Grew Up… raised by an emotionally distant father, who never stopped grieving his wife’s death – she died giving birth to Lars. His bother, Gus, left as soon as he could. The continued lack of emotional intimacy has left Lars with lasting scars.
Living… in rural Wisonsin, in his brother’s garage. Lars keeps to himself, and the entire town is aware of how much he closes himself off.
Profession… office worker. There’s nothing interesting about his job, just like there’s not much going on in his life. He goes to weekly church meetings, and that’s it.
Interests… religion and avoiding people. Lars is very religious and attends church faithfully, but refuses to get involved with the church’s community. For Lars, human touch is literally painful. As he explains, hugs feel “like a burn. Like when you go outside and your feet freeze and you come back in and then they thaw out? It's like that. It's almost exactly like that.”
Relationship Status… single until very recently. One night, Lars claims to have met a girlfriend on the Internet. Thus, the town was introduced to Bianca, an anatomically-correct sex doll that Lars claims is a real person – a missionary in a wheelchair, to be exact. Lars sincerely believes that Bianca and he are in love. The town plays along to avoid traumatizing him further.
Challenge… growing up. For too long, Lars has lived in self-imposed isolation, utterly afraid of any human contact. In the course of taking Bianca out to introduce her to the town, he’s socializing for the first time in ages. His therapist hopes that Lars will eventually shed the illusion that Bianca is real, and move on to lead a healthy adult life.
Personality… cripplingly shy and depressed. Lars doesn’t know how to reach out to people and communicate. He doesn’t want to be alone, but he doesn’t know how not to be. Bianca is part of an unconscious strategy to reach other people.
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