There should be a male orgasm face. Why is it always the woman who’s orgasming — why aren’t we thinking about that a bit more?”

Ruth had enough of showing her boobs while filming with co-star Dominic West, so he was forced to flash more flesh.

The 36-year-old’s performance in The Affair won her a Best Actress Golden Globe. She caused a stir during the acceptance speech by saying Dominic’s bum was “something of great beauty”.

Ruth said: “Dom and I had to do so many sex scenes and I decided at one point I wasn’t going to show my nipples any more. So poor Dom had to get his a*** out more.

“It was an in-joke, praising his bum rather than making any comment about male objectification.”

With her full, pouty lips and arched eyebrows, Ruth has become something of a sex symbol.

But the actress, who stars in new horror film The Little Stranger, got some flak for her looks at school.

Ruth said: “I remember a few comments about my lips when I was younger. It was a family trait, my cousin has similar lips.

“My ‘Jack Nicholson’ eyebrows were mentioned in school sometimes too. I can’t do anything about it. I remember reading somewhere, ‘Oh, there’s too much collagen in those lips’.

“There’s NO collagen, I’m afraid. They are au naturel.

“If I did put collagen in them, I think it would be a bit of a disaster.”

Ruth, who appeared alongside Idris Elba in Luther, is determined to be valued for more than just her appearance.

She said: “I’ve always been a tomboy. Perhaps it’s to do with having three older brothers.

“I remember being about 14 when I started wearing shorts and heels. I hated the attention I got. I found it overwhelming.

“I’m not comfortable being overtly feminine in a t*ts-and-ass sort of way. I don’t really like that kind of attention.

“I’d rather connect with people on a level which is more than that, which is about having a conversation, not ‘look at my bum and look at my legs’.”

There should be a male orgasm face. Why is it always the woman who’s orgasming — why aren’t we thinking about that a bit more?

Ruth’s dad, Nigel, was an investment banker, while mum Mary raised Ruth and her three older brothers in Shepperton, Surrey. One brother, Matt, fought with the Territorial Army in Afghanistan.

Ruth said: “My mum had four kids at my age and all my brothers have got kids and are settled.

“My parents’ lives were in one place — static and maybe routine. My life isn’t. I have no example by which to live my life. I feel I am a bit on my own and have to form it as I go.

“Sometimes I think, ‘God, I’d really love some kids’ and other times it’s like, ‘no way’.

“For a woman my age, it’s a constant debate and a really annoying thing to deal with because it defines relationships and how you approach them.

“Life will take its paths and you have to believe things will happen for a reason. I am happy as I am at the moment.”

While fiercely private about her love life, Ruth has been linked to several co-stars.

In 2015 she was spotted hand in hand with US actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who appeared alongside her in West End play Constellations. She denied a romance but one source said: “They were holding hands and shared a little kiss.”

Three years earlier she spent a summer with Jude Law on her boat in Norfolk. The pair met in 2011 while working together in West End play Anna Christie, for which she won an Olivier Award. She said: “It’s a pretty basic boat, you know.

“It’s not a luxury yacht. I didn’t expect Jude to say yes but he was very keen and mucked in completely.

“He instantly disarms you because he is so generous and open and hard-working. There’s no ego at all with Jude.”

Ruth has stated their relationship was nothing more than a friendship.

She also played down rumours of a fling with Joshua Jackson, her co-star in The Affair. In 2016 she was spotted on an eight-hour drinking session with the former Dawson’s Creek heart-throb in New York.

When asked if she was in a relationship, Ruth said: “I’m not going to say. I don’t think it’s that interesting. No one needs to know.”

Ruth’s family history includes the bizarre story of her grandfather, Alexander Wilson, who was an MI6 spy. The devout Catholic was also outed as a serial bigamist by journalist and author Tim Crook.

He revealed that Alexander had four wives, was arrested for fraud, theft and for wearing false military honours — and had died an undischarged bankrupt.

Ruth said: “Half the family think he’s a bit of a con man, half the family think he’s a hero.

“He had four wives. My granny found out about No1 when he died. She was No3. It’s an extraordinary story and it keeps revealing itself. We still haven’t quite found the truth.

“When I decided to become an actress it was a big thing because there was no one in my family who was involved in the arts — no one I could discuss it with.

“But now there’s this whole new side. And it turns out my grandfather was not only a novelist of note — and very probably a spy of note too — he was also the best actor of all of us.”

Ruth discovered her love of acting while studying for a history degree at Nottingham University. She went on to enrol at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

While fresh out of acting school in 2005, her family urged her to stop aiming for big roles.

Ruth said: “I remember my mum saying, ‘They should put you up for supporting roles. Why aren’t they doing that? I think they’re being a bit too ambitious’. Thanks, Mum.”

But a year after leaving LAMDA, Ruth won her breakthrough role as Jane Eyre in a BBC adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte classic.

Later she received rave reviews for her roles in Luther and films Anna Karenina, The Lone Ranger and Saving Mr Banks. Her latest movie, The Little Stranger, is an eerie psychological thriller set in post-war England and also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling.

The film follows psychiatrist Dr Faraday, played by Gleeson, who revisits an old house called Hundreds Hall, where his mother used to work.

Ruth, who plays hall resident Caroline Ayers, had to undergo a grisly makeover to transform herself into the depressed spinster.

When asked to gain weight for the part, she refused, and said: “Eating five doughnuts a day would have just made me miserable.

“But I did say that I would wear padding. I needed to make myself physically less attractive.”

Ruth relished the role, saying: “She was quite eccentric and unusual. It didn’t feel like the normal aristocrats portrayed in British period drama, which are over-romanticised or nostalgic.” Ruth admitted she goes for characters that are “difficult and demand emotional stuff of me”, but said: “I don’t want to be pigeonholed as the depressed, intense Ruth Wilson — that’s not the case at all.”

Her success in the US has led to her spending more time on the other side of the Atlantic, but Ruth is reluctant to move.

Of London, she said: “That’s my home, it will always be my home. That’s where my family and my friends are. I might have to start living in America permanently but I’m slightly in denial about doing that.”

After a series of dark roles, Ruth wants to work on a fun project next.

She said: “I would love to do an all-out Melissa McCarthy or Rose Byrne number, something hammy and fun. It is time for me to do some comedy now.

“My mum and dad are desperate for it.”

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