Naughty may be set in the 1970s, but something felt undeniably new about the show when it premiered on HBO Max in March 2022. Part, yes, was the sheer volume of penises flying across the screen in Episode 1 , but feisty protagonist Joyce Prigger (Ophelia Lovibond) resonated with our current moment more deeply than viewers would like to admit, even if she made mistakes along the way. Naughty Creator and showrunner Ellen Rapoport and director Lovibond spoke with SheKnows’ Reshma Gopaldas about the ’70s feminism depicted on the show, what it was like working with Jake Johnson (neither of them watched new girl, if you can believe it), how they tackled positive, pleasure-oriented sex moments like Joyce’s telltale masturbation scene, and why Joyce and Doug will never, ever date. Watch the full interview above for their honest answers on all of this and more, including what they can share about Season 2.
In Naughty season 1, Joyce dreams of starting a serious feminist magazine called The awakening of matriarchy, but the only publisher whose interest she captures is pornographer Doug Renetti (Jake Johnson). Doug has the money and interest to help realize Joyce’s idea, but with an important twist: they will also make it the first porn magazine for women, with naked male center pages.
Creator and showrunner Ellen Rapoport didn’t just pop this idea out of thin air: it actually happened.
“I read an article that was an oral history [of] Playgirl Where Long live,she tells Gopaldas. “What I learned was that these kinds of erotic magazines in the 70s, these erotic magazines for women, not only existed, but existed as the creations of both feminists and pornographers.”
“It felt like this very rich working comedy, frankly,” she adds.
With Ophelia Lovibond’s Joyce and Jake Johnson’s Doug, and a very lovable supporting cast in Oscar Montoya’s Richie, Idara Victor’s Tina, Jessica Lowe’s Bambi and Lennon Parham’s Shelley, the friction Rapoport envisioned in the way which these magazines were to operate has become a perfect reality. Joyce’s narrow instincts are tested at every turn by the warm, wise and sexually knowledgeable people she meets in the porn industry – but she draws the line to anyone who oversteps the view that she has for her magazine. She may have renamed it Naughty and has embraced an element of male pornography throughout its pages, but she is adamant that this magazine is good for women, serves them instead of sells them, and she fights for it.
No matter how there any scene in Naughty it might have struck you, there’s evidence that the kind of fights we saw between Doug and Joyce were probably happening behind the scenes.
“A lot of the ideas in them reflected the things that we still talk about in terms of feminist concerns…abortion, rape, sexual harassment, emotional labor, marriage,” Rapoport describes of the “vintage porn” she has. viewed as research. . “You would have these serious articles – then you would turn the page and then there would be just a very hairy naked man on a horse. And then turn again, and it was a diet pill, in a feminist magazine as than advertiser.
Lovibond’s Joyce, tasked with simultaneously educating her porn colleagues about patriarchy and unlearning her own internalized misogyny, was a thrilling challenge for the English actress – even and especially that masturbation scene.
“When I read it, I thought, brilliant, we never see that,” Lovibond says of that scene — and Rapoport had only one reservation about how they would pull it off.
“The vibrator felt like a real vintage vibrator and I was like ‘if it explodes…'” Rapoport admits.
Find out what Naughty the characters the two women think they are most alike, which surprised them in the audience reactions, and more so in the full interview above.