Comic Kink

Anna Sundberg and Peter Christian Hansen on starring in broadway’s hottest sex comedy, <em>Venus in Fur</em>

Say your mom asks what you’ve been working on at the Jungle Theater. How do you respond?

Peter Christian Hansen: We’re both orphans, actually.

Perhaps you’re about to be.

PCH: Venus in Fur is actually very funny, very sexy. We do a lot of bondage stuff, there’s witty repartee. It’s not particularly substantive when it comes to plot, but it’s got enough. And there’s a fun discovery near the end.

Anna Sundberg: I don’t wear very many clothes. It’ll be a good date play.

First or third date?

PCH: Depends what you want to get out of the date. 

AS: I would bring someone on the first date. But if you’ve been married for a long time and the spark has gone out of your relationship, this is also the play for you. If the audience doesn’t feel frisky after the show, we haven’t done our job.

The play revolves around Vanda, a mysterious actress auditioning for Thomas, a playwright adapting Venus in Furs—the novella by Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch. How exactly do you prepare for that?

AS: I’m working out, since I’ll be in my skivvies. And I’m a nerd when it comes to research. It’s always fun, but some research is much more fun than others.

Um, you’re studying up on S&M?

AS: Oh, I’m loud and proud.

PCH: Let’s put it this way: how many times do you legitimately get to walk into a public library and say, “Hello, I need as much literature as you can get me on sadomasochism and kinky sex”?

Clearly I’m in the wrong profession. Anna, you starred in Joseph Scrimshaw’s 2011 play Sexy Librarian. So who’s sexier: a librarian or a 19th-century British dominatrix?

AS: Dominatrix.

PCH: Yeah, I’d have to agree.

Well, that spoils a certain fantasy.

AS: Librarians are still the ultimate fantasy of nerdy people!

Thanks. Ever been in a play you wouldn’t invite your mom to? Or your grandma?

PCH: No. 

AS: My mom doesn’t care about the plays I’m in as long as I look pretty. If I’m not wearing a pretty dress, she’s like, “Eh, I didn’t like that one.” Now, if I had a grandma to bring to this show, I probably would not do so.

Venus in Fur, which won a 2012 Tony Award for its female lead, runs from February 1 to March 10 at the Jungle Theater.