Video/Q&A: Chicago-native 'Hysteria' director Tanya Wexler wants to give which celebs a vibrator?

How unfortunate is it that it’s still a subject that makes people blush? Especially at a time when politically some people are trying to tiptoe—or take giant leaps—backwards as far as women’s rights? You’d think that after more than 100 years, people might not be so squeamish about sexuality.
It’s funny, that. I think that I have as much of an inner adolescent as anyone else. So I can get all Beavis and Butthead—[laughs like Butthead]—I still have that. I think it would be kind of boring if I was so evolved that I didn’t think sex was ever funny. But I think that there’s a difference between, “I can’t handle it” laughing and, “Yeah, it’s funny. It’s funny when you fall off the bed and…” And have a sense of humor. I think that we take ourselves far too—I wouldn’t say far too seriously because I think things are very serious—but too solemnly maybe. It’s weird to me now. I’ve gotten stopped at the airport so many times for having a vibrator in my suitcase. Just the last few times I almost missed my plane because I’m always bringing them to people and we have little giveaways and I don’t like to check my bag. The last two times I’ve gotten stopped. The first time I was like, pulled to the side. “Do you have any powder in your bag?” “No, it’s a vibrator.” [Chuckles.] The second time, I’m like, “Dude, there’s a vibrator in my bag.” Now I have a little ziplock case where I keep them and I just like throw ‘em out of the suitcase and throw ‘em in the things, “There’s vibrators there!”

Do they start giggling?
You gotta think these people see everything, but I think it is how you lead, the whole squeamish thing. If you act uncomfortable, they’ll act uncomfortable. If you go, “There’s a vibrator in there,” [they’ll say] “Oh, OK.” Now that I’m out of the vibrator closet so to speak, in that way I’ve gotten comfortable with it. What’s the big deal? It’s our bodies. We’re most embarrassed by what we carry around with us all day long and how we’re built. I think that blows my mind. And we’re not as embarrassed by what we do to other people in the name of karmic stuff.

What do you say to viewers who see this movie and say, “I think I would like to get into the field of pelvic massage”?
[Laughs.] I’d say, “Well, find a willing partner.”

But don’t try to major in it in college.
It seems that it would now be classed as sex work as opposed to medicine for the most part, and therefore you probably only have one state in the union where you could actually do it.

Let’s say you had a handful of vibrators that you wanted to gift.
I love that. That’s a good western title. “A Pocketful of Vibrators.” “A Fistful of Vibrators!”

And you had to send them to celebs you didn’t know. Who would you send them to?
I’ve given a bunch to celebrities. You want me to select who I think that given their current personalities would enjoy them, or might not know they’d enjoy them? I’m going to get in trouble. I am. Who would most enjoy them? Well, I think we all know that Angelina Jolie probably already enjoys them; she’s probably stated as such. So that’s kind of not surprising. The person that popped into my head was Hillary Clinton.

How come?
She travels a lot. I think “that poor woman.” Between the jet lag and the traveling, she’d be very happy.

She doesn’t want to answer those questions at the airport.
She doesn’t need to. She’s got her own plane, baby! She flies private. It’s fine; she can just leave ‘em on the airplane. Anyone who travels a lot. Maggie [Gyllenhaal] and I both got sent tons and tons and tons. I’m developing something with Paula Patton and I told her I’d send her a bunch and she’s like, “Cool,” but you can tell she’d be great. She’s awesome and she’s so gorgeous and smart and funny. It’s not OK; there’s some really dumb, ugly person who she took all their gorgeous, smart, funny. I’m trying to think who else who I really think would be made very happy. I would like to send one to Tina Fey just to see the reaction shot. I think there’d be a great Liz Lemon response there. That’s why I would like to send her one. I know that Maggie’s going to go on Letterman, and I really hope she just turns one on and puts it on the desk. Mostly I just want to see how people react.

On Chicago food: “I’m here in my town of food coma joy. I was like, ‘Why didn’t we just get a Dutch Baby for lunch? I want an apple pancake!’ The best stuff is leftover half of that the next day and you’re like, everyone goes and is slicing off a 16th but every 20 minutes. ‘I took a little bite, how is it all gone?’ [The Original Pancake House in the Gold Coast] is my childhood, I have to do it that way. It makes me really happy in an ‘I’m going to get diabetes’ kind of way. I gotta get the stuffed pizza, I gotta get Carson’s. I can’t do all of them every trip because I would die.”
Guilty pleasure movie: “Aliens.” “I love a good hot kickass chick.”
On Second City: “In high school there were a couple months where I’d go every week.”