Note: The following article contains discussion of rape which some readers may find upsetting. Adult Material spoilers also follow.
Game of Thrones and Skins star Joe Dempsie is back on our screens in Channel 4's Adult Material, a drama about a mum of three who works in the porn industry and must navigate her life after it gets turned upside down by a series of events.
Joe plays Rich, the partner of Hayley/Jolene Dollar, and they both feature in a pretty shocking scene. The pair return home from a meal before Rich goes off to do an errand, leaving Hayley alone.
A man in a balaclava enters, and as a viewer you believe that he is going to sexually assualt Hayley, before it is revealed that it is actually Rich, and it's all part of their role-play.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about the scene, Joe said: "Hayley [Squires, who plays Hayley/Jolene] and I had a lot of conversations with [director] Dawn [Shadforth] in the lead up to filming that scene about what purpose we wanted it to serve. And I guess the reality is, we wanted it to serve a number of purposes.
"The scene only works if, initially, you think this is a genuine assailant, and that Hayley – Jolene – is in real danger, and real trouble. But then you can't… It becomes really, really dark if you prolong that for too long. And then what do you want to do? You want it to be a bit of a rollercoaster for the audience.
"You want there to be that relief when you realise that it's Rich. And then it's also kind of funny, the awkwardness of it all, and him not being really into it. And then his ego is being bruised amongst all of this.
"You've got someone who, two seconds ago, you thought was a dangerous attacker, who's now an insecure guy on the bed who doesn't think his wife is attracted to him anymore. That's quite a lot to tell in essentially 20 seconds. And so I hope it did all of those things.
"I think that moment perfectly encapsulates what Adult Material is about. It deals with difficult issues. It doesn't shy away from the very tricky aspects that surround porn and people's lives and sexual politics in general. But it does it with the lightest of touch that sometimes catches you off guard.
"It constantly keeps you on your toes. You're not quite sure whether it's a comedy or a drama or whether you're supposed to be terrified or laughing. I think it's a testament to [creator] Lucy [Kirkwood] and Dawn that we manage to pull that off. That's a very difficult alchemy to achieve."
Adult Material airs on Channel 4 and will be released on DVD & digital on November 2.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access the latest edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy's weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don't forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
You Might Also Like