WITH SEASON FOUR JUST AROUND THE CORNER, PHILLIP PORTMAN CAUGHT UP WITH THE HORIZON CAST TO TALK ABOUT, WHAT ELSE, THE SEX SCENES!
Francis Mossman, who plays Stevie in the web series, The Horizon, recalls his first day’s shooting on the popular series. It was a sex scene with Paul Layton who plays Jake. Paul was new to the series, is straight, and had never kissed another man before.
“He lunged at me and threw me on the table,” recalls Francis. “I was very taken aback as it was like he was used to throwing shirtless men twice his weight around,” he laughs. “In between takes we kept having to get our make-up re-applied because the overly enthusiastic kissing resulted in the most intense pash rash ever.”
So, a good first day! It’s hardly surprising that The Horizon, created by Boaz Stark about gay life in urban Sydney, is a Youtube hit. With well over 10 million views, this dramedy featuring a cast of primarily gay characters has surpassed the Bondi Hipsters to become Australia’s top online series. Season three premiered on the DNA website late last year with a bigger budget, sexy new cast, steamy scenes and addictive story lines.
Bringing Horizon newbies up to speed: Country boy Jake (Paul Layton) is dealing with the fact that his ex-boyfriend AJ (Indigo Felton) cheated on him with Micky (Matthew Clarke), who is meant to be straight and in a relationship with Millie (Sarah Louella). AJ is now in an open relationship with Saxon (Adam George), Jake has met a potential new love interest in Stevie (Francis Mossman), and sassy drag queen Wilma Bumhurt (Patrick James) offers brutally honest (and hilarious) advice.
Producer Brian Cobb thinks it’s crazy that Australian television hasn’t already put the spotlight on Sydney’s gay scene. “The high numbers on our web series are partly due to the fact that the world is fascinated with gay Sydney and quite envious of it,” he says.
Paul Layton, who plays Jake, says people are watching these stories online because they can’t see them on television. “It’s obvious this genuine sort of story is in demand. People are turning to the internet and Youtube to find what they want.”
One of those things is man-on-man action. Unlike Australian mainstream TV shows, where the gay male characters are almost asexual, sex is a big part of The Horizon. And it’s not just educational for the straight actors who are required to play gay. In light of news that HIV rates in Australia have increased, Mossman adds that he’s proud that The Horizon promotes safe sex and regular STI testing.
“The Horizon reminds viewers that it’s not okay to put yourself at risk and that safe sex is a must. Knowing that our show is delivering this message and potentially preventing someone from contracting HIV is such a rewarding thing for me as an actor.”
Series four of The Horizon will debut online in April. Catch up on past episodes at Youtube.com/thehorizonseries.
Adam George as new character Saxon – sex has helped sell the show to over 10 million viewers.
The full Horizon cast at the launch of season three in October, 2013