Brave new WORLD

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Close Up - – Maria Noakes

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.

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