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|“|| Billy Maplewood: [sobs]...Would you ever fuck me?
Bill Maplewood: No... I'd jerk off instead. [sobs]
|~ Bill Maplewood's disturbing reassurance with his son that he won't rape him.|
|“||I wake up happy, feeling good... but then I get very depressed, because I'm living in reality.||„|
|~ Bill Maplewood.|
Bill Maplewood is a major antagonistic character in Todd Solandz's 1998 American black-comedy drama Happiness and a recurring character in the 2009 sequel Life During Wartime.
In the first film, he is portrayed by Dylan Baker, who also portrayed Steven Wilkins in Trick 'r Treat. In the second film, he is portrayed by Ciarán Hinds, who also portrayed Mephisto in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones, Steppenwolf in the 2017 Justice League film, Henry Burke in Trip to Witch Mountain, Botticelli Remorso in The Tales of Despereaux and Jonathan Reiss in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life.
Bill Maplewood's is one of the people whose daily lives are chronicled along with their pursuit for happiness throughout the film.
He is a psychiatrist with a loving family, his wife Trish and his son, Billy. However they are unaware of Bill's secret life: he is a pedophile who is obsessed with 11-year-old Johnny Grasso, a classmate of their son, Billy. When Johnny comes to the Jordan house for a sleepover, Bill drugs and rapes him. Later, Bill learns that another boy, Ronald Farber, is home alone while his parents are away in Europe. Under the guise of attending a PTA meeting, Bill drives to the boy's house and rapes him as well. After Johnny is taken to the hospital and found to have been sexually abused, the police arrive at the Maplewood residence to question Bill. After alerting his wife to the police presence, Bill begins by asking the two detectives, "You said something about Ronald Farber?" The two detectives, looking puzzled, say nothing. Bill then stammers, "I mean, Johnny Grasso." Out on bail, he tearfully admits to Billy that he "fucked" the boys, that he enjoyed it, and that he would do it again. When Billy asks, "Would you ever fuck me?", his father replies, "No... I'd jerk off instead." It is implied that he later on got arrested by the police and got sentenced to years in prison therefore, failing at finding the happiness he longs for.
Life During Wartime
Bill has been released from prison after serving a sentence for child molestation, and heads to Florida to find out how his family, particularly his eldest son, are doing. He finds brief solace in a one-night stand with Jacqueline, a self-described "monster" as filled with loneliness and self-hatred as he is; however, she kicks him out the next morning when she catches him taking money from her purse.
Bill soon enough sneaks into Trish's house to find Billy's college address. He pays Billy an unexpected visit at Northern Oregon University, where they discuss their past and the time that passed while Bill was in prison; in particular, Bill asks Billy a few very blunt questions about his sex life. Bill asks for forgiveness, but Billy refuses, saying his actions are unforgivable. Bill then disappears again, reassured that Billy will not turn out to be like him.
Bill Maplewood is well-aware that his sexual desires for little boys is wrong but he couldn't fight his urges to rape them. He isn't a sadist as he would give his victims sleeping pills or other drugs to knock them out so that they wouldn't feel anything whilst he was raping them. He also seems to genuinely love his family especially his son Billy who looks up to him not knowing his double-life as a pedophile. He also expressed general grief when coffessing to his Billy that he is a pedophile, sobbing at the notion that his son who once adored him knows that he is a pedophile. However, regardless of these redeemable traits, Bill is a disgusting child molestor and rapist who felt no remourse over his sickening actions towards children even going so far as to tell his son that he enjoyed "fucking" little boys and would do it again and that he would jerk off to pictures of his son instead rather than raping him.
After serving his prison sentence however, Bill seemed to have regretted his past actions and now feels remourse for what he did and intends to find his son Billy and apologize. At the end of the day, he feels relieved and reassured that his a now grown-up Billy won't end up like him.