Brave new WORLD
Getting naked in front of a roomful of strangers isn’t most people’s idea of fun but for Canadian actor Stephen Amell it’s all in a days work.
The stunning 30-year-old plays busboy Jason in HBO’S quirky drama Hung – a show about the efforts of divorced teacher Ray Drecker ( Thomas Jane) to make extra cash by hiring himself out to women.
Amell joined the cast for the third season of the hit program, currently airing in Australia, and says he was thrown in the deep end – filming his first sex scene just days after he was cast.
“I figured there would be a breaking-in period for me and there was not,” Amell says over the phone from Los Angeles where the show is shot on Paramount’s lot.
“I go the part on a Thursday, we did the table read on the Friday and then I met Rebecca Creskoff (who plays Lenore) who was my scene partner in my first sex scene on my first day on set and then the next day it was our sex scene from the first episode.
“After the rehearsal I just basically stood there for three or four minutes almost completely naked and looked around and realised that nobody cared and after that it was fine.”
Set in Detroit, the show is an addictive mix of intrigue, drama and comedy.
Amell’s character is transformed by Lenore from an innocent 25-year-old into a male hooker who threatens to ruin Ray’s business.
“There’s nothing they (the writers) won’t touch, no pun intended and that’s one of the elements that my character brings to the show,” he says.
“There are some really interesting elements with clients that people really responded to in the States – Jason is open to any client, meaning any gender an that opens up an interesting element into the series.”
While the show appears to be all about sex, if you scratch the surface, it’s a program about emotional connections.
“There’s more to sex than just your physical attributes,” Amell says. “In the show we’re always talking about a specific emotional element a woman needs to get what she wants. There will be women involved in happy marriages and they have sex all the time but they’ve lost the emotional element and what they need to connect.”
With his chiseled features Amell has appeared in The Vampire Diaries, CSI: Miami, NCIS: Los Angeles and Heartland and has just finished filming episodes of Private Practice and New Girl with Zooey Deschanel.
Amell says he decided on acting after being offered a job in insurance brokerage.