The Deuce, the young HBO drama about the birth of the porn industry amidst a changing Times Square in ’70s New York, begins season 2 on Sep. 9. In EW’s A- review, critic Darren Franich called it “a major work, flaws and all, an examination of porn that’s really an exploration of economic disruption.” As a show about sex, The Deuce has an interesting role in the era of #MeToo. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, co-creator David Simon said it felt like “the right show for the moment.”
“If you are really interested in discussing the culture of [Harvey] Weinstein and [James] Toback, how ingrained it is and how it’s perfectly framed within the vernacular of how men view women, we had a lot to say about that,” Simon said.
Even so, the show did make some changes to its production during season 2. Simon, who helmed the small screen masterpiece The Wire, noted that his team hired an “intimacy coordinator” to make sure everyone on set felt comfortable filming the many sex scenes.
“Her job is to facilitate the filming of simulated sex and intimacy in such a way that we’re protecting the emotions and the dignity of everybody who’s involved. ’Cause it’s hard work, a lot harder than violence,” Simon said. “You know, everyone’s an old pro about simulating violence. But I don’t think I’m ever going to work without an intimacy coordinator again. Because the truth is, we knew we were asking a lot of actors and directors and crew in terms of professionalism and to deliver this material bluntly and honestly. But you can ask all you want — at a certain point everybody has to trust everybody.”
One of the stars of The Deuce, James Franco, was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by five different women earlier this year. Those allegations did not come up during the new interview, but Simon did respond to them when they first came to light back in January, saying in a statement, “Personally I can only speak knowledgeably to The Deuce. I’ve checked with all my fellow producers and other personnel. We have no complainant or complaint or any awareness of any incident of concern involving Mr. Franco. Nor has HBO been approached with any complaint. In our experience, he was entirely professional as an actor, director, and producer.”
Read the full new interview at Rolling Stone.