'I had only met Damo for a few minutes and then we were simulating sex together' - Michelle Keegan on Brassic sex scene with Damien Molony
Michelle Keegan and Damien Molony talk about their roles in Sky's new comedy drama Brassic
AS introductions go, Damien Molony's first morning working with Michelle Keegan could not have been more revealing.
Moments after the Kildare-born actor was introduced to the stunning actress, who shot to fame in Coronation Street, he found himself filming a sex scene with her - a scene that offered quite an opening for the brilliant new Sky One comedy-drama Brassic.
"I had only met Damo for a few minutes and then we were simulating sex together," says Keegan (32), struggling to contain her joyous embarrassment as she spoke to Magazine+ at a London hotel.
"To be fair, it breaks the ice pretty quickly with someone you don't know. It was a case of 'Nice to meet you, let's get our clothes off and go!'
"Anytime you do a sex scene with a room full of people shouting instructions, it's going to be ridiculous, but that's part of the job and you have to just get on with it.
"I have done a few of them down the years and they are just weird. You just have to accept it for what it is and get on with it and when you look at it in the show now, it's actually quite funny."
Molony's up-close-and-personal introduction to one of Britain's highest-profile actresses must have been an eye-opener, with the actor - who has seen his profile rise after his starring role in Channel 4 show GameFace - admitting he had an awkward conversation with his parents ahead of filming.
"To start with, there is never anything sexy about doing a scene like that as there are so many people in the room, none of them want to be there and they all want to get it done as quickly as possible so they can go and eat lunch," he told us.
"The actors are terrified and nervous, but the truth is no one else cares. You just get on with it and it is such a ridiculous scenario to be doing that with someone you don't know.
"My parents rang me up that morning and we were chatting about what I was doing that day. Normally you can tell them what you are doing, but this time it felt different.
"What do you say? I'm pretending to have sex in a portaloo with Michelle Keegan. What is great about the Brassic sex scenes is there is absolutely nothing sexy about them and that certainly helped.
"You won't get a chance to be in something this good and this funny too often in your career.
"Once I saw this script, I was desperate to do it and the cast we have in Brassic are so good that it had to be a success. We spent five months in Manchester filming and it was such great fun."
Brassic is a raw comedy set in northern England with a wonderfully edgy twist, with Manchester native Keegan playing the role of responsible mother Erin who tries to keep her man Dylan (played by Molony) in check as he is led astray by the unpredictable Vinnie, played by the irrepressible Joe Gilgun, who was the driving force behind a comedy that is certain to capture the imagination of Irish and British audiences.
For Molony, his casting in Brassic offered up another test of his linguistic skills as he was asked to perfect a Lancashire accent while surrounded by locals who felt right at home in a comedy that was filmed in Chorley, Lancashire.
"You do have to work on getting an accent right for something like his, but being around Joe and Michelle all the time helped me," Damien told us. "When we are not filming, Joe is talking a mile a minute and when you are around that every day, you start to pick up the accent and are constantly being refreshed.
"Dylan was a great character to play. He loves Erin and their little boy so much, but he also cares so much for Vinnie and is worried about how that will affect him. He is a sensitive soul and doesn't want to let people down."
Molony's wonderful on-screen chemistry with his on-screen lover is a key part of the success of Brassic, with Keegan admitting the appeal of playing a hard-working mother with real ambition appealed to her from the moment she saw the script.
"When you see a programme on the working classes, the mother is cast in a bad light, but this is very different," she says.
"My character Erin is portrayed as a good mother, a strong woman who is driven to do well for herself and give her son the kind of upbringing she never had. That's really positive and one of the reasons why I wanted this role so much."
Keegan's portrayal of Erin is all the more impressive when you appreciate what has become her normal life with celebrity husband Mark Wright as transported to the Brassic set, with unwanted intruders lurking in the bushes trying to photograph her at work.
"We had paparazzi hiding in the bushes trying to take photos when we were filming," she added.
"It can be off-putting, especially when they are trying to get on set and are potentially getting in the way of what we are trying to do.
"When you hear the click, click, click of these cameras when we are doing a scene, that is not ideal, but I think Joe had a word with them and that made it easier for us.
"It's not normal and it can never be. You are having a conversation with someone, look around and there is someone over your shoulder trying to take photos of you. You get zoned out by it and at a moment when you are trying to live a normal life, it sucks you away from that. It can be hard sometimes, but you get used to it and I always try to be cool about it."
All episodes of 'Brassic' will be available on Sky One from this Thursday (August 22)
via Sunday World