A brand new comedy series set in a sexual health clinic is putting the sexy back into sexual health. Sexy Herpes is a hilarious six-part dramedy exploring the lives of sexual health workers and their dysfunctional patients, available to watch exclusively online now at www.youtube.com/sexyherpes
Funded by Screen Australia and produced by Mad Dan Productions and Beyondedge, Sexy Herpes is the brain child of co-creators Madeleine Dyer & Daniel Mulvihill and stars Genevieve Morris (Comedy Inc, No Activity), Zoe McDonald (Open Slather), Jay K. Cagatay (The Slots Comedy), Chloe NG (Neighbours), Rohan Nichol (Star Wars, Fools Gold) and Harriet Dyer (Love Child, No Activity). Dyer and Mulvihill were inspired to create the show after growing tired of seeing content that didn't represent their friends, family and the world they lived in. 'We wanted to normalise sexual and gender identity" says Mulvihill, 'as well as tell stories from characters with different cultural backgrounds that weren't cliched - all in the name of comedy."
Sexy Herpes focuses on the daily plight of sexual health nurse Sarah (Zoe McDonald) and her eclectic band of workmates. Sarah is permanently having a bad day, her patients are hypochondriacs and horse-f*ckers; her boss Barb (Genevieve Morris) always -overshares' (her TMI radar is apparently broken), her colleague Jackie (Chloe NG) is a shy, single nurse terrified of actual physical contact and then there's gender-fluid receptionist Karl/Karen (Jay K. Cagatay) who has his/her own relationship struggles to deal with. This motley crew of misfits may still be working out how the hell life, sex and relationships really work, but at least they all have each other.
"Sexy Herpes encapsulates the things I love most about Aussie humour" says executive producer Charlie Carman, 'it's utterly irreverent and self-mocking, but filled with heart. That's the Aussie formula for comedy gold, and thanks to talented creators Madeleine Dyer and Dan Mulvihill, Sexy Herpes delivers on it in spades." Carman finishes. Genevieve Morris, who plays boss and matriarch Barb agrees, 'I was thrilled to work with Madeleine and Dan on Sexy Herpes and had so much fun playing Barb. Full blown binge viewing is highly recommended, I really do hope it's catching!"
Dyer and Mulvihill made a point of consulting with experts in the field of gender identity and sexual health throughout the development of Sexy Herpes to ensure they reflected the truth of those communities as accurately as possible. 'Sexual health seems to be one of the final frontiers in terms of broader awareness and constructive conversation in our society" says Dyer, 'there also appears to be a deep sense of urgency with leading sexual health bodies to make education and proactivity regarding sexual health a main priority with younger audiences. We really hope Sexy Herpes can catch on and go viral (pun totally intended) and spread the word about sexual health!'"
Question: How would you describe Sexy Herpes?
Chloe NG: Fun, light, loving.
Question: Why did you decide to get on board for Sexy Herpes?
Chloe NG: The character Jackie and honestly, after meeting them at the audition, wanting to work with Madeleine Dyer and Daniel Mulvihill and the rest of the team. They had written such a beautiful, real, multidimensional human and it's not every day you get given an opportunity to play that. Especially being an Asian female, there is definitely its own set of challenges in this industry.
Question: What do you hope viewers take from Sexy Herpes?
Chloe NG: The message that whoever you are, you are worthy of love and belonging. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, hand-crafted to be unique, one of a kind and equal.
Question: Did you have to do any research into sexual health, prior to beginning filming?
Chloe NG: Yes! (haha). Thankfully I have a major in Psychology, which gave me a good foundation and sound understanding of the health field, but I did a lot of research particularly in being a nurse, and the sexual health sector, getting familiar with various terms etc. but that's our homework as actors. And I am a bit dorky; I love random facts and learning!
Question: How are you similar to your character in Sexy Herpes?
Chloe NG: A friend who watched it described Jackie (the character I play) as "This would be Chloe if she was a sexual health nurse." Of course it's always about finding the character in you, asking the question where does this live in me? All of it is already in you, maybe to different degrees, and it's about tweaking those degrees. In this case with Jackie, there were definitely a lot of similarities, which all come down to her heart. I related deeply with her love for people, heart to want everyone to be happy, her feelings sometimes that she is different and doesn't fit or belong, and the occasional getting herself into trouble with her over-friendly nature!
Question: How do you hope Sexy Herpes lifts the taboo of sexual health?
Chloe NG: To talk about it. Hopefully it will inject some humour and lightheartedness into what can be a difficult and vulnerable topic to talk about. Laughing makes everything better, and a lot of times you need humour to discuss things that are otherwise hard without it! I hope it creates a safe space for people to have informative discussions and conversations.
Question: What was the best thing about being on set for Sexy Herpes?
Chloe NG: Getting work. Just joking. Half joking. No really, the amazing cast and crew, Madeleine Dyer and Daniel Mulvihill created a beautiful culture on set, there was so much respect and kindness among everyone. A definite highlight would be the catering by our producers! We were so spoilt with delicious homemade meals! They were there and cooked for the cast/crew every day, it was amazing.
Question: Can you share the most challenging part of filming Sexy Herpes?
Chloe NG: I think with every role, in the process of discovering the character, you are in turn also continuously discovering yourself (this is a lifelong process) and reflecting on parts of you. This takes a lot of courage, delving truthfully into yourself and discovering, dealing with, accepting you for you. I have no idea if that makes any sense at all or even answers the question, but being the most challenging, it is also the most rewarding!
Interview by Brooke Hunter