Michelle Borth doesn’t have to get naked to pay the bills anymore. After topless turns in the low-budget horror movies Silent Warnings (2003) and Trespassers (2006), the 29-year-old New York beauty decided to stay clothed on camera. Thankfully, there is such a thing as nudity for art’s sake, and in Tell Me You Love Me, HBO’s sexually explicit examination of relationships, she gets, uh, very artistic. And she bared even more to us—about elderly sex, the abundance of male genitalia on TV, and the thin patch separating real sex from fake sex.
Your sex scenes looked very, very real.
We tried to do it as authentic as possible, but we were not having sex. This question is coming to me tenfold now. I’m actually kind of flattered. If you really believe I’m having sex, then damn, I need an Emmy. I mean, if you want to watch it and put it in slo-mo, try to see if you can see….
Don’t tempt us. What were the physics involved?
[Laughs.] We actually talked about it in-depth, like, “Where do we put it?” It’s kind of just tucked to the side, where the thigh starts. I’m wearing a privacy patch—it’s double-sided sticky tape, like a Band-Aid, which sucks when you have to take it off.
Was shooting those scenes awkward?
I said to [co-star Luke Kirby], “Don’t hold back; don’t worry that if you touch me I’m going to get weirded out.” I am pretty comfortable with sexuality, so it wasn’t that difficult. Scary? Absolutely. I was like, “Let’s get it on the first take so we won’t have to do it again!” [Laughs.]
Everything was very true, like the soreness after angry sex.
Exactly. I love that [Sonya Walger] is like, “Oh, you just fucked the shit out of me, I can’t even walk.” A lot of sex is unsexy. You know that elderly people have sex, but it’s shocking to see it. And they talk dirty!
Was the show’s goal to break couples up by making them discuss their issues?
[Laughs.] See, I beg to differ. If you can identify with the problems, it’s awkward, but you can watch these people go through it and make it, and in that sense I think it’s helping people.
Yeah, those long talks with my girlfriend helped tremendously. Some men have said there are too many real and prosthetic penises on paid cable and not enough vaginas. Thoughts?
[Laughs.] Oh my goodness! Are the poor men of our country feeling exploited?
Lesser men, yes.
I don’t really know what to say to that. I definitely don’t feel bad.