Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thomas Jane talks about his dick!

Thomas lets it all 'Hung'
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star)

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Thomas Jane's character turns to the world’s oldest profession. Only he is not called a prostitute, he is a happiness consultant.| Zoom
MANILA, Philippines - Minutes before Thomas Jane walked into our suite inside the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills one afternoon a couple of months ago, the three female journalists from our roundtable were picking among themselves who would ask the actor the ultimate question of the day: What is the size of his member?

The American actor, who burst into mainstream consciousness via the 1999 shark movie Deep Blue Sea, stars in HBO’s suggestively titled comedy-drama series Hung as a broke middle-aged high school basketball coach and history teacher who discovered that his large member would become his biggest ticket yet to a better life.

“You know, I am bigger than some and not as big as others,” he casually replied to the very first question that greeted him – this was before he could even take his seat and say hello to everybody. “I get that question all the time. I’ve never been asked another question as many times in my life. Is that the thing you want to grow up and have strangers asking you on the streets how big is your (expletive) dick?”

Women, especially those who made Hung an international HBO hit, are naturally curious to find out not just the size of the character but even of the actor himself because, as titillating as the title is, the story did not actually indicate nor even hint at anything through skillfully-staged lovemaking scenes throughout the first season run of the series the actual size of the prized member described in the show’s title.

“You get used to it, I guess,” he added. “I come up with some funny lines here and there and I kind of knew going in that it would be part of the game. It’s not a bad one; It’s kind of fun. I try to have fun with it.”
Thomas Jane with co-star in a scene from Hung, airing tonight at 10 on HBO.

But if he really had his way, he wished he’d avoid the questions altogether. “This is not my favorite part of the job. I am sure other people enjoy it. As actors, we like to have lines. We like to know what to say. Are we performing here or are we letting you in on a real person of who this actor really is or am I just telling you what you want to hear?”

In Hung, Thomas plays Ray Drecker, a former popular high school baseball star whose dream of a golden life ended in failure: his marriage to his high school cheerleading sweetheart ended in divorce while his short professional career went south before he could even make a home run. To make matters worse, his house burned down and he was forced to move back in to his parents’ house with his twins. All these happened at the beginning of the show's first season.

The show’s rather casual approach to prostitution has drawn some flak from critics accusing it of promoting the illegal trade, which the actor strongly denies. “I don’t think the show is trying to do that. Absolutely not! The prostitution thing is interesting, you know, and the title of the show is titillating but that’s not what the show is about.”

“The show is about the attempt to make honest communication between men and women, that’s what the show is about, but you can’t really put that on a billboard, can you? It won’t sell a lot of tickets but that’s what keeps people coming back.” He explained that “we are not watching porn, we are not just watching my ass – you can get that in a skinemax after midnight – we have really great writers on the show and they deliver terrific material and we hired fantastic actors to fill out a great cast.”

More than the topic of prostitution, the brilliance of the show’s writing is evidenced by how the writers skillfully used the more controversial theme to flesh out the more common yet still largely misunderstood subject of male mid-life crisis.

“I think that a healthy, awake, alive human being, halfway through his life, at some point, whether it is 38, 42 or 45 is going to be faced with some real questions that he can no longer run and hide from,” he said. “In your 20s, you think you are immortal and these questions make little or no sense. You are gonna live forever. You’re gonna have hundreds of women, as the case may be, and you are gonna have a good time! Life is a constant series of string of events because you are young and healthy and then your 30s hit and you slow down a little bit and you realize that you wake up in the morning with a few more aches and pains than you ever had in your life before and you thought you have any idea but you don’t.”

Thomas, who turns 42 in February, acknowledged that he has gone through a phase he considered as his mid-life crisis. “You don’t have to be poor or lose a job or have a parent die to have a mid-life crisis – you just have to be awake and realize that half your (expletive) life is over and how short it is and how quickly it goes by and why. Why are we here? What are we doing? And halfway through life, when your body starts to slow down and you realize your own mortality is at stake, that’s when you start asking yourself these questions – and they are important ones.

“You can avoid the questions with alcohol or dating or work, like workaholics, and you can avoid those questions all your life if you want to but if you are a sentient, sensitive, awake, present human being, these questions are going to come and they are gonna come sooner than you’d like them to. There are as many answers as there are people, the answers are for you to discover for yourself.”

Is he afraid of getting old?

“Getting older is just the inevitability of your own life. It’s not a state of mind. It’s a physical state. Your body starts to break down, you lose energy, and you don’t have the smile on your face. I don’t have limitless energy anymore. I can’t stay up till four in the morning and then wake up at 6 to go to my own job – I can’t do that! I need to get a certain number of hours of sleep or else I am not gonna function tomorrow or the next day.”

Getting old and experiencing those physical changes have made the actor take a stock of what mortality means to him. “It hits you inside. Your body starts to feel it. And this is what wakes the question in you, how much longer have I got left? Then friends start to die. They drop dead out of the blue. They wake up in the morning, have breakfasts with their husbands and then they drop dead in the corner. That’s what happens in people’s lives in their 30s and in their 40s.”

In the second Season of Hung, which premieres tonight at 10 on HBO, Thomas’ character will continue to ride his own mid-life crisis while he carries on giving therapeutic pleasures to women. Also in the cast are Anne Heche, who portrays his character’s ex-wife, and Jane Adams who portrays a struggling poet moonlighting as Ray’s pimp.

Ray Drecker’s advice to wannabe male “happiness consultants": “Wear protection. Try not to deal with complete strangers. Think about doing male on male because that’s where the money is.”

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