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Ally Walker on Tell Me You Love Me

Published September 7, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
Ally Walker Tim DeKay and Ally Walker
Tell Me You Love Me deals with many relationships in different stages of crisis. Ally Walker plays a married mother who finds her marriage lacking physical intimacy. The actress barely got to address the issue though, instead finding herself defending the show's graphic sex scenes.

Ally Walker on Tell Me You Love Me

"First of all, it's HBO," said Walker. "It's a little bit different. You pay to have this in your home. It's like being in a movie. And on movie sets, you do get asked to do more explicit love scenes. You do that kind of thing in certain films and things like that. Yeah, I think it's very brave."

The bravery is not necessarily in the graphicness that HBO agreed to air, but rather the depth with which the show addresses relationships. "I think it's brave in the fact that Cynthia [Mort] didn't write it to explore what a great sex scene could be. She didn't write with like, 'This is going to be the kick ass sex scene of the century. I'm going to make it hot and steamy and we're going to be grabbing walls.' We're not doing that. We're having sex where you're trying to get pregnant, which is not hot. We're not having sex, which is depressing. Michelle [Borth]'s having sex to hide behind because she's in pain."

Well, when you put it that way… "It's not really there to titillate you and it's not there to make you go, 'Why can't we have sex in the shower?' It's like reality. And I think that's kind of courageous for someone to write that and for us to do."

Walker is willing to go all out to play her character. "Yeah, it's kind of scary but it seems like acting to me. it doesn't seem like, 'Get ready for the big sex scene. Can we get the smoke going?' So I think it's part of telling a story. This is an exploration of real intimacy and sex happens to be a part of real intimacy between people. It's not the melodramatic of 'I love you.' It's not always to the bases. It's that this is really the real deal and I think what all of us liked about this script and about these scripts, they really explore something that's in between people. The intimacy in between people and sex does happen to be a part of that, but it's not gratuitous and it's not phony and it's kind of staged accordingly."

So the kids waiting up late to see some boobies on TV might be in for a shock. "It has a very real feeling which I think does kind of upset some people. But it also doesn't make you, at least for me, it didn't seem gratuitous and it didn't make me nervous. It was just like, 'Oh wow. That's part of the story.' It's not, 'Hey look, the sex scene came up.' It just is kind of part of the story."

Tell Me You Love Me premieres September 9 on HBO.

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Fred Topel
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