The dark, but very real, subject matter is dealt with care on the set of John Ridley’s raw drama, in order to portray an accurate picture of the issue at hand.
In this new video, the intensity of shooting the scenes about the male rape case is revealed, as the victim Taylor (Connor Jessup) goes through an examination. A real-life sexual assault nurse was brought on set to film the scene, which was largely improvisation, so that Jessup could react as truthfully as a real victim.
“We wanted to try to represent that moment as accurately as possible and to that end, the individual who is examining the actor is a sexual assault nurse,” Ridley says in the video, titled “Anatomy of A Scene.”
“It was an interesting moment without knowing what she was going to ask to find how Taylor would respond to these increasingly aggressive questions,” Jessup recalls of shooting the intense scene.
“The show was very helpful. I met with a few therapists and counselors who specialize in trauma and some specifically who specialize in male sexual assault — peer-on-peer rape,” Jessup said, regarding his research and preparation. “There are a couple books on the phenomenon of male sexual assault. The statistics are staggering. And then on top of that, a lot of reading. Despite the fact that it’s not really an issue that is widely discussed in popular culture, there’s quite a bit of academic and journalistic stuff out there, and it’s really difficult and really fascinating. The scope of the issue was what immediately shocked me.”
Watch the behind-the-scenes “American Crime” video here: